A few months ago, I wrote about the Danish concept of hygge – the feeling of contentment derived from coziness and comfort. Little did I know that Germans have their own “hygge,” called gemütlichkeit!
Whereas hygge focuses on the effect of an environment and well-decorated space, Gemütlichkeit celebrates the general mood generated from being surrounded by friends and loved ones. It is all about those around you and how they make you feel. Think of a family picnic on a hilltop, the whole family gathered for the 4th of July, bonding over strawberry-rhubarb pie and a cold bottle of coke. There are many ways you can cultivate Gemütlichkeit. Here are some great titles to get you started:
Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling
In this hilarious memoir, Mindy Kaling details the insecurities she faces in life and how she overcomes them, ruminating on the meaning of friendship and love. A perfect book to pick up if you’re worried you lack the poise and social graces to pull off successful Gemütlichkeit.
Love, loss, and what we ate by Padma Lakshmi
In this memoir of food and family, Top-Chef judge Padma Lakshmi opens up with surprising vulnerability about her life as an immigrant’s daughter and the meals she ate along the way. She describes in beautiful detail the power of friendship and family.