Adult Coloring Books For The Stressed Family Member In Your Life

The perfect holiday distraction? A coloring book.

Imagine you're arguing with your uncle, again, over who knows more about the upcoming election. Or a fight breaks out between your brother and mother, again, because a certain child refuses to answer his parent's phone calls. Instead of hammering home your views on Bernie Sanders' campaign -- or stepping in between a monumental yell fest betwixt mom and son -- what if you just pulled out a coloring book and went to town? It sounds childish, but, so does your 35-year-old sibling right now.

For the adult set, coloring has been growing in popularity over the past year or so as a sort of coping mechanism, used to counter the pitfalls of busy, everyday life. Take the advice of psychologists -- who recommend coloring as a stress-relieving technique and an alternative to mediation -- and seek refuge this holiday season in a few black-and-white pages begging for adornment. Who knows, maybe you and Uncle Fred will find middle ground in your shared love of coloring inside the lines.

Here are the 13 best adult coloring books out there:

1. The Mindfulness Colouring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People

Emma Farrarons

Who would like this? Your yogi uncle or meditation junkie best friend.

2. Color Her: A Mix 'N Match Coloring Book

Iris Glaser and Katrin Leblond

Who would like this? Your feminist sister-in-law or budding riot grrrl cousin. (For more on artists Iris Glaser and Katrin Leblond's book, check out their website.)

3. I Love My Hair

Andrea Pippin

Who would like this? Fans of mohawks, updos and everything in between, but particularly anyone who worships historical hair icons like Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette and Diana Ross. (Check out Andrea Pippins' website or our past coverage of the book for more.)

4. The Stoner's Coloring Book: Coloring for High-Minded Adults

Jared Hoffman

Who would like this? Just kidding, you know exactly who would like this.

5. Coloring Flower Mandalas

Wendy Piersall

Who would like this? Your blissfully zen grandfather or recovering hippie aunt. (See more here.)

6. Grace Miceli's Feminist Art Coloring Book

Grace Miceli

Who would like this? A die-hard Yoko Ono fan or anyone who appreciates the minimalist cartoons of Grace Miceli. (See our coverage of the book here.)

7. Secret Garden

Johanna Basford

Who would like this? Who doesn't love intricately crafted garden scenes? If you need convincing, Johanna Basford's Enchanted Forest is similarly wonderful.

8. Coloring for Grown-Ups

Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen

Who would like this? Your comedy-loving sister and her new significant other. Bonus: there is a beer goggles activity fun page!

9. Unicorns Are Jerks

Theo Nicole Lorenz

Who would like this? Me, apparently, because my sister just gifted it to me and it's awesome.

10. The Tattoo Colouring Book


Who would like this? Your tattoo-heavy dad, duh.

11. The Between the Lines Series

RxArt/Erik Parker

Who would like this? The contemporary art fiend in the family, because this compilation is full of original art by the likes of Erik Parker, Marilyn Minter and the estate of Félix González-Torres.

12. The Indie Rock Coloring Book

Yellow Bird Project

Who would like this? Your boyfriend who can't help but argue with his three brothers and just needs to focus on a Broken Social Scene maze instead.

13. The Pixel Coloring Book

Knock Knock

Who would like this? Your younger sister who's obsessed with retro video games.

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