Adult Coloring Books

Jan Haas/dpa/Corbis

Coloring book sales have soared as adults rediscover the calming effects of this childhood pastime. Cristen and Caroline sketch out how the grownup coloring book trend began, psychological debates about its benefits and gender in between the lines.

Episode Sources:

"Interview with Johanna Basford, illustrator and coloring book author"

"Coloring books for Christmas? Make sure to warm up!"

"Colouring books used to be so fun. When did they get so ... mindful?"

"Coloring isn't just for kids. It can actually help adults combat stress"

"Coloring books for existential angst"

"The Zen of adult coloring books"

"Coloring books for adults: We asked therapists for their opinions"

"A brief history of the great American coloring book"

"The radical history of 1960s adult coloring books"

"From coloring books to Harper Lee, a good year for paper"

Academic Insights:

"Coloring within the lines: Gender stereotypes in contemporary coloring books." Maureen J. Fitzpatrick and Barbara J. McPherson. Sex Roles. Vol. 62, Iss. 1. Pages 127-137. 2010.

"Empirical study on the healing nature of mandalas." Patti Henderson et al. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. Vol. 1, No. 3. Pages 148-154. August 2007.