NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Coloring is typically thought of as child’s play, but now, a growing number of adults are picking up crayons in an effort to battle stress and forget their worries.
“My husband lost his job and I had a bit of stress and I wanted something that I could do to relax,” Jean Roberts said.
Roberts grabs a coloring book, some markers, and heads to the local coffee shop where she catches up with friends.
“It’s the Cornwall Coloring Club,” Roberts said.
It’s like a book club, but instead of reading there’s a whole lot of coloring.
Once thought of as child’s play, studies show, coloring can actually help ease stress, increase motor skills, promote relaxation, and overall wellness.
“I have high blood pressure. It helps me relax,” Carol Castellano said.
Alex Perruzzi, Vice President of Gift and Product Development at Barnes & Noble, said coloring books for adults are flying off store shelves at the bookstore chain.
“I think the meteoric rise that’s happened in the last month or so is pretty shocking to us,” Perruzzi said.
Adult coloring is so popular now, one of the books by illustrator Johanna Basford just made the New York Times Best Sellers List. Now, mainstream publishers are getting in on the action.
“We’re publishing her next coloring book this fall and it’s called ‘Lost Ocean,'” said Meg Leder, Executive Editor at Penguin Books. “It’s been exciting to see coloring books kind of being taken from the realm of children to the realm of all of us.”
Leder said part of the draw of these books are the incredible illustrations.
“You can see some of the gorgeous images, very detailed,” Leder said.
While the ladies of the Cornwall Coloring Club said they appreciate the artwork, it’s the teamwork that keeps them coming back.
“It’s not judgement, if she goes out of the lines, like she’s doing right now, I’m not going to judge her,” Carol Castellano said.
Coloring is often used by art therapists to help both children and adults to communicate more effectively.