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Throughout college, I kept a secret. There was something that I liked to do to relieve stress, but only when my roommate wasn't around. (I didn't want her judging me.) But I often found myself around exams week taking a break from my studies and taking a few minutes out of my day to color.

I had a few children's coloring books stashed in my drawer, and it wasn't because I liked Hello Kitty or My Little Pony. It was because I couldn't find any coloring books for adults, so I made due with that cat (I refuse to acknowledge that it is a little girl playing dress up) and horses with butt tattoos.


Once my son got old enough to color, I was quite happy to color along with him, because any outsiders would know that I was coloring for my son and not just because I liked it. But the good news is that adults can color freely in the open now. As this Quartz article explains, there are now many adult-oriented coloring books featuring art and designs instead of princesses and dragons. And many studies agree: Coloring helps relieve stress. Studies show that the simple act of coloring allows the mind to enter a meditative state and relax. As long as you don't get too stressed out if you go outside the lines, then coloring will give you the mellow mood you are searching for.

So, it's time for me to buy some of my own coloring books and crayons, and engage in a little stress relief with pride. Color me happy!

What's your favorite color? Share with me in the comments.

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