5 Adult Coloring Book Apps That Put Artistic Stress Reduction at Your Fingertips

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Coloring books for big kids are the hottest thing right now, but carrying around a big book and a pack of crayons isn’t necessarily the most discreet thing in the world. Fear not: adult coloring book apps are here, perfect for when you’re on the go, hiding in your cubicle at work, or pretending to answer emails. Not only is it a fun activity that takes us back to our youth, but many say coloring can help reduce stress in adults. It’s like wine, except you won’t get drunk.

The concept of art helping to reduce stress is not some hippy dippy BS. Research has shown, for example, that art therapy helps reduce symptoms of physical and emotional stress during treatment for women with cancer. Another study found that just one hour of art therapy brought a lot of comfort to adults with cancer, who felt better able to continue treatment. Isn’t it amazing that something so simple can bring so much relief?

I found five adult coloring book apps on iTunes and tried them out. All of these are free and most of them have been a good time.

1. Colorful

Free, iTunes and Google Play

Colorfy has an overall five-star rating and over 20,000 reviews on iTunes. Choose from flowers, mandalas and more, and color the stress. It lets you zoom in for easier access to tiny parts. Look how pretty mine is.

2. Recolor

Free, iTunes

When I opened Recolor it automatically went to a page with ice cream. So I was more than satisfied. I found this one to be very simple, straightforward, and user-friendly.

3. Pigments

Free, iTunes

Pigment takes a lot more skill. While the first two apps let you color just by tapping on the area (and the entire space fills in), Pigment treats your finger like a real pencil and you shade the area manually. You have to zoom and move the image with two fingers, because the coloring is done with one finger — which explains the sporadic marks on my artwork. I did this for about a minute and a half before I started hating myself.

Personally, I want insane entertainment; but if you prefer an app that really lets you focus, you’ll love this. Everyone is different !

4. Color therapy

Free, iTunes

ColorTherapy is like Christmas morning. After realizing they even offered celebrity photos, I decided on Elvis and went to town. Then we kissed.

5. Enchanted Forest

Free, iTunes and Google Play

Enchanted Forest has a simple user interface and offers a nice selection of simple and more elaborate designs. This flower pattern was fun and the vibrant colors make my eyes happy.

If downloading adult coloring book apps to your phone isn’t quite your cup of tea, remember you can trump the iPad! Nothing makes you feel better like art.

Pictures: Fotolia; Megan Grant/Restlessness (5)

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