Therapeutic humor pioneer Allen Klein wrote that “your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”

Maybe that’s one reason so many people of all ages are embracing Coloring Books for Grown Ups this year. Too many of us — especially in work-driven and screen-devoted America — are deficient in what I call “Vitamin Fun.”

Meditation often doesn’t feel like fun for many people — but coloring or doodling does. So coloring and doodling books offer low-effort and low-cost doses of this vital nutrient.  It’s definitely legal, and in many cases free!

If you’ve made it to our site, you must be a colorist.  So you probably know you can find free coloring pages on Pinterest and Facebook — as well as at the websites of coloring book illustrators or publishers (like us!).

To get started, all you need is a box of crayons or colored pencils plus a page or book to color. They’re abundant at the 99-Cents Store or Dollar Tree, plus Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and art supply stores.

In fact, when I walk into my local Michael’s Art Supplies (which provides discounts for seniors!), I nearly bump into the huge rack of coloring books right by the front door. I can’t miss or ignore them, and they’re like potato chips or your favorite candy — you can’t eat just one!

Coloring parties, classes, groups and new book events are also popping up all over. I was delighted to see an article in my local Los Angeles Daily News last weekend listing coloring events I hadn’t heard of yet. The article included the Wednesday “coloring class for seniors” that I’ve started to attend at a local community center (in Sherman Oaks, if you’d like to join us).

But the article also listed a coloring book signing in October at the LA Museum of Contemporary Art (!) and a monthly “coloring party” with wine at a local art gallery.  So coloring is finally crossing paths with fine art — and being invited into literary circles through  coloring groups for all ages at local libraries.  (Find this article in our Resources sub-section:  Coloring in the News.)

If you’re not in LA and your local library hasn’t caught the coloring bug yet, check out Meetup groups throughout the country that are devoted to crafts. Many include coloring as well.  Search http://Meetup.com for your area.

In LA, I’m about to begin hosting “Color Us Creative” Parties — watch here for listings of my CUS Parties in LA, or find them as they’re scheduled at my Holistic-Health LA Meetup page (which is free to join)  I’ll provide free coloring pages and some startup coloring tools, or bring your own to use and share!

Veterans groups and other PTSD support groups are also incorporating coloring books and journals for stress relief and trauma therapy — and a big dose of Vitamin Fun, I hope!  Deb Brown has heard of some in Phoenix and I know some in LA.  We’ll share info on these as we get more details.

What are you doing to color with friends or family? How are you adding “bright colors” and humor  — which to me means living with joy and play rather than working hard — to your everyday life?

Please comment and share your experiences, suggestions and colorful ideas with us.  Inspire us — and we’ll all have more fun!

Imagine a world where fun, humor and color therapy are prescribed by doctors and therapists — oops, I think that’s happening now!

(image credits: © | Dreamstime.com)