“A coorie way of life practices small, quiet, slow activities by engaging with our surroundings to feel happy,” says Gabriella Bennett, Scotland native and author of the new book The Art of Coorie. Historically, the word has meant cuddling up or snuggling in, but it's taken on a life—and lifestyle—of its own.
“A coorie way of life practices small, quiet, slow activities by engaging with our surroundings to feel happy.” —Gabriella Bennett, author and coorie expert
“It's about drawing comfort from Scotland's oldest traditions and updating them for modern times,” she says. Coorie also takes a cue from sustainable and mindful living, looking at how people buy and consume and then trying to simplify.
The best thing about coorie? You don’t need to go out and buy extra candles, bath bombs, or fuzzy socks to practice it. “Coorie is about learning to live better using what is around you,” Bennett says.
Here’s how you can start living the coorie life today.
1. Embrace the outdoors (and being a little cold)
There’s a Scottish saying that goes, "there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes." (Um, what a beautiful, optimistic sentiment to repeat daily for the next six months, #amirite?) Despite chilly winters, especially in the Highlands, Scots bundle up and get out into the countryside. Hiking, camping, wild swimming, foraging, kayaking, stargazing, and simply unplugging in nature are year-round activities.
“The new coorie represents a way of life where peacefulness comes from engaging with our heritage and landscapes,” says Bennett. And there’s science to prove it—being in nature activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety. It also improves working memory, which can help you be more focused.
2. Get crafty
Was the last craft project you completed a diorama in middle school? Well, living coorie gives you the opportunity to get back in touch with your creative side. Plus, you can pick up crafting materials while you’re spending time outside. “Head to the woods for pine cones, festive wreaths, or harvest pine needles to flavor food and drinks,” Bennett says. “You can also keep your hands busy by teaching yourself how to knit a Fair Isle sweater,” she says. Feels ambitious, but hey, winter is coming, right?
Research shows that people who frequently work on little creative projects report feeling more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives than those who don’t. So if knitting and foraging just isn't you, find something that is. There's always the option to try your hand at mixology; pine-needle-infused cocktail-making does count as a craft in coorie.
3. Meal-prep, coorie-style
“Coorie cooking recalibrates famous dishes by giving them a contemporary spin,” says Bennett. One of her favorites? Vegan cullen skink, her updated take on a creamy, hearty fish soup originating in Scotland. To give your meal a coorie makeover, health-ify a favorite childhood recipe, or reimagine an indulgent dish into a clean treat, like these decadent vegan buffalo wings.
Another way to satisfy a coorie craving and get a mood boost? Host a potluck dinner with friends themed around a particular memory or season, Bennett suggests. Cooking for others is an act of altruism, which studies show can increase happiness. There you have it: A health-boosting reason to try the concept and host a meal for you closest pals.
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