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Ladies, big news: Valentine’s Day coloring pages exist, and they are totally within our grasp! And with the 14th just a few days away, it’s time to get our color on.

Coloring pages are not just great fun and a cool reminder of the simpler days of childhood, they can be a genuine way to relax and reduce stress. Researchers at Lake Superior State University tested the anxiety levels of 44 subjects both before and after coloring a pre-drawn mandala (frame with patterns in it), a pre-drawn plaid design, or simply coloring free form on blank paper. In all three groups, anxiety levels declined significantly, suggesting that coloring pre-drawn patterns may be useful as a stress reduction technique.

The pastime is becoming more and more popular, with a whole line of coloring books for adults now. The act of sitting and coloring — without noise and distraction — may even help you become more creative. We’re not making this up. One of our own writers spent a week coloring instead of watching TV before bed, and found that it was a wonderful gateway to a wider world of creativity.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find yourself a coloring book! After you do, check out these other essential materials. And remember to share both the facts and the fun with friends!

Got a favorite coloring book? Tweet us your experience at @BritandCo!

(Photo via Kurt Andre)