How Arts Can Improve Your Mental Health

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 21 October 2020
  • 3 minute read
How Arts Can Improve Your Mental Health | The Health Sessions

This article is written by Justin Osborne. 

Art is one of the most important fundamental expressions humans are capable of. From the prehistoric cave drawings to the modern-day artworks, we used brushes, instruments, words, and movements to communicate what goes beyond our everyday tasks and basic needs.

Creating and experiencing art lifts spirits, helps make connections, and at times, makes us experience feelings that can be described as “glimpses of eternity”. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that creative arts have a huge positive impact on human health, improving focus on positive life experiences, reducing stress levels, and alleviating physical pain among others.

When it comes to the effect artistic expression can have on an individual’s mental state, here’s what benefits you can expect if you include creativity into your everyday routine.

1. Artistic expression brings stress and anxiety relief

The burdens of busy modern life and changing circumstances we can’t control (especially in the year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic) can cause strong negative emotions, as well as create new or deepen the existing stress levels and anxiety.

Mental health specialists emphasize that art can be one of the best ways to cope with the changing reality and the sense of losing control. Activities such as writing a dream journal, drawing how you feel, immersing yourself in detailed coloring, or playing a favorite instrument can help bring the peace of mind and calm your soul needs the most.

2. Creative activities encourage creative thinking

To solve a problem the way it needs to be solved sometimes takes stepping aside and changing our perspective about it. Creating something new and marked by your unique vision of the world is a great way to boost creative thinking and problem-solving skills, even if it’s not noticeable at the first glance.

When you feel stuck, demotivated, or unable to deal with life throws your way, this time might be right for some unwinding. Spend some time away from your problems and reality checks and lose yourself in the moment of coming up with something entirely new. Let your brain “rewire” and rest to help it prepare for any challenges that the future brings.

How Arts Can Improve Your Mental Health | The Health Sessions
All images by Cottonbro via

3. Appreciating and creating art increases empathy

Every work of art is a window to the soul of its creator. Enjoying and analyzing artistic pieces allows for a one-of-a-kind conversation that takes place between the author and the observer or listener. Just like any conventional conversation, each of these can lead to a better understanding of someone different from us who just might happen to have the same fears, worries, and excitements.

Increasing our empathy for others isn’t important just for our connections with others. It also plays a significant part in the way we perceive ourselves. Sometimes, it’s you who needs and deserves empathy, and mostly coming from yourself. Art is only one of the most powerful ways to become gentle and understanding when it comes to your own shortcomings.

4. Boosting self-esteem and sense of accomplishment

Whether you write, paint, photograph, play music, or enjoy any other creative activity, you make something you can learn to love, analyze, and return to. A sense of accomplishment creative work can bring is unique and can bring along a steady boost in self-esteem, making you more resilient to disease and negative experiences in life.

Not all creative work needs to be perfect or professional to leave a positive impact on your life. Play with your artistic expressions and benefits will be visible in the long run.

How Arts Can Improve Your Mental Health | The Health Sessions

5. Making art can increase one’s academic performance

Did you know that a fairly new study conducted by the George Mason University of Arts Research Center undoubtedly linked participating in artistic courses and better grades in mid-schoolers?

Although the correlation between creative classes and academic accomplishments  still needs further examination and research, it definitely exists and is well worth exploring in the future.

Similarly, there is a basis for concluding that the correlation between creative expressions and professional performance exists as well, as creative tasks, as mentioned previously, help sharpen your problem-solving skills and reduce stress coming from facing difficult situations in the workplace.

A few words in conclusion

Although there’s nothing wrong with spending some of your free time scrolling on social media, watching sitcoms, or partaking in other passive amusements, devoting some parts of the day to finding the way to express how you feel, what you want out of life, and connecting with others through art is definitely a better choice for your wellbeing.

Even just appreciating art can have huge benefits for your mental health, while participating in the creative process is an even more powerful tool towards a happier and healthier life.

Author bio: Justin Osborne is a writer at scholarship essay writing service. He loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing an blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a content marketeer at

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