Creativity & Healing

Throughout history and within many cultures, it is believed that creative expression has significantly positive effects on health. Managing any illness can be catastrophic, and can have a major adverse impact on not only one’s health, but also on one’s self-esteem, emotional health, quality of life, relationships, employment, and social life. Various forms of creativity can be effective in the healing process for those living with the challenges of illness and disease. 

Studies have found that taking part in creative processes can be a healing experience. The creative process is diverse and can range from doodling in a coloring book to listening to opera. Traditional healing arts include art, music, dance, poetry, and drama therapies. Healing arts therapy should be led by a licensed or board-certified creative arts therapist.

Creative expression can be brought into one’s life with simple activities.  Creative hobbies can bring joy and strength. Dance may promote healing by strengthening the immune system, and relieving tension and stress.

Benefits of Creativity 

  • Provides a platform to communicate difficult thoughts and emotions
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Instills a sense of joy
  • Happiness
  • Connectivity with oneself
  • Provides a sense of meaning, purpose, and accomplishment
  • Connects you with others
  • Shifts focus from pain and stress to fun and soothing activities
  • Strength

Examples of How to Engage in the Creative Process:

  • Doodling on paper
  • Adult coloring books and colored pencils
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting 
  • Baking
  • Journal by drawing or writing
  • Scrapbooking
  • Create a memory box 
  • Create a photo album
  • Make a collage
  • Drawing
  • Writing
  • Abstract painting
  • Painting with water colors
  • Painting with acrylic paint
  • Painting on silk
  • Fused glass
  • Making quilts
  • Making mosaics
  • Sculptures 
  • Pottery 
  • Woodworking 
  • Photography
  • Admiring nature
  • Take a virtual tour of National Parks
  • Enjoying visual arts
  • Visit virtual art museums
  • Listen to music
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Dance
  • Arts and crafts
  • Create a healing environment for your personal space by using cool tones and soft pastels

Creativity and Healing Resources

The Foundation for Art and Healing