Here are some articles on how making art and creating improves outcomes. It is powerful and an innate need and right within all human beings to create. Our culture tries to stomp this out by minimizing and belittling it, when in reality it is one of the most potent tools we have for navigating our lives.

  • Stress-related hormone cortisol lowers significantly after just 45 minutes of art creation, regardless if a person had the regular experience of creating art regularly previously.
  • Art helps reduce pain for cancer patients. “The results showed a statistically significant difference improvement in mood, anxiety and pain between pre-treatment and treatment as well as pretreatment and follow up. The benefits were seen immediately after the session and then continued on for at least 48-72 hours across all groups equally. The study revealed a statistically significant difference between pre-treatment and post treatment as well as pre-treatment and follow up across distress, depression, anxiety and pain.”
  • ‘It’s time to recognise the contribution arts can make to health and wellbeing’ “An evaluation revealed a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety and a 73% fall in depression; 76% of participants said their wellbeing increased and 69% felt more socially included. As one participant says: “I feel so much better having had the time and space to do some art. It makes such a difference.”
  • How using paint, pen on paper or song to revisit trauma helps us put it in the past
  • How Art Changes Consciousness – “Mirror Neurons  are neurons that fire both when a person acts and when the person observes the same action performed by another. This brings us back to a very basic concept in human evolution which involves modeling. When you observe a profound piece of art you are potentially firing the same neurons as the artist did when they created it thus making new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration. This sense of being drawn into a painting is called “embodied cognition”.
  • “85% oof the men and women who I interviewed remembered an event in school that was so shaming, it changed how they thought about themselves for the REST of their lives. 50% of those people…. those shame wounds were around creativity.” – Brene Brown on Art Scars, season 1, episode 12 of “Big Strong Magic” podcast. (big thanks to Art Therapy Spot for pulling this quote)
  • Two hours of art in a week improves mental well-being
  • Art as Therapy: Alain de Botton on the 7 Psychological Functions of Art “Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness.”
  • Why making art is the new meditation! “Art, like meditation, allows us to create space between our often negative, anxious thoughts and connect with our true selves – as opposed to with the fleeting or false sense of identity we sometimes have when we are caught up in our thoughts and emotions. Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher, writes: “Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past… This false self is never happy or fulfilled for long. Its normal state is one of unease, fear, insufficiency, and non-fulfillment.” Creating art is about reaching a state of consciousness and breaking free from the constant debilitating chatter of the mind.”
  • Making art activates brain’s reward pathway “‘This shows that there might be inherent pleasure in doing art activities independent of the end results. Sometimes, we tend to be very critical of what we do because we have internalized, societal judgements of what is good or bad art and, therefore, who is skilled and who is not,’ said Kaimal of the study that was published The Arts in Psychotherapy. ‘We might be reducing or neglecting a simple potential source of rewards perceived by the brain. And this biologocial proof could potentially challenge some of our assumptions about ourselves.'”
  • Art therapy for Cancer Doctors experiencing burnout relaxes them!
  • Painting as a tool for depression  “‘It was a revelation,’ she said. ‘Not to be too hyperbolic, but I saw immediate success.’ Through painting, Bakker discovered a newfound energy and lightness within herself. She suddenly felt pride and accomplishment — feelings that were foreign to her and which her career as a registered nurse had never evoked.”
  • Creating art reduces stress, regardless if you are good at it!  “That means even bad artists are likely to see the stress-busting benefits of playing around with paint and clay. And the subjective feelings of the study participants seemed to reflect this truth. “It was very relaxing. After about five minutes, I felt less anxious,” one wrote of the experience.”
  • Intuition is a high form of intelligence! Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
  • Why Med Schools Are Requiring Art Classes, where students take art classes to develop critical reasoning skills, empathy, and communication.
    “He points to incidents of unconscious bias, where preconceived notions about things like how a certain disease presents or where an individual lives can negatively affect a doctor’s decision making. ‘There are a lot of apparent assumptions in Western society that can be extremely problematic and very dangerous when aligned with the power that a physician has in the clinic, operating room, or emergency department,’ he adds.”
  • Why arts should be incorporated into mental health therapy