Can Art Help to Reduce Anxiety?

Can Art Help To Reduce Anxiety?

author: Meera Shah


As a child, I loved coloring. I used to color on the wallpaper in the staircase. It was endless hours of fun for me.


I don’t think my parents appreciated it though.


Can you recall a time when you doodled in your school books, played with play-doh, or drew on your iPad? Do you remember how much fun it was? As we grow older, we often don’t have as much time for creative activities. However, recent studies suggest that being creative can help reduce stress and anxiety.

According to this data published in 2019 (linked here), around 301 million people worldwide struggled with anxiety disorders, making it the most common mental health condition.


Can art be a solution?


Taking the time to do things we enjoy can greatly impact our mood, especially if we’re dealing with anxiety.

For instance, engaging in activities we love, like creating or appreciating art, can help us:

1. Shift our focus away from anxious thoughts.

2. Release endorphins in our bodies, which are natural mood boosters.

3. Provide a sense of accomplishment.

4. Calm our minds by keeping us present.

This study (linked here) in 2023, involving 150 students with anxiety disorders found that learning about and creating ceramic art significantly reduced fear, anxiety, tension, and unease. The study also noted improvements in physical symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, sweating, and sleep quality.


Let’s get creative!


It doesn’t matter if you’ve never made art, visited a gallery, or think you’re not creative. Start in a way that feels natural to you.

 Try some of the ideas below to get you started…

  • Doodle on paper when feeling anxious
  • Write into a journal and add illustrations
  • Paint
  • Write poetry
  • Listen to music
  • View online art exhibitions
  • Visit a gallery with friends
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Take a walk and experiment with photography
  • Create nail art
  • Create a scrapbook
  • Practice calligraphy


We’d love to hear and share your stories about how art has helped you manage anxiety.


To share your journey, get in touch via our contact page.