Creativity and Mental Health

For me, creativity is a massive part of expressing my feelings when it comes to my mental health. Creating abstract representations of my disorders or how I feel allows me to release the negative thoughts and create something interesting in the process.


Hope (2015) 

mha designs

Mental Health Awareness Designs (2014)

I draw, paint, write – anything and everything! It’s the most therapeutic thing in the world; I can sit in complete silence and not have one thought pass through my head for hours when I have a paintbrush in my hand.

Does anybody else have any methods to relieve stress and negative feelings?

42 thoughts on “Creativity and Mental Health

  1. lizziecarver says:

    Any creative activity is brilliant for keeping a focus on something other than difficult thoughts or feelings. I used to volunteer with a social enterprise called Fine Cell Work, going into prison to teach the inmates how to stitch and embroider decorative items that were then sold, and the prisoners paid for their skill. So many of them said how valuable it was to have that activity to keep their minds off difficult and painful things. It made perfect sense to me, as I love to stitch – the repetitive, relatively simple action is really soothing and seeing the item take shape is so satisfying.
    Your images for MHA week are great, Lauren – clear and powerful.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. jennymarie4 says:

    Creative channels for me are photography, gardening, and cooking/baking. Going to the gym or a walk in the mountains are great stress/anxiety relievers. Great art, Lauren!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. riedal says:

    I mainly do photography a and get out and about especially socialise. I also write cook and make crafts like jewellery and cross stitch. Another thing I do is meditate to relaxing and calm music. It calms my mind down and gives me inspiration as well. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Salvageable says:

    The simple folk whistle, sing, and dance their troubles away. Or so I’m told. I wish I could sing or dance that well. I wish I could paint beautiful pictures as you do. Me, I write. Not about myself–I create some characters and some situations and start writing, just to find out what happens next. J.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. lifeofmiblog says:

    Writing is my most common distraction but cooking is the thing I find does the most good. It comes with a drawback…weight gain!
    I love your “Hope” piece, don’t give up the art!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. karabethb says:

    Definitely writing and dancing! I can express just about anything with these two outlets.
    If I’m feeling particularly creative I’ll start crafting. I make wreaths and paint wood crafts for friends/family sometimes.
    All of these things help release thoughts and feelings, whether negative or positive!
    Love your drawings!

    Liked by 1 person


    it’s the same with me too..whenever i sit with my painting brush i have absolutely no thoughts………there’s complete silence in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bmarley says:

    I play music and sing. I noticed that when I get really stressed, anxious, or full of uncomfortable feelings, the one thing that will always release the negative emotions is singing. I’m pretty sure I was born to sing.

    Thanks for being so vulnerable and honest on your blog. I found you through you liking one of my posts. I can definitely connect with some of the things you mention here. Keep up the awesome work!

    ❤ Love!



  9. timothyparkin says:

    I write poetry—thanks for the like lauren— I am really interested in this link between insanity and creativity, sometimes called the Sylvia Plath effect after the genius poet, who was to put it mildly— a little unbalanced….continue to explore this—also for anxiety nothing beats good weed (for me anyway)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alfio says:

    Listening to music but it’s not really creative but allows my mind to listen to the lyrics and try to feel what is being expressed by the artist.

    I also do web design and just forget about everything when I’m coding.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alice says:

    Cooking: long, slow processes that can require careful attention over a long period of time (caramelizing onions, making jams, many-layered casseroles like lasagna). Baking’s good too, especially complicated recipes where each step needs to be followed precisely. All of which gets me out of my head and focused. (Side benefit: filling apartment with wonderful smells!)

    I love your mental health designs, btw. 🙂


    • bylaurenhayley says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you like them. It’s interesting that you find complex things relaxing but I guess it relaxes your mind in that it thinks of nothing else – the opposite of me as I like simple things but interesting all the same! Thanks for commenting and I hope it continues to work for you 🙂 keep baking – I’d for sure appreciate the smells!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Avril says:

    Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for dropping by my site. I am so blessed to encounter others transforming their challenges into creativity, that is so inspiring. This is the path of healing. The greatest of composers, artists and others are often presented with some deep and profound issues, which squeezes and forces their creativity out of them. where would we be without the Van Goghs(not sure of th spelling) and people like you?


  13. Joe says:

    I have worked with many depressed people over the years as a psychologist. Many of them have found consolation in art as well as a voice to express what was too painful for them to put into words. I am glad you found this outlet and hope it continues to give meaning to your life.


  14. arainandagale says:

    I’ve been fascinated by the connection between creativity and mental “illness.” I would love to see more studies on this and how we can best support highly creative children’s mental health throughout life.


  15. Flawlessly Mousy says:

    I write in my journal as soon as negative thoughts pop into my head. I also use the thought-stopping method to prevent the negative thoughts from snowballing into dangerous territory.


  16. claireishi says:

    Music production and writing are good for me. I used to draw a lot. Now, getting into watercolor. Boxing is something new and random I’m trying. I like how it forces me to push myself physically and take a mental break.

    Liked by 1 person

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