Photo of a man painting a skateboard.

Creativity and Health: Need a Jumpstart?

In Featured, Mental Health Resources, News by eri

Can being creative lead to better health? Science says yes.


Really. Many studies in recent years link creativity to improved overall and mental health. Benefits of engaging in creative activities can include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Relief from depression
  • Increased feeling of well-being
  • Improved immune system

You Don’t Have to Be an Artist to Be Creative

You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. One person may be creative with a home repair or remodeling job. Another may plant and nurture a vegetable or flower garden. And yet another may dance, cook, paint, sculpture, knit, write, or…the list is endless.

You may already be doing activities you don’t think of as creative that are.  How many of these activities do you already enjoy?

  • Woodworking
  • Dancing
  • Writing
  • Playing sports
  • Painting
  • Collecting themed items
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Home repairs

Get a Jumpstart

If you’re already engaging in creative activities and feeling fine, good on you!

If you want to expand your interests, meet others with similar interests, and get a jumpstart on learning new creative activities to add to your life, look into the resources below.

They are all Wisconsin-based organizations that give people with disabilities and their families the opportunity to grow their creativity.

  • VSA Wisconsin - Statewide

    VSA Wisconsin uses dance, drama, creative writing, music, and visual art to celebrate the creative power and artistic accomplishments of children and adults with disabilities throughout Wisconsin. VSA Wisconsin’s choirs, artist residencies, and art classes and workshops provide an outlet for creative expression and unlimited possibilities for personal, academic, and professional success. Learn more about VSA Wisconsin.

  • Cornucopia Art - Madison

    Cornucopia is an arts and wellness center run for and by people with mental health issues and their allies. Through friendship, they celebrate creativity and diversity. They promote growth and dignity by helping members develop strengths and talents which build personal, professional and community life skills. Learn more about Cornucopia Art.

  • Studio 84 - Whitewater

    Studio 84 is a nonprofit art studio that provides experiences in the visual arts and theater for the community. They specialize in working with all people including those with Autism, physical disabilities, cognitive limitations and mental illness. They believe in creating an environment of inclusion whenever possible and they are open to all ages and all abilities. Learn more about Studio 84.

  • Monroe Street Arts Center - Madison

    Monroe Street Arts Center engages a community of learners in exploring the arts and developing the creative self. It offers music lessons (piano, violin, voice, guitar, harmonica, trumpet, and more)–and art classes including drawing, painting, photography, and print-making. Learn more about the Monroe Street Arts Center.

  • ArtWorking - Madison

    The Artworking program is located in Madison and provides career-oriented support for artists with cognitive disabilities. Artworking serves artists in a professional studio work space as well as in community and private settings such as an artist’s personal studio space or at public events, workshops, sales opportunities etc. Learn more about ArtWorking.

  • Donna Lexa Art Centers – Waukesha and West Milwaukee

    The Donna Lexa Art Centers has been enriching lives of people with special needs since 1985. Donna Lexa was an art therapist whose dream was to provide an environment of creative expression for specialized populations. “Artwork is an extension of the person. If the artwork is accepted, the artist is accepted. That stimulates independence, self-confidence, and motivation,” explained Donna. The centers provide visual art instruction for adults and teens with special needs, as well as for older adults of all abilities. Learn more about the Donna Lexa Art Centers.

  • Encore Studio - Statewide

    Encore Studio for the Performing Arts is the only professional theatre company for people with disabilities in the state of Wisconsin. Encore Studio offers an innovative, inclusive, and professional environment where all people work together in the pursuit of artistic and theatrical excellence. Learn more about Encore Studio.

Learn the Science

If you’re interested in why and how creativity improves health and feelings of well-being, check out these articles:

Here’s How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health

What are the Health Benefits of Being Creative?

Five Hobbies that Can Improve Your Health

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