Art is Therapy – 5 Ways Art Benefits Mental Health

Discover how art acts as therapy as we manage the stresses of our busy lives and learn 5 ways art benefits mental health.

* This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase, I could make a small commission at no charge to you. Please read my Disclaimer and Privacy Policy HERE.

Christie Hawkins Palette Knife Painting a background in her art studio with supplies all around_Art is Therapy

A busy life is a happy life, right? Sometimes. A busy life can mean a full life with people and activities you love filling your time. But a busy life can also feel like a stressful life as you try to juggle competing priorities, tackle lengthy to-do lists, and simply fit it all in. It’s those times when “busy” can feel draining and all there is to do and manage can feel overwhelming. During those times when busy feels a lot like stressful, I turn to my art. I hope you do, too.

Art brings so much joy to my life. I love having the time and space to create and explore when I paint. But art fills a deeper purpose in my life. For me, art is therapy. Through the years, art has helped me immensely. As a person who has struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life, art has always been an escape and a release for me. It can be that for you too, if you let it. 

Christie Hawkins Painting_Art is Therapy - 5 Ways Art Benefits Mental Health

Art has so many positive effects on our mental health. 

Today I’m sharing a few of them to encourage you to make more time for art in your life. We all need and deserve what art can do for us. 

1. Creativity 

Creative expression may seem like an obvious mental health benefit of art. But don’t overlook its importance. When you allow yourself to be creative, you give your imagination an outlet and provide space to express your feelings and emotions. Giving yourself time and permission to be creative makes room for the other benefits art brings to our mental health. 

sketching and watercolor painting on vacation 5 Ways Art Benefits Mental Health

2. Stress Relief

Having a creative outlet allows you to express yourself as a way of dealing with stress and challenges in your life. It is especially beneficial for people like me who deal with depression and anxiety. 

3. Sense of Accomplishment

Art is good for your self-esteem. I see it inside Christie’s Inner Tribe every day. Completing a painting provides a sense of accomplishment and pride. I LOVE seeing my Tribe Sisters surprise themselves with what they’re able to create. 

Christie Hawkins Painting a landscape sitting at her desk_Art is Therapy

4. Cognitive Ability

Did you know art is good for your brain? Creating through art stimulates parts of the brain responsible for learning, problem-solving, focus, and memory. This is especially important as we age!

Every painting presents obstacles to overcome and challenges to solve. As you paint, you’ll train your brain to find creative solutions which will help you solve problems in your day-to-day life, too. 

paint party full of women painting together_5 Ways Art Benefits Mental Health

5. Social Connections

Connecting with other people who also love art has such a positive impact on our mental health. That’s why I started Christie’s Inner Tribe. I see the beautiful ways Tribe Sisters connect with and support each other with their art – and in their lives. Starting with a shared interest or passion makes room for deeper connections and friendships. 

Tribe Sisters share how art serves them. 

Inside Christie’s Inner Tribe, we talk a lot about serving others. God made all of us with hearts for service and so many of my Tribe Sisters use their art to serve others. Some of them shared their stories of service through art in this blog post. 

Christie with Tribe Sisters at an event

I remind my Tribe Sisters to also let their art serve them, to be there for them when times are difficult or stressful. We recently talked about art as therapy and so many Tribe Sisters shared their stories of art’s healing powers in their lives. 

Art is a great distraction from worries, concerns, and anything that’s bothering me because when I paint I can’t really think about anything else. It requires my sole focus unlike walking or other activities that allow my mind to wander. I get so immersed that I forget to eat so there’s that too! Win-win. Better mental AND physical health!

Christie's desk with painting supplies, laptop, and watermelon slice painting. Window to the outdoors

When Covid hit and the world shut down, I worked from home, and then my brother, who was also my housemate and whom I was very close to, was diagnosed with glioblastoma with no cure. I became a full-time caregiver (which I wouldn’t change for a minute) while working full-time from home.

The stress was taking its toll on me. In the middle of the night, when I couldn’t sleep and he was, I’d paint to provide a little respite care for myself. It took me away for just a little bit. Sadly, my brother passed away just seven months after he was diagnosed. Shortly after he passed, I painted a painting in his honor. He loved camping and being outdoors. That was his happy place. I titled the painting “His Final Campsite.” While the painting is not a masterpiece, it is my little piece of him.


I came home so tired all I could think of was sleep, but I still had two children at home who needed me for the evening and my husband came in after several days out of town.

I sat down at my desk which gave all three full access to me and we visited and painted and colored and just completely unwound and relaxed. Art is a family thing in this house. It’s our board game of life. It’s therapy and healing.


Art is my therapy and way of relaxation .❤️

How to Paint Fall Bushel of Apples acrylic The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

I have never painted before so I’m a total Newbie. I recently retired and when I saw Christie had classes even for beginners I got so excited. It’s exactly what I needed. It is relaxing and helps me think clearly and I have learned to relax and trust the process.


Painting and crafting help me destress. When I started painting with Christie a few years ago my job was very stressful. I do use a few designs on the door hangers I sell but mostly I paint for relaxation. My youngest daughter has started painting which gives us something fun to do together.


I have a very demanding, technical job. Painting helps me to release stress and keeps me balanced. ❤️

Christie Painting Flowers for self care

Take time for your art.

I know. I’m talking about how busy life can get and then telling you to take time for yourself. That can seem impossible some days or even some weeks. But I want you to try.

However long the time is that you can manage to set aside for yourself, take it. Realize the importance of it. Just 30 minutes a day or even 20 minutes here and there works wonders to calm your mind and allow you to focus. Give yourself that time to be calm and move your focus away from your busy life for that slice of time. 

Christie Hawkins Palette Knife Painting_Art is Therapy - 5 Ways Art Benefits Mental Health

Make it easy to take these short “art therapy sessions.” If you don’t have a dedicated studio space, create a place where your art supplies are easy to access and ready to be pulled out and put away quickly.  

Your art is there for you. Whether you have just a few minutes to spare or can treat yourself to an afternoon dedicated to painting, let your art serve you. I truly believe art is therapy and encourage you to take some time for yourself and your art.  

If you would like to be notified before I go Live on The Social Easel Facebook Page with a fun art tutorial, text “Hey Friend” to 417-217-7044.

Stay creative and happy painting!