How Creativity Plays A Role in Recovery And Mental Health

February 4th, 2020

Expressing yourself through creative outlets can have a profound impact on one’s emotional wellbeing. Finding a creative outlet that you feel you can truly express yourself through can both liven your mood and improve your mental health regardless of if you struggle with a mental illness or not. However, if you do struggle with mental illness, employing creativity into your daily life and recovery efforts has been shown to have a profound impact. Creative outlets like art and music have been cited as crucial parts of many different accounts of recovery from mental health ailments.

There are many different types of creative outlets that one can express themselves with. It can even be more beneficial to explore various outlets instead of just sticking to the one you may be the most comfortable with. Regardless, finding a creative that you enjoy exploring and express yourself with can have a profound impact on your or a loved one’s mental health recovery.

In this post, we are going to explore the role that creativity can play in one’s recovery from mental illness. 

Creativity Increases Your Happiness

Finding an activity that challenges and grows your creativity can instantly have a positive impact on your mental state. By finding an activity that you can take part in repetitively you only serve to consistently increase these positive levels that lead to one have a happier mood. Repetitive creative motions have a positive effect on the chemicals in your brain that are linked to emotions like happiness. Creative actions can help to increase levels of dopamine in the brain. These levels of dopamine help to make us feel good and can also help to motivate us. This motivating effect that dopamine can have will help to make you desire to keep seeking out creative outlets. The effect that creativity has on the brain and its dopamine levels also are impactful for those with mental illnesses. Taking part in repetitive creative exercises can help those with mental illnesses to have ‘feel-good’ moments that are often lacking when struggling with mental health. Experiencing the simple, natural happiness that being creative can cause can be an important starting point in one’s mental health recovery. 

Music and Art Therapy Have a Positive Impact on Mental Health Recovery

Targeted therapies using creative outlets specifically art and music have grown as a popular method of therapy for treating mental health. This is due to the significant impact that these creative-based therapies can have. Many mental health centers and clinics even employ specific art and music therapists. These creative based forms of therapy use these mediums to help patients to relieve stress, express emotions, and tap into the therapeutic elements of art and music. Art therapy can encompass almost any medium of artistic expression which is especially therapeutic for patients. This all-encompassing form of therapy allows patients to take part in mediums that have experience in or start trying out and exploring brand new forms of art. Art therapy can have a profound effect on recovery, but it is also a form that can be very painful and emotionally revealing. Art allows us as humans to express ourselves in ways that may not be possible with words. It can be a medium that can help explore our emotions in a new way which can be both painfully revealing yet powerfully therapeutic. Music therapy can have a similar impact on art therapy. It is a form of therapy that allows one to explore their feelings and emotions through both listening to and creating music. Both forms of therapy allow individuals to discover and explore the therapeutic effects that expressing your creativity can have. These forms of therapy have proven effectiveness and can be a significant complement to one’s mental health recovery. 

Specific Mental Health Benefits of Creative Therapy

Creative therapies have grown in popularity among mental health centers and clinics due to the power and effectiveness that they are shown to have in mental health recovery. 

Here are some of the specific benefits that creative therapies like music and art therapy are shown to have:

  • Opportunities for emotional release
  • Stress relief
  • A boost in self-esteem
  • New ways for self-discovery

These are some of the commonly cited benefits that patients experience with music and art therapies. These therapies allow patients to have new and unique opportunities for self-discovery, creativity, and emotional release that traditional therapies may not open the door to. While traditional forms of therapy are still effective processes, creative therapies allow for new ways to express themselves and explore their emotions in recovery. Art and music therapy are a great tool to help people at any stage in their mental health recovery. 

The mental health recovery process is one that can be tiring in many ways. It can be overwhelmingly taxing on one’s emotions and cognition. Integrating creative processes into one’s mental health recovery is proven to have a highly positive impact as it gives the brain positive reinforcements and ‘feel-good’ emotions that are often lacking with mental illnesses. Whether it is creative reinforcement through a specifically designed art therapy program or through just adding creative activities like journaling or drawing daily, repetitive creative expression can bring many benefits to helping one in their mental health recovery. These benefits range from stress relief to introducing you to new ways to explore your emotions. Creativity can be one of the most valuable tools to use in mental health recovery with proven benefits in therapy and in the positive impact it can have on the brain. Finding a creative release is important as it can have an important impact on you.

At Windmill Wellness Ranch, we ensure creativity plays a big role in the recovery process. To get help for yourself or a loved one, reach out to our admissions team today.