Number 57 in our countdown of '70 Ways Art Improves Our Health' highlights how making art can help elevate our mood…

The idea that sadness leads to great creativity is a widespread and enduring one. Many people have made links between great artists and their mental states. But until recently there has been little evidence for a link.

However, a 2017 study in Denmark did find a connection. After analysing the letters and works of three famous composers, the study compared the composers’ wellbeing to their creative output. They found a direct link between the levels of negative emotions the composers expressed to the amount and quality of the artwork they produced.

Experiencing sadness and anger can make you feel more creative, and by being creative, you can get beyond your pain or negativity.

Yoko Ono

Other recent research has shown that art can help us cope with these negative emotions. In a study from 2012, participants were shown a heart-breaking film. Afterwards, one group was tasked with creating art, another was asked to vent their emotions, and a third was asked to just sit quietly. The researchers found that making art was far more effective at elevating our mood than venting or sitting with our sadness.

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