ArtArt Education

The Emotional and Mental Health Benefits of Art

By November 11, 2019 No Comments

There has been compelling research over the last several decades on the emotional and mental benefits of art therapy also know as expressive therapy. The results, published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, titled “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making,” found that 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent. Art can offer an outlet for those who find it hard to express their feelings verbally, children and adults alike.

The benefits of art extend beyond the hands-on creative process. A study of 10,000 students found during a one-hour trip to an art museum changed the way they thought and felt. The students visiting the museum showed increased critical thinking skills as well as exhibited greater empathy regarding how people lived in the past and expressed greater tolerance towards people different than themselves. (

In the April 2018 article from blog post: The Benefits of Art for the Memory and Creativity, research found the following benefits of Viewing Art and Creating Art:

5 benefits of viewing art:

  1. Decreased Stress Levels
  2. Increase Empathy
  3. Emotions of Love
  4. Stronger Critical Thinking Skills
  5. Relief from Mental Exhaustion

5 benefits of creating art:

  1. Relaxation and Meditation
  2. Eases the Difficulty of Health Conditions
  3. Increased Brian Connectivity
  4. Restored Focus and Concentration
  5. Improved Quality of Life in Dementia Patients

Tapping into the beauty and benefit of art continues to unfold. Given the findings of the measurable benefits that come from experiencing visual art, it is incumbent on our educators, civic and community leaders as well as parents, legal guardians and custodians of children to ensure visual art is ever present in the lives of children.