Creative Activities and a Better Brain

Creative Activities and a Better Brain

A new poll by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that Americans who get involved in Creative outlets at least once per week reported better mental health than those who did not.  

Over two thousand adults were asked in a “Healthy Minds Monthly Poll” in early June 2023 and about half of those used creative activities to relieve stress.  Not surprisingly, those that rated their mental health as very good or excellent engaged in more of these creative activities.  


“We live in stressful times, and sometimes our jobs and responsibilities can drain our energy and our mental health,” said APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A. “Creative activities aren’t just for fun, they can help us take a step back from the daily grind, use our brains differently, and relax. Picking up that paintbrush or solving a tricky puzzle can truly move us to a different mindset.”

The most frequent creative activities listed in the poll, to relieve stress and anxiety, were the following

  • Listening to music: 77%
  • Solving puzzles: 39%
  • Singing or dancing: 25%
  • Drawing, painting or sculpting: 24%
  • Crafting: 19%
  • Creative writing: 16%
  • Attend concerts:  15%
  • Create Online content for fun: 14%
  • Play a musical instrument:  13%
  • Other activities such as gardening or cooking:  11%
  • Visiting an art museum:  9%

“Creative activities are an excellent way to express oneself and to take some time off from the everyday routine,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “When we think about positive actions that boost our mental health, creative pastimes are along the lines of talking to friends, walking in nature, and exercising, among other good options. APA is pleased to call attention to these positive actions as part of the public discussion on mental health.”

We encourage you to find time to play to help your brain.  If your mood is suffering and you aren’t feeling like yourself and aren’t doing the creative activities you used to do, visit our website, call, text, or email so we can help. 

At the NeuroScience & TMS Treatment Center, we have several treatment options we can use, beyond common medications and therapy, to aggressively treat you for brain diseases. Learn more about our treatments and services on our Comprehensive Behavioral Health Page

Blog Post Authors 

Michelle Cochran, MD, DFAPA

Founder & Chief Medical Officer • Medical Director, Nashville Locations

Dr. Cochran has been living and working in the Nashville area for over 25 years. She supervises the skilled Nurse Practitioners who work in our clinics. She has been offering TMS services since 2011 and lectures and consults nationally and internationally about TMS. She is Board Certified and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Learn more about Dr. Cochran.


Jonathan Becker, DO

Medical Director, Brentwood Locations

Dr. Becker is a native of Tennessee, born in Memphis. He completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Developmental Psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans before attending Des Moines University for Medical School. He completed his psychiatry residency program at Vanderbilt University and served as a faculty member there for 7 years before transitioning to our office. While at Vanderbilt, Dr. Becker served as the medical director of the neuromodulation service from 2017-2020. Dr. Becker has also published many psychiatric articles. Learn more about Dr. Becker.

Scroll to Top