Whether you’re Van Gogh or a stick-figure sketcher, a Drexel University study found that making art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones in your body.
The 39 study participants were offered markers and paper, modeling clay, and collage materials to create any art they desired. The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants’ cortisol levels, which are related to stress, decreased while creating art.
The research team originally expected that the less-structured activities—using clay or drawing with markers—would result in lower cortisol levels than the more-structured activity—collaging—and that past experience in creating art might amplify the activity’s stress-reducing effects. However, these expectations weren’t supported by the results, as no significant correlations were found. Instead, the study found that regardless of the materials used and the participants’ experience level, the participants seemed to benefit equally.
This article was adapted from information provided by Drexel University.