We all know that being creative is good for our mental health, but it turns out that creativity also has some pretty impressive physical benefits.

From lowering blood pressure to enhancing immune function, being expressive and imaginative can actually help you stay healthy. Read on to discover how the science backs up what you already knew in your heart: Creativity really is good for you.

1. It lowers your blood pressure

Taking part in a creative activity three times a week could be enough to lower your blood pressure, according to research from the University of East Anglia. As well as having fewer depressive symptoms, those who created art or wrote regularly had lower overall systolic blood pressure at the end of the four-week study period. The findings were so significant that the study’s lead author suggested doctors should make a “positive prescription” for creative activities.

2. It wards off colds and flu

Unleashing your creativity could help prevent those colds and flu this winter, according to research from Carnegie Mellon University. The study found that people who typically draw or write daily were about half as likely to catch a cold or flu compared with their less creative counterparts.

3. It helps you sleep better

Being more imaginative can improve your sleep quality, too, according to research from North Dakota State University. Participants in the experiment spent nine weeks learning either an expressive technique, such as dance or drawing, or analytical problem-solving techniques like logic puzzles. A month later, they were quizzed on their sleep – and those who’d been learning expressive techniques reported fewer insomnia symptoms.

4. It reduces your stress levels

Unsurprisingly, research from Boston College found that using your imagination can help manage emotional distress. The participants in the study used a technique called “guided imagery,” – which encourages you to picture a safe place or situation where you feel relaxed and peaceful in order to improve your mood during stressful events. They were less anxious and stressed when they did this compared with other participants who didn’t use guided imagery during their stressful event.

5. It boosts our immunity

Being creative makes us more likely to be social, too – so it’s no wonder that research from the University of Queensland found it helps boost our immune system. Being around people not only reduces stress levels, which can hurt our immunity, but it also encourages us to share our germs – which is good for building up our resistance.

6. It helps you live longer

A study from Kingston University found that creative types live longer than their less imaginative counterparts. Researchers looked at data collected on 674 people over 10 years. They found those who engaged in more creative activities like writing or working with numbers had a lower risk of death overall – even if they didn’t exhibit any signs of dementia towards the end of the study period. The researchers hypothesized that this could be because being creative improves brain function in other areas too (like logical thinking), which therefore helps us maintain healthy habits like exercising more often too…

7.  It makes you smarter

If you needed more reasons to get creative, studies have shown that being imaginative can make you, too – literally. According to Design Beast Review, it helps us solve problems in a different way to other people and makes us better learners because we’re able to come up with new ways of approaching tasks or information. Being creative also changes our brain chemistry, making us more open to new experiences and less likely to stick rigidly within our comfort zones.

8. It helps you think outside the box

Finally, research from Michigan State University found that being creative makes us more open-minded, which means we’re better at thinking outside the box. The study tested 180 people on their creativity by asking them to come up with new uses for everyday items – and found that those who were more imaginative were also less judgemental too. So if you need some help finding a new perspective… go and get a drawing!


Creativity is a great way to manage stress, boost our immunity, and live longer. So if you’ve got writer’s block or just need some inspiration for other things that can help keep you healthy this winter – why not try getting creative?