Art Therapy books – Do they work?

I have a look at the recent trend of Art Therapy books.

I received the ‘Secret Garden – An inky treasure hunt and colouring book‘ for Christmas, you probably received one for Christmas, the new big trend is Art Therapy books. It might seem a bit controversial to include this topic on a book blog as it isn’t actually reading material, but as more and more bookstores are stocking them I thought I’d do some investigating into the trend. Are they just a grown up colouring book or do they actually benefit health?

Are they just a grown up colouring book or do they actually benefit health?

The first commercially successful ‘Adult colouring books’ launched back in 2012 it took a while for the trend to pick up momentum. When word got out that these books were stress relieving and helped to control anxiety, the sales took off! In 2015 these books entered the top 10 on Amazon on two separate occasions and Crayola even launched their own version.

Some experts have concluded that the books do have health benefits. One study showed that colouring engages both sides of the brain, unlike reading and there have been results to show that colouring reduces stress levels and in turn blood pressure. Others have said they are a good therapeutic technique and create focus in the same way as meditation.

Another reason for their popularity could be that users get a sense of their childhood, when they were carefree and less anxious, leading to feelings of reduced anxiety.

Another study by Cathy Malchiodi published on Phycology Today website says “Colouring is not meditation or mindfulness – it’s colouring”.

An article published by the Guardian back in 2015 was also very sceptical of the benefits and of calling the books ‘Art Therapy’. You can read the full article here.

art therapy picture
My own attempt at some art therapy

Personally, I like them because I feel like there is too much time staring at screens in today’s society whether it be at work, commuting or at home, at a computer screen, television screen or our phones. There is so much to draw our attention to a screen rather than something productive like colouring, I think it’s nice to give the brain a break from screen time.

What works for some people, won’t work for others

What works for some people, won’t work for others but in my opinion it’s nice to take a bit of quiet time out of the rush of everyday and take your mind off niggling worries. It’s a nice pass time if you haven’t got your nose stuck into a good book (which I have most of the time, as you can see from my picture above I haven’t got very far with my colouring!). The main appeal for me is it’s something a bit different and it is nice being able to take a bit of my day to do something I enjoy.

Below is a short video I found on YouTube by Kayla Joy on her thoughts on Art Therapy books:

What are your thoughts? Are you a lover or a hater of these books? Or a bit on the fence like me? Let me know in the comments!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I love the idea of adult coloring books, even though they aren’t particularly therapeutic for me. Young people in particular are encouraged to work harder and longer, filling their days with anxiety and stress. Taking a break to fill in a coloring book page, even if only for a few minutes, is an excellent release from the everyday grind. I don’t really understand why some people are so against them!

    Liked by 1 person

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