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Pick a colour and get happy

Reviewed by our expert panel
Pick a colour and get happy

Could the latest cure for the blues be colouring in?

Who remembers furiously scribbling away with your crayons in your childhood bedroom after a fight with a sibling or parent? Well, it looks like kids might be onto something – colouring in potentially soothes mood.

Participants in a small University of Otago study reported significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety after colouring in for 10 minutes every day for a week. Study co-author Tamlin Conner says the research is an important ‘first step’ in understanding the psychological benefits of colouring in.

“With its low risk and accessibility, we feel comfortable adding colouring in to the growing list of creative activities for improving mental health outcomes,” Dr Conner says.

Creativity Research Journal, November 2017 and University of Otago

First published: Jan 2018

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