Why Creative Health Is The Most Overlooked Element of Your Well-being
Never heard of it? That's exactly what we're here to unpack.
Head in the Clouds is a publication + educational resource from Daydreamers. At Daydreamers, we’ve turned Creative Health into a way of being - for everyone. We built the Daydreamers Universe to rebel against the stressors of modern life, and harness our human superpower - creativity - for well-being, power + fulfillment.
A note from the team at DD HQ:
After writing a free newsletter about the science of Creative Health for 2 years, we’ve transitioned our content into the private Daydreamers Ecosystem. This is an excerpt of the type of content we share on the Daydreamers platform.
From time to time, we still share free resources at the intersection of creativity and science, so if you resonate with our mission sign up to stay in the loop.
Otherwise, join the 20,000+ others and be part of our Creative Health Revolution at daydreamers.co 🛸
DD HQ here. Be honest: how often have you felt like you were merely…existing?
Like you’re just moving through the monotony of the hamster wheel? Like every day is just okay (not bad, but definitely not great 😵💫)?
As a society, we don’t often talk about the confusion, shame and overwhelm that comes with living a robotic life. In a world that’s largely focused on achieving, optimizing and producing, it’s common to feel like something is missing - but, we don’t necessarily have the language to figure out what that ‘something’ is.
That’s because, for a long time, we’ve deprioritized the elements of our well-being that make us feel most alive. That give us the space to feel human. We’ve been told that they aren’t core to our survival, but instead, are just parts of life we can experience if we’re lucky.
But, those parts of our well-being - such as our capacity for imagination, awe, wonder, curiosity and fulfillment - aren’t just how we reach our full potential. In fact, if we disregard them for long enough, we run the risk of becoming chronically ill, as individuals and as a world.
At Daydreamers, we’ve been contemplating these ideas for a long time.And we’ve found that we’ve been overlooking an element of our well-being that might be at the root of it all: Our Creative health.
If you’ve never heard the term ‘creative health’ before, you’re likely not alone. By now, you probably know that creativity, as a practice and tool, is linked to a plethora of well-being benefits - from reducing stress to strengthening our cognition.
But, creativity isn’t just something we do. It’s a core part of our well-being on it’s own, just like our physical or mental health. It’s one that, if ignored for too long, can wreak havoc on our systems - internally and externally.
So, at Daydreamers. we’re opening up space to talk about, value, and strengthen a new category of our health: Creativity. Here’s why we can’t overlook it any longer.
Expanding your POV: Health is bigger than just eliminating illness
Before we break down what creative health looks like - ponder on this: Have you ever considered that being not ill and feeling well are two distinctly different things?
For a long time, we didn’t either.
Creative health is a form of preventative health; it starts to expand the well-being spectrum so we can move from baseline to thriving. In one regard, as one of our DD members likes to say, “it’s like insurance for my mind.”
Typically, our health (at least in the United States) has been focused on eradicating illness, not helping us thrive. We react to problems. We have clear, binary answers. We ask: Are they sick…or not?
We don’t care about the other side of the spectrum, until it’s too late.
This structure of reactive healthcare isn’t all bad. In fact, it started out with the best intentions - and was the basis of extending the human lifespan by eliminating diseases over the past two-hundred years.
The issue is, as our world changed, our approach to healthcare hasn’t.
But, one space has been thinking about proactive change. Leaders in the mental health field began talking about expanding the spectrum of care almost two decades ago. Dr. Marty Seligman, the former head of the American Psychological Association began asking these questions back in the new millennia, because after being a psychologist for years, he realized that even he struggled with the monotony of his every day.
He wasn’t necessarily clinically depressed - but he definitely wasn’t happy. And, scientifically, we didn’t have the language, tools or research on how to differentiate between being okay and feeling well.
This side of the spectrum can often feel amorphous and even frivolous to focus on amidst all the struggle in our world. And when we think about the elements of creative health - like wonder, imagination, transcendence and interconnectedness - they can seem even more out of reach.
Why should we focus on feeling more alive when we all have to figure out how to survive?
Well, scientists have now been studying this for decades and they’ve come to the same conclusion: Being well isn’t only for a lucky few; it’s preventative for long-term health.
And, here’s where creative health comes into play.
Why this matters: Creative health = physical, mental + emotional well-being
One of our Daydreamers members recently told us after joining us a few weeks ago: “It feels like the light has been turned on inside me. I’m turning the ho-hum/necessity of the hustle and bustle of life into something beautiful. And, that’s creativity at its simplest form 🥰😇”
If this idea sounds powerful - it really, really is. But, if we’re being honest we hear a version of it almost every day.
Because when we’re creatively healthy, it impacts nearly all aspects of our lives.
At Daydreamers, we’ve come up with a variety of distinct, core elements of well-being that determine creative health - ones that we haven’t seen talked about anywhere else. We won’t give away the secret sauce here 🤐 , but the fascinating part about our creative health is that it’s both preventative and expansive.
Just look at how many areas of our well-being it touches. Creative health:
Reduces burnout, and increases mental + emotional awareness
Transforms our psychological perspective and enhances our sense of fulfillment
Strengthens our brain health, cognition and neuroplasticity, which ultimately staves off neurodegenerative disease
Helps us perform better, focus deeper and build resilience in any situation
And our favorite - allows us to experience the ‘magic’ of life - the beauty, wonder, awe and interconnectedness with the world writ large
You may be surprised, but this is just scratching the surface.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll unpack the latest scientific research behind each of these individual elements, and tell you how we’re bringing it to life in the Daydreamers Universe.
If you take anything away from this, remember: Just as much as we care for our bodies and our feelings - we need to care for our creative health, too. It’s the basis for being our most human, most alive selves.
And that is how we move from merely just existing - to thriving.
Ready to tap into your creative brain, for good? Us too 🛸
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
Experiment with the concept:
Creative health is a distinct and important part of our well-being.
THE WHY: Feeling alive is so much more than just existing. And by prioritizing our creative health, which is made up of a unique combination of preventative well-being measures like awe, curiosity, interconnectedness and fulfillment, we can not only thrive, but prevent illness down the road.
THE HOW: Incorporate the act of mini-c creativity into your well-being routine. At Daydreamers, we think about the creative spectrum as an expansive part of life. It can range from momentary daydreaming to listening to music in the part to repurposing old furniture. Creativity is tinkering, meandering and imagining - and all of it sends our brain on a positive upward spiral.
Where DD HQ’s heads are at:
WE’VE BEEN READING: Transcend by Scott Barry Kaufman. Our DD-member book list is *long* but this one feels fitting given our deep-dive this week. Dr. Kaufman is one of the leading scientists at the intersection of creativity, imagination and well-being - and a friend of DD 🧠 His latest book is ☄️
AN IDEA WE’VE BEEN NOODLING ON: “Living life as an '[artist] is practice…it makes no sense to say you’re good at it. We tend to think of an [artist’s] work as the output. The real work of the [artist] is a way of being in the world.” ― Written by Rick Rubin, The Creative Act. Inspired + shared by DD Member, Emily.
Up ahead: How we’re defining Creative Health
01. Emotions + enjoyment: Deconstructing creativity’s ‘positive upward spiral’
02. Thriving + fulfillment: The other side of the well-being spectrum
03. Cognition + performance: How creativity strengthens your brain
Did this newsletter expand your brain? It’s our mission to give every single adult access to their natural creativity, and turn it into an active part of daily life.
If this free resource changed your POV, share it with friends, too. When you reach 10 shares, you’ll get a special discount + chat with our co-founders to join Daydreamers Early Access.