Mindfulness, Creativity & Wellbeing

Mindfulness, Creativity & Wellbeing

Creativity and the arts can be a powerful conduit to wellbeing. Whether we are engaging with the arts through viewing performances or taking in others' work or getting our own creative juices flowing, there are many ways that creativity can enhance our wellbeing.

Engaging Creatively

Of course, directly engaging your creativity can be an equally powerful source of wellbeing and mental health. Whether you are an accomplished performer/artist/maker or a complete newbie, the act of making can bring you more fully into the present moment, help you access flow states, express emotions and experiences for which it may be hard to find words, connect and share more fully with others, and feel the accomplishment of bringing something new to life. 

From Makerspaces like the Woodworking Workshop, the Jewelry Workshop, the Ceramics Workshop, and the Book Arts Workshop to a broad range of ways to get involved with different performing arts, Dartmouth has amazing opportunities that are accessible and available to you! In addition, here at the SWC, we offer a few ways for you to dip into some creative practices. 

Coloring for Mindfulness

Being mindful is about paying attention to the present moment, putting aside our to-do lists and self-criticisms, and intentionally focusing on the here and now. The act of coloring - caefully and attentively filling the page with color - is particularly suited to mindful meditation.

Dartmouth Mindful Coloring Book

Make Your Own Digital Coloring Page

As you color or create detailed landscapes, icons, and images try to: 

• Settle in (mentally and physically)
• Notice the feel of the pencil in your hand
• Tune into the texture of the page as it touches the pencil
• Meditate on the beauty of the entire illustration
• Take note of how the parts come together to make up the whole
• Be attentive to how the page fills with color
• Let go of any judgement of your coloring skills.
• Appreciate your creative and exquisite self 

You can apply the same "noticing" practice to lots of moments throughout your day - brushing your teeth, enjoying a meal, going for a walk!

For ways to practice mindfulness with the Dartmouth community, check out:

Mindfulness Meditation Drop Ins with the Student Wellness Center

Tucker Center Mindfulness Groups

Engaging Appreciatively

The simple acts of watching theatre, films, and television; listening to music; viewing different forms of visual arts; and reading poetry or other forms of creative writing can all be transcendent, taking us out of our present experience and into new worlds of possibility. Dartmouth offers incredible resources for accessing a diverse array of artistic offerings from the Hood Museum, the HOP, and many student organizations and academic departments on campus.

At the SWC, we offer several ways to take in the arts as well. Our wellbeing team partners regularly with the Hood Museum, integrating mindfulness with the visual arts on display. 

We also regularly put together wellbeing playlists on Spotify that you are welcome to check out:

May 22 Wellbeing Playlist


May 2022 Playlist

February 2022 Playlist

January 2022 Playlist

November 2021 Playlist

October 2021 Playlist

Mindfulness Retreat