Everyday creativity and its relationship to mental well-being, emotion, and identity



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Evidence suggests that engaging in creative activities positively impacts people’s mental well-being through promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and fostering life satisfaction (Rose & Lonsdale, 2016; Stebbins, 2018; Teti, French, Kabel, & Farnan, 2017). Despite creativity’s benefits, creativity is relatively understudied in psychology (Gillam, 2012, 2018; Gladding, 2011; Long, Plucker, Yu, Ding, & Kaufman, 2014; Plucker, 2017; Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow, 2004; Sawyer, 2012; Sternberg & Lubart, 1999). Additionally, stereotypes negatively affect how individuals feel about their creativity often causing them to downplay or deny their creativity (Plucker et al., 2004; Proudfoot, Kay, & Koval, 2015). Therefore, it is imperative that researchers not only continue to investigate how creativity can be used to enhance mental well-being, but also dispel some of the prominent myths surrounding creative individuals. The investigation expanded on prior literature by examining the role of cultural identity in creativity. The current study also increased the scholarship on creativity and mental well-being by examining the lived experiences of 20 individuals who engaged in everyday creative activities at least one time per week. The present study addressed gaps within the literature related to understanding creative individuals and the emotions that facilitate creativity. The goal of the study was to generate a therapeutic model of creativity that can be used to enhance the mental well-being of psychotherapy clients. This study utilized a grounded theory approach and a semi-structured interview guide to explore how participation in creative activities relates to mental well-being, identity, and emotion. The researcher used triangulation methods to analyze data across participants. In constructing the therapeutic model of creativity, overarching themes, future implications, and recommendations for mental health professionals were discussed.



Creativity, Mental well-being, Emotion, Identity