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Creative therapy: Five creative outlets that help you stress less

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Thu Sep 07 2017


Ah stress, that demon that students know all too well. As assignments pile on and the responsibilities you have to your studies, your work and your social life become harder to manage, finding ways to entertain yourself and have a bit of ‘me’ time can be difficult.

But if you are looking to de-stress, why not consider taking up something in the creative arts to help you do so? Creative therapy is massively useful — by creating something or giving your creation meaning and purpose, you’re allowing yourself to be expressed (even if you’re not great at it) and doing that absolutely helps in developing a better and more mindful you.

So get those creative juices flowing! If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend the following creative outlets that students can take up to help them de-stress.


Whether you’re moving in rhythm with the beat or just awkwardly grooving, dancing is a good way to release all of that pent-up stress.

No experience in dancing? No problem. YouTube is a fantastic place start with tons of beginner tutorials that teach you how to get moving.

The best part of dancing is that you’re also getting some physical exercise done as well. If you need more direction and help, consider going for Zumba classes at a gym. Zumba is a fun dance class that uses high energy, but easy to follow steps, to ensure that everyone can participate.

Otherwise, even just goofing off in your room to your favourite tunes can help relieve stress. In the immortal words of Taylor Swift, “Shake it off, just shake it off”.

Creative writing

Got lots of thoughts on your mind? Write it down in a diary!

Writing down your thoughts and feelings is one of the best ways to let go of tension in yourself. Words are powerful and writing it down can really help you cope with any stress you might be feeling. It might even help you understand the cause of your stress if you can visualise it on paper. All you need is stationery!

Keeping a diary isn’t the only option for would-be writers out there. Journaling has made a bit of a comback in recent times and you can do it in a variety of ways: dot journaling or bullet journaling, for example, are two easy ways of keeping track of your daily life, your dreams, aspirations and even frustrations!

Painting and Drawing

You might think that artistic hobbies are daunting and require a lot of skill, but you don’t really need to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh at all.

Do not overthink the craft and just paint or draw whatever you think of or feel. By making various shapes and adding various colours, it can be very captivating and spiritually and emotionally therapeutic. By immersing yourself and concentrating on your drawings, you can easily forget about your troubles and can also give you a sense of accomplishment and happiness upon completion.

For those of you who are not into abstract or traditional art, feel free to check out some creative apps that allow you to create art digitally. The best part? They’re free (mostly)! Draw or paint on your phone during your commute and conquer stress.


Ever wanted to try your hand at playing an instrument? Now’s the time to pick it up! Most of us already listen to music to relax and de-stress but learning how to play it yourself or even make it can lead to a better state of mental health.

If you have a friend who can teach you, get them to assist or just self-teach yourself by watching YouTube tutorials online. Don’t worry about making mistakes, just do it for fun and if you really enjoy it, why not sing and hum along to your song too?

That said, if you’re not as adventurous and just want to listen to music, create your own playlist of songs you find help you to calm down and relax when you need to. There’s also a joy in finding new artists and bands that play the kind of music you like too so have a look and see what’s out there.


When you tire of the view around you, take out your camera or your phone and look at the world through a different lens. Taking up photography can help you see life a little differently and you don’t even have to be a pro at it.

Furthermore, there’s no plan for photography — just capture anything that catches your eye. When you’re out with friends, take pictures of food (flat lay your next meal!) or moments you’ll remember and look back fondly on. If you happen across some interesting monuments or landmarks, whip out your camera and shoot. If you want picturesque shots, try heading to areas such as Docklands, the Yarra River, St Kilda Pier, the Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via