In 2015, the mania for adult coloring books was at its peak. It was hard to walk into a bookstore and not find a table piled high with tomes of intricate, ready-to-color mandala designs, city scenes, or floral patterns.
The publishers often seemed to purport that the activity of coloring could be a form of meditation. While many have since deemed the books a passing trend, they’re still easy to find. Curiously, little has been done to scientifically prove whether or not they have any effect on one’s mental health.
Enter art therapy researchers Jennifer Forkosh and Jennifer E. Drake. The duo had previously conducted art-therapy studies that confirmed the emotional benefits of drawing; they wondered if coloring was a similarly beneficial activity. Turns out, it is.
Drake notes that there have been two studies published in the Journal of American Art Therapy on coloring, but both were focused on how it can be used to alleviate anxiety. Forkosh and Drake developed a new study, published this past June, which compared drawing to coloring in terms of each activity’s effectiveness for mood improvement. To read more from CASEY LESSER, click here.