This Art Trend Is Great For Your Inner Child — And Your Mental Health!

by Atoosa Moinzadeh
Atoosa is a multimedia journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and zine maker from Seattle, WA based in Brooklyn, NY. A social justice minded creative, she is passionate about community building, documentarian media, and bringing exposure to the under-told narrative.

Adult coloring books are now making trend piece headlines as the latest pastime connecting us back to childhood.

But a recent article on mindfulness in the Atlantic suggests that there’s more to it than just filling in animal shapes and patterns.

The Guardian reported that adult coloring books topped’s bestseller lists in April, as they continue to gain popularity. They’ve been around for decades, but folks have recently taken social media by storm, sharing their creations with the world.

The American Art Therapy Association has received numerous inquiries testing the validity of whether or not adult coloring books truly help reduce stress in adults. Not to be confused with professional art therapy, adult coloring books are indeed self-care-approved.

“Since engaging in any form of art can have stress-reducing value, it is no wonder that these sophisticated templates for adult coloring have taken on such great popularity or that there are specific uses when applied in the proper context,” several authors commented in a press release from the association.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Tammi Hoerner has authored her own MomPositive coloring books that include positive quotes and journaling space. She says her clients are primarily busy moms who have a hard time slowing down to practice self-care.

Tammi Hoerner

“Coloring becomes a bridge from learning how to slow down and let go, to taking more time out for self-care such as cooking at home and taking time to exercise,” Hoerner said.

Groups like Adult Coloring Worldwide make space for members to share colored pages to gain acknowledgment, learn techniques, and connect with a greater community.

Tammi Hoerner

“Mindful art has also been found to be calming and centering for those who suffer from anxiety and depression,” she said, citing a 2006 study on mindfulness-based art therapy.

The American Art Therapy Association wants folks to keep in mind that while adult coloring books are a great source of self-care, they shouldn’t be confused with the professional practice of art therapy services.

“Coloring books should not be confused with the creative process inherent in art-making that occurs in an art therapy session,” the press release said. “Under the guidance of an art therapist, individuals may realize that certain images can tap into the internal experience of the artist in ways that evoke emotions or understanding.”

Tammi Hoerner

Think you’ll pick up your own adult coloring book now? Please SHARE this self-care trend with your loved ones!