Sunday, July 13, 2008


Suzanne Kelsey

Why We Feel Better When We Create

It turns out that science may help explain why creative types feel better when we draw, write, paint, sing, or make a movie. Robert Gitchell, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, writes in a recent University of Iowa publication that when people engage in creative activities, “they change the production of interleukins, the cytokines that play an important role in the function of the immune system, enhancing beneficial cytokines and reducing those related to stress.” In fact, manmade cytokine injections are actually used to boost the immune system, and a certain type of interleukin is used in treating certain cancers, says Gitchell.

In other words, taking time to create something makes good stuff go on inside your body. So what’s keeping us from writing that shaky first draft or making that ugly painting? Apparently it doesn’t even have to be good on the outside in order to feel good inside.


--Suzanne Kelsey inspires people to live their passions and to find miracles even in the mundane. As a writing coach, writer, editor, and visual artist from Eastern Iowa, she keeps us connected to the freelancing life, Midwest Bohemia, nature, creativity, visual journaling, and living large in a small town. Visit Suzanne’s web site at Email her at See more of her blog posts at

1 comment:

Jan said...

Good stuff! I've always wanted a scientific explanation for why I need to create! Thanks.