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I think this year has opened a lot of people’s eyes to the importance of our mental health. From stress to loneliness to anxiety, I mean, 2020 has had it all. You know by now that I love talking about mental well-being on my blog and different ways to cope and manage. As someone with almost a decade worth of experience, well, I’ve tried it all.

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PSA before we continue, although it should be obvious by now but I’m not a medical professional in any way. If you’re really struggling with your mental health, you should always go to your GP or a therapist. Please don’t rely on information from bloggers on the internet. We clear? Ok, good.

I think experimenting with new coping techniques in order to manage your own mental health is great. For me, Yoga helps my mental health massively. As does reading, gaming, de-cluttering and exercise. But it has taken me years to establish those coping tools. And I’m always open to trying something new if I find myself struggling with my current tools.

Related reads:

So when thinking of the topic of using writing as a way to heal inner pain, there’s one incredible site I want to direct you to – Healing Fairy Tales. Healing Fairy Tales has published creative stories from over 50 woman, who took their pain and negative emotions and turned them into something beautiful. Stories.

As a lifelong book lover and avid reader, I fully believe that books and stories can change the world. They can change you. They can help you learn. They can help you heal. And if books can do that, surly writing stories can do that too? If there’s so much magic in other people’s books and stories, then you have magic within you too. So…

Who are Healing Fairy Tales?

“We planted the Healing Fairy Tale Garden to inspire the creation and sharing of emotionally-healing tales, poems and illustrations. These tales feature courageous characters that move from self-defeating and hurtful thoughts to empowering feelings and positive insights.

We all get hurt by life. Our dream is to compile tales from around the world that act as a salve for our wounds, unfolding new insights and connecting us to empowering emotions. Stories can give us a glimpse of a pathway towards self-compassion, inner peace and love.

All the stories we feature within our garden have a transformative arc. The arc start out with negative feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and self-hatred (among others) and transitions to feelings of self-compassion, understanding, and love.

This is because we know healing first entails acknowledging our wounds, negative thoughts and emotions. Acceptance of our inner wilderness enables one to reseed those dark places with loving, compassionate thoughts that grow to empower one to lead a life full of self-love, connection and joy. We all deserve to be happy.”

How creative writing can help you heal:

Creative writing in whatever form you choose, whether that’s short stories, poetry or something else can be so beneficial in so many ways. In fact writing and story-telling in general is so beneficial, whether you’re reading it or writing it. Here are some ways creative writing can and might help you heal:

It’s an outlet: I believe we all need an outlet for our mental well-being. Whether you suffer from a mental illness or not, having that thing to do that you LOVE and that helps you feel like yourself (even in the toughest of times) is crucial. It doesn’t really matter what it is. Writing, painting, candlestick making – whatever.

It helps take your mind off of things: Creative writing, where you’re immersed in descriptions and details can really help you get out of your own head for a while. Which is really helpful if you’re struggling with your mental health. This is particularly relevant when it comes to writing stories.

It channels your negative or nervous energy into something: Creative writing can help channel that negative energy into something that isn’t going to harm you. Instead of taking part in harmful coping techniques, creative writing is a kind and gentle way to help you heal.

It can help you de-stress: Writing can be very relaxing. Especially if you MAKE it relaxing with your writing space. So writing can really help you de-stress which is something we all need when we’re going through hard times.

It can help you process: And finally (although there are probably hundreds more reasons), it can help you process what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. If you can’t speak to a therapist or need to spend some time alone, then this is a great reason why you should start creative writing.

6 ways to write to help you heal (both creative + non-creative):

  • Short stories
  • Longer pieces
  • Poetry (I actually dabble in poetry at times!)
  • Illustrations with captions (like a graphic novel)
  • Writing letters
  • Journaling (perhaps using journal prompts)

Tips for getting started with creative writing for healing:

Don’t think too hard at first: It can be hard to just let ourselves go and write. We often think too much and too hard and end up stunting our creativity. Which is really what we DON’T want when we’re trying to write creatively for our mental health. So my first and top tip would be to stop thinking too hard. See what comes to you. Allow it to come. And flow.

Find a safe and quiet place: The next point is an important one because if you’re anything like me, then you NEED that alone time and that quiet space to function. If I’m around people and noise for too long, I get really agitated and stressed. So when it comes to your creative writing, try and find a quiet and safe space.

Turn off and get rid of distractions: And following on from that, try and switch off and avoid as many distractions as you can. Turning off your phone or any notifications is easy enough but also try and avoid writing at a time of day where you know people are going to be in and out of the house or likely to want to talk to you.

Don’t judge yourself: Allow whatever to come up to just come up. Don’t judge yourself for ANYTHING. This is your healing work – nobody else’s. So if some thoughts and feelings and ideas come up that shock you, roll with it. If you re-read your writing and its absolute garbage, roll with it. It’s fine.

Have snacks: When the mood takes you, you might find yourself writing for a rather long time without a break. When you’re in flow, you don’t want to stop yourself or disrupt that flow. So a bit of a practical tip here but have a drink and a snack with you so you don’t have to get up to go to the kitchen when you get hungry!

Remember that you don’t have to show anyone: And following on from the no judgment point, I want you to remember that you don’t HAVE to show anyone what you’re writing. Of course if you want to you can, you can submit a story to Healing Fairy Tales if you like! But if you don’t want to that’s 100% okay too.

If you’ve not tried creative writing for healing yet, I hope this post will encourage you to at least give it a try and see if you receive the benefits from creative writing. If you already write creatively as a means of coping and stress relief, then I would love to hear your stories and experiences! Please do check out Healing Fairy Tales for more information and more amazing stories!

Are you going to try and write creatively for your mental health?

71 Comments

  1. I am suffering from a very bad disease and I know how helpful writing has been to me. Absolutely agreed 💯👏 Read books,articles,blogs and just jot them down…whatever coming in our mind. The beauty of writing and creative writing too.

  2. This is an awesome piece. I have been consistently journaling for almost ten years. And just like you said, writing my thoughts down in a personal journal always helps me process my emotions and feelings. I hope more folks are willing to give creative writing a try 🙂

  3. One of my uni friends went on to do an art therapy MA when we finished and it was the first time I really had an experience of creativity for mental health but found the whole process fascinating. I imagine it could be a great release. I wish I was more creative to be able to try something like this x

  4. Awesome post, writing really has so many benefits! My genre of choice is usually poetry and it can be a great outlet :- ) I also loved the last point – sometimes we might feel that everything we create has to be shown to the world but yeah, it really doesn’t :- )

  5. Through this post, I spent a decent amount of time browsing Healing Fairy Tales. I’m so fascinated by what they’re doing. It’s a great way to battle negative emotions through stories. So creative! I also love writing to help with my mental health. Whether that means journaling, poetry, or even just blogging. Great article here!

  6. I love creative writing. It was the perfect outlet for me as a teenager and remains something I love to do now. I also love creating characters and drawing. Love this post and hoping it encourages more people to try creative writing.

  7. I’ve always loved writing to deal with my emotions, from short stories when I was younger, to my blogposts now. It feels like a safe space to me. However, I suppose it was always more subconscious for me to start writing when there were things going on. Love the idea of doing it consciously though!

  8. This has to be the reason I fell in love with writing as such a young age. I used to spend a lot of my free time writing novels that I never finished – I even wrote one based around the Tundra 😂 it was definitely a form of escapism for me, and I’m glad that that turned into blogging as an adult!

    ✨ Marissa Belle × marsybun.com ✨

  9. Fabulous post Jenny! Covid taught me I need to get back to my writing and I’m so loving it. It’s so freeing and makes me feel so much better about life in general.

  10. Great post! I very much believe in keeping a gratitude journal; it is a way of seeing on paper how very blessed you are day to day.Writing is a healing process in that you learn a lot about yourself and how you feel when you put your thoughts into words on a page.

  11. I am very lucky in so far as my mental health has never suffered very much – I’m very much a talker, but keep my circle small, so that’s what helps me but I can definitely see the potential in creative writing benefits x

    Beautylymin

  12. I find writing such a great outlet for me when it comes to my mental health. I also find some time most days to sit and do some drawing and it really relaxes me too. It was a big reason as well to why I started a mental well-being blog, I don’t do it anymore but I used to write out blog posts of how I was feeling and just keep them as drafts, kind of like an online journal I guess! x

  13. I love this post! I just wrote a similar post on the benefits of journaling, but I love to see how you have expanded it to the benefits of all different kinds of writing. Great post!

  14. I loved this! I am actually looking to do some journaling and sort of brain dump! Lately, I feel like I’ve been having some trouble sleeping as my brain has too many tabs opened so I’m hoping to start soon 🙂

  15. As someone who writes for a living, I wholeheartedy agree with the sentiment behind this blog post! By being creative, I give my brain a little bit of breathing room. It helps me to process what is going on and allows me to make a plan for how I will get through things. This post was beautiful!

    Rosie

    https://www.loverosiee.co.uk

  16. My favourite thing about writing when I need to escape something is going back to it years later and seeing how much I’ve grown since. Will def spend some time on Healing Fairy Tales’ website, thanks for sharing!

  17. I agree with everything you said. Creative writing helps us to improve our mental health. It helps us to boost our confidence, reduce our anxiety, and be creative. Creative writing also makes us able to share our imaginations with others. And that is happiness to me.

  18. There’s so much truth in that. Here I talk about the creative process in writing my book Day Return to Cocoa yard, and how it helped my mental health Happiness Hub – Episode 002 – Mark Bickerton Local Author.mp3

  19. I completely agree that creative writing can really help you. Occasionally, I will write a letter to myself, about a topic that I’m struggling with. Whether that’s to do with work, family or something else. I know nobody will read it so I can be completely honest with myself and it helps. You’ve mentioned some really great tips.

  20. You absolute babe! Thank you for the link share.

    I love the idea of Healing Fairy tales. I am already scrolling their website. I can vouch for the healing aspect of writing. That is one of the main reasons my blog came to life after Mum passed away. I can’t really describe how much that helped me at the time. And although I don’t write about grief much now because of my own healing process, It will always be what saved me at the time.

    I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write, it is a part of my every day routine now. I have already journaled today and started 3 blog posts, all before 7.30am!

    Great post Jenny, I will enjoy learning more about Healing fairy tales to x

  21. As a writer, I agree 100% with this. I love doing it when I’m in a good mood and just want to play, but there is something so therapeutic about losing yourself in it when you’re having a bad day. Maybe it’s something to do with giving characters problems, and then fixing them, something we can’t always do in our own lives. These healing stories sound amazing, and it’s fantastic that negative experiences can be turned into something so beautiful. Thanks for sharing – I’ll definitely be checking them out.

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