Art Therapy & Mental Health Projects

Art and mental illness surely go hand in hand on the road to recovery. This list was either made up of my own ideas, ideas found on Pinterest, or ideas found in one of the art therapy books that I have read.
  1. Descriptive collaging
  2. Visual autobiographies/biographies
  3. Gratitude lists with tiny and adorable doodles describing each statement.
  4. "Comic" strips (that don't have to be funny)
  5. The stages of an emotional "tidal wave".
  6. Make a Zen garden in the sand (or anything in the sand, for that matter).
    I like the idea of going to a beach or any outdoor location with sand, and literally making your own Zen garden with rocks, seaweed, a positive message, etc. But it would also work to collect your own sand and put it in any type of dish to be made into a tiny Zen garden. Either way, whether it washes away or not, it will remain in your heart. And make sure you get a great picture!
  7. Descriptive & detailed photography journal or slideshow about your personal experiences with mental illness.
  8. Identity collage.
  9. Draw outside on a beautiful day.
    There's something about fresh air and art that warms my soul and gets my creative juices flowing. I think Spring time is the best time for outdoor art, as the weather is not too hot or too cold, and flowers are blooming all around.
  10. "What do you create?"
  11. Self-portrait: can be composed of anything (like song lyrics).
  12. Mandala
  13. Flower activity: what they need and why they are beautiful.
    Draw a flower, any flower you'd like. Don't worry about the quality of the flower; just draw from the heart. Once you have finished drawing the flower of your choice, write about why you chose this particular flower, what this flower needs in order to grow & flourish, and why you think that this flower is particularly beautiful. Compare the flower to yourself, your recovery, and the world around you.
  14. If you could only have 5 possessions for the rest of your life, what would they be? Draw them!
  15. One of the hardest things to do when it comes to a new project is simply getting started. We sometimes overthink the process, which causes us to overthink it even more. What are some projects you have been meaning to start? How can you get started on each?
    Taken from Bella Grace "Field Guide to Everyday Magic - 100+ Thought Provoking Prompts".
  16. Emotion Pie Chart
  17. Most gratitude exercises suggest making a list of three to five items; we think that's too limiting. Selecting so few forces you to choose what you consider to be the most important. Challenging yourself to keep a long list demands for you to be creative.
    Fill a page up with your gratitude list. When we say fill it up, we mean it. Write along the paper edges. Write in tiny letters. Write in the margins. Cover the page up with all that you're thankful for. | Taken from Bella Grace "Field Guide to Everyday Magic - 100+ Thought-Provoking Prompts".
  18. Make a collage with your favorite selfie in the middle of it!!!
    I LOVE THIS PROJECT. Here's my selfie-of-choice. Gotta love those gorgeous snapchat filters! Explain in detail why you chose this selfie specifically and write what you love about it!
  19. Write/draw what routines you value in your life.
  20. Collages. Collages. And more collages.
  21. Are you a morning or a night person? Why? Make a collage about your choice and why you chose it.
    I used to be a night person, but now I am a morning person. I love the fresh start to a new day and the endless possibilities that it holds. I love to wake up and start my day with exercise or going to church or AA, and having my day start on the right note. I love this idea. I would love to make a collage about why I love mornings.
  22. Self-Portrait created with Favorite Song Lyrics
  23. Self-Discovery journals are great for learning more about yourself or even preparing to write an autobiography. They can be found at many places, like barnes and nobles, marshall's, miscellaneous bookstores, target.... etc.
    I bought this one at Marshall's for only $4.99! Full of great personal questions, both funny and serious, and a great way to wind down before bed.