Wellbeing and art

The benefits of art for improving wellbeing have been increasingly studied and advocated for in recent years – from relieving anxiety and stress to improving resilience.

We've gathered a selection of great learning resources from museums, galleries and art collections around the UK. They can be used in the classroom or at home to improve and increase awareness of wellbeing. The resources have been flagged for different school levels but many of them are suitable for people of all ages.


Honeysuckle and Sweetpeas

Honeysuckle and Sweetpeas c.1945–1946

Winifred Nicholson (1893–1981)

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums


Aberdeen Art Gallery's wellbeing resources

The Learning team at Aberdeen Art Gallery have created resources for both primary and secondary level exploring wellbeing, taking in both painting and sculpture.

The primary resource focuses on Katherine Aarrestad's artwork 'this is the end of you' as a way to prompt discussion around experiences of worry and anxiety. How can we cope with these emotions? There are suggestions for activities that help with relaxation and creative flow.

The secondary resource focused on how we can communicate our feelings through art, and takes Winifred Nicholson's Honeysuckle and Sweetpeas as inspiration for connecting with nature and mindful practice.

Visit Aberdeen Art Gallery to download these resources


Mindfulness with Gallery Oldham

Focusing on a single artwork can promote mindfulness. These five-minute videos show you how, with sound and text. Suitable for primary and secondary.

View the videos on Gallery Oldham's YouTube channel


May Pageantry

May Pageantry

John Anthony Park (1880–1962)

Gallery Oldham


Mindful drawing

Have a go at mindful drawing activities led by five artists, inspired by five famous sitters. Suitable for primary.

Visit the National Portrait Gallery to try all five


Drawing for wellbeing

Create a viewfinder to help draw scenes outside a window. Suitable for secondary.

Visit Derby Museums to learn how


Grotto in the Gulf of Salerno, Italy, Moonlight

Grotto in the Gulf of Salerno, Italy, Moonlight 1780–1790

Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797)

Derby Museums


The Mindful Museum of Me

Anyone can transform their home into a museum with this resource. Suitable for upper primary and lower secondary.

Visit Horniman Museum & Gardens to download the resource


Check in with your feelings

Match an artwork to your mood with this short quiz. Suitable for secondary age.

Visit Tate to take the quiz


Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)

Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) c.1640

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)

National Portrait Gallery, London


Practice mindfulness with Van Dyck

A ten-minute audio guide developed with and for primary schools.

Visit Manchester Art Gallery for this resource


More mindfulness guides

Three nine-minute videos, suitable for lower secondary upwards.

Visit the Ashmolean to view


The Recovery Curriculum

Try out these mindfulness activity sheets inspired by various artworks and objects. Suitable for upper primary and lower secondary.

Visit Leeds Museums & Galleries for this and more


More activities

If you're looking for more ideas for creative activities, visit our Activities.

Do you know someone who would love this resource?
Tell them about it...

More Art collections resources

See all