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10 Powerful Inspirational Tools for your Playlist

We all need creative outlets. Numerous studies have shown the benefits they bring, including a significant reduction in anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Engaging in creative activities can provide emotional freedom and instill confidence. These outlets have even been recognized for their role in helping many innovate new and unique solutions to their problems. 

From Music to Yoga, There's a Creative Outlet for Everyone

Embracing creative outlets can significantly contribute to emotional release, mind liberation, innovative solution discovery, and motivation enhancement. Here are ten creative outlets, including music, that serve these purposes:

1. **Music** 


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." - Plato.


As the universal language of emotion, music speaks to the heart and soul, helping individuals process emotions, connect with others, and find inspiration. It's a tool for both understanding and being understood, serving as a bridge across generational and cultural divides. Additionally, upbeat music has been shown to enhance mood; a 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology revealed that individuals who listened to lively tunes experienced improved moods and increased happiness within just two weeks.

2. **Journaling/Writing**:


"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." - Anne Frank


Writing offers a private space for expressing thoughts, emotions, and ideas, fostering self-reflection and emotional clarity. It can be a form of therapy, helping individuals understand their feelings and motivations more deeply. According to a study by Pennebaker & Beall, expressive writing for 15 minutes a day can significantly improve physical and psychological outcomes in participants. 

3. **Painting and Drawing**


"Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." - Jackson Pollock


Visual arts provide an outlet for expressing complex emotions and ideas that might be difficult to articulate verbally. Engaging in painting or drawing can also be meditative, allowing for a sense of calm and focus. According to a study in an Art Therapy journal in 2016, 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lowers stress levels in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent. 

4. **Dance** 


"Dance is the hidden language of the soul." - Martha Graham


Dance is not just physical exercise; it's a powerful medium for emotional expression and release. It allows individuals to embody their feelings and experiences, often leading to profound personal insights and emotional catharsis. A 2014 study in the American Journal of Dance Therapy reported that dance, especially in group settings, can decrease anxiety and boost mood more than other physical activities. 

5. **Cooking/Baking**


"Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavorsit's how you combine them that sets you apart." Wolfgang Puck


The act of cooking or baking is both creative and grounding. It requires focus and creativity, turning raw ingredients into something new and enjoyable, offering a sense of accomplishment and joy. A study published in *The Journal of Positive Psychology* (2016) found that people who frequently take part in small, creative projects such as cooking report feeling more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives.

6. **Gardening**


"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." Audrey Hepburn


Gardening connects individuals with the cycle of life and growth, offering a peaceful and productive escape. It's a way to nurture and create, providing tangible results from care and creativity. Research from the *Journal of Health Psychology* shows that gardening can reduce stress, improve mood, and even decrease the risk of dementia.

7. **Photography**


"Photography is the story I fail to put into words." - Destin Sparks


Photography captures moments and perspectives, allowing individuals to express their vision of the world. It's a form of storytelling that can convey complex emotions and narratives without words. A study by researchers at the University of Utah found that engaging in photography enhances mindfulness and can reduce stress levels.

8. **Crafting (Knitting, Pottery, DIY projects)**


"Craftsmanship involves learning to do one thing realy well, while the act of crafting links us with our ancestors and the history of civilization." Jimmy DiResta


Crafts offer a hands-on approach to creativity, focusing the mind and providing a break from digital screens. The tactile experience of crafting can be therapeutic and rewarding. A 2013 survey by the *Craft & Hobby Association* found that crafting, such as knitting or pottery, can help reduce stress and improve mood.

9. **Playing an Instrument**


"Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music." -George Eliot


Beyond listening to music, playing an instrument is an active form of expression. It improves mental focus, emotional regulation, and offers a sense of achievement through learning and improvement. According to a study published in the *Journal of Neuroscience*, learning to play a musical instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills.

10. **Yoga and Meditation**


"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self." -The Bhagavad Gita


Though not traditionally seen as "creative," yoga and meditation foster a deep connection between mind, body, and spirit. They help clear the mind, allowing for creative thoughts to surface more freely, while also providing emotional stability and clarity. A comprehensive review in *Frontiers in Psychiatry* (2012) found that mindfulness meditation practices, including yoga, lead to significant improvements in a range of mental health outcomes including stress reduction, anxiety, and depression.

Each of these outlets offers a unique path to emotional release, mental freedom, and motivation. The key is to find the one(s) that resonate with you, providing a personal sense of fulfillment and growth.

"Shaun's a master of his craft and a wonderful role model for all people, not just students." - Earl Hurrey, former Walt Disney Entertainment Manager and Deputy Executive Director of the National Association for Music Education. 

A thrilling message and musical performance

Shaun is one of the most entertaining and inspiring talents of our time. Mix in an Emmy-nominated artist, add his captivating storytelling from the piano and wild musical challenges, top it off with a message that'll pierce you directly to the heart, and you have Shaun Barrowes. His content and performance are both youth-tested and parent-approved! 

Students, teachers, and parents constantly praise Shaun's powerful insights and unique approach for competitive problem-solving and innovation.

About Shaun Barrowes

Award-Winning, Bestselling YA Fantasy Author


Emmy-Nominated Composer for his song, "Army of Kings"


Top 30 Contestant on 
American Idol, Season 7

Performer with Bands/Artists including: Janelle Monae
Imagine Dragons 
Lindsey Stirling

Songwriter for Jackie Chan and his Green Heroes tour

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Songwriter, Music Producer, and Video Co-Producer for "Being Awesome", with almost 430 Million Views on YouTube

Singer and Songwriter for the theme song "Light of the Day/Dark of the Night" for Shadow Complex by Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite. 

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Winner of $30,000 Songwriting contest, Slice the Pie

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Featured Guest performer for Drum Corps International and Bands of America at Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis), and for Fame ShowChoirs National Championship

Producer and Performer of Reel Sessions at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London

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