The Benefits of Coloring: 8 Reasons To Try Coloring Today

by Daily Art Hour l May 3, 2023

Did you know that coloring can be good for you? Many people aren’t aware that there are real health benefits of coloring for adults. It’s been studied by science and the results are pretty remarkable. Let’s check out some of the most remarkable benefits that you can get just by picking up some markers and doing a coloring page!


For a long time, coloring has been looked at as a children’s hobby. It only caught on with adults in the last 10 years or so. Nowadays there are a lot of adult coloring books available but little attention is paid to why it’s such a good idea to give it a try.

We all know coloring can be relaxing. It can help keep you focused on a task and maybe distract you from other things you don’t want to focus on. But the true benefits get much deeper than that. 

Of course, coloring isn’t a miracle cure for anything. But that doesn’t mean you won’t feel better after spending some time putting your markers and colored pencils to good use. Think of it a lot like reading, scrapbooking, or journaling. It’s a fun pastime, sure but it can also help you deal with a lot of stuff.

Many years of research have gone into studying just what it is people get out of coloring if anything. The results confirm what a lot of lifelong coloring fans have already suspected. You really can and do feel better after spending some time coloring. But how does it work specifically? And what are the real benefits?


8 Therapeutic Benefits of Coloring for Adults

#8 Stress Relief

If you’re a coloring fan already, you probably know all about this. Immersing yourself in coloring lets you relieve stress by relaxing your brain and shifting focus. Whatever had been stressing you out becomes less present in your mind. You are more focused on the calming task of coloring.

It’s not what you’re coloring that has this effect, it’s the act itself. You’re engaging your brain in a repetitive activity that requires focus. You need to keep yourself on task in order to do it properly. That pushes out other concerns at that moment. So, your stress no longer has that outlet to make you feel anxious or worried. Instead, you are just in the moment and enjoying yourself.

There’s also a connection to things past that can come into play here. If you colored as a child but have not done so as an adult, this can bring back memories. For many of us, those memories of coloring as a child are relaxing. If that’s the case for you, then those memories can help build that stress-free bridge for you.

Try one of our free coloring pages the next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and see if it helps!

vampire kitty

#7 Reducing Anxiety

Similar to stress relief, coloring has also been proven to physically lower symptoms of anxiety. That’s amazing, right? Subjects who were tasked with coloring were observed before and after a 20-minute session. The result was a decreased heart rate, improved mood, and overall, less feelings of anxiety when the task was complete.

All it takes is a few minutes a day. For an improved effect you can look into coloring more complex images. The more complicated the picture is, like a mandala, the more it can actually help you focus, reduce anxiety, and feel better about yourself and your well-being. 

creepy girl


#6 Accepting Your Mistakes

Another benefit to coloring is the fact it lets you make mistakes in a simple, non-damaging way. Many people have issues accepting their own faults and flaws. And making mistakes can lead to serious stress and anxiety for many people.

Coloring is an easy way to see your own mistakes when you make them. But more than that, it can help you come to terms with the idea that mistakes aren’t important. If you color outside the lines it may not be what you wanted, but it’s still okay.

This is in part because coloring is not a competition or a task that has a goal or reward. No one will be upset if you color outside the lines except you. And if you learn to be okay with that small mistake, then it can help you overcome anxiety about larger mistakes in different contexts.

The goal of coloring is only a completed picture if you want that to be the goal. For many, the act of coloring can be its own reward and that means not worrying if it was done “right” or “wrong.”


#5 Improving Motor Skills

This is something we often only think of with small children, but adults can benefit from this as well. Especially if you find your hand-eye coordination has been slipping. Coloring small and intricate images and patterns deeply engages hand-eye coordination. 

In our everyday life, if we are not engaged in hobbies or activities that require fine skills like this, it can be difficult to maintain that sharp focus. But coloring is one thing that can hone the skill, especially if you’re being very precise with maintaining images inside the lines. 

magical creature


#4 Building Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword these days. But what does it mean? In a lot of ways, mindfulness is a sense of awareness. An awareness of the moment and your ability to stay focused. That is at the heart of what happens when you are coloring.

In order to color and be satisfied with your work, you need to be mindful of the process. The colors you choose, the shading, the pattern, the clarity. You need to keep your focus to stay inside the lines, to see the big picture as you work on the small portions of it. 

For many people, this kind of mindfulness is the beginning of truly achieving a relaxing, meditative state. It’s part of how art therapy works and it’s a good way to find yourself focused on yourself and your feelings in the moment.

Try it out for yourself with one of our free coloring pages here. As you color, take a moment to reflect on how you feel and if you’re truly in the moment and focusing on the task. How does that make you feel?

creepy girl werewolf boy

#3 Improving Brain Function

A number of studies have shown that, even for adults, coloring can help maintain and improve brain functioning. This is especially true for older adults. Coloring has shown clear benefits in preventing or managing conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s by keeping the patient’s brain engaged and active. 

There have been further studies that show drawing and coloring can help memory function. Participants in some studies were shown to have a significantly improved ability to recall a list of random items if they were coloring or drawing while they learned the items as opposed to those who were just listening quietly and doing nothing. 

Coloring also engages both hemispheres of the brain with the motor skills needed to do the physical task and the creative part of your brain helping you decide how to color the image. 

kitty with fish

#2 Improving Sleep

One of the big problems in the modern world is people not getting enough sleep. As many as 35% of adults don’t get enough sleep. For many people, this is caused, in part, by electronics. Your phone, tablet, and so on alter melatonin release in your body which can throw off sleep patterns and make it harder to both get to sleep and remain asleep.

Most experts recommend that you turn off any screens 30 to 60 minutes before bed but so few people will do this because they feel they need a way to unwind before bed. Watching videos, reading social media and other similar tasks can accomplish this but in a disruptive way.

If you swap electronics for coloring, even for just 10 minutes, you still get to relax. The blue light from your devices won’t be working on your melatonin production and your body can start to prepare for sleep. You’ll get longer rest and better-quality rest as a result. 

If you’re heading to bed now, why not print off one of our free coloring pages and give it a try? Color for 20 to 30 minutes and see if you don’t have a more relaxing night’s sleep as a result.

zombie mermaid

#1 Creates a Meditative State

Meditation has a lot of proven health benefits that are linked to a lot of what we mentioned above. It helps you destress, focus, and feel present and in the moment. Your mood can improve, and you can lower your blood pressure and heart rate among many other things.

If you’re not sure how to start meditation or get into that state of mind, good news! Coloring has been shown to be a way to help achieve it. 


Relaxing? Meditating? Just Getting Better Sleep? There’s So Much Coloring Can Do!

We know you’re probably here because you love coloring already and that’s great. But knowing all the ways it can actually improve your life makes it even better. It’s really cool to know that one of your hobbies isn’t just a time killer, you’re really doing something for yourself.

Coloring may not be able to cure what ails you, but it can go a long way to helping you feel good. When you feel the stress and anxiety of everyday life kick in, give it a try.

All of our coloring pages here are free to download and print any time you like. Feel free to try them out and see if you feel like any of your stress is washing away or if you’re able to rest better as a result. And why not share your pics with us after the fact? We love to see everyone’s art!

 spooky family

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