In 2015, according to the New York Post, nearly half the books on Amazon’s best-seller list were adult coloring books. I find that fact incredibly heartening. In today’s world of hyper-connection and news overload, I love the idea of so many people turning away from their screens, resisting the urge to tweet, update, email, or text, and choosing instead to create a bit of beauty in their world.
It’s a smart choice and not just because the world could always use more beauty. The calming effects of coloring have been touted by researchers and yogis alike and may be especially helpful to people in recovery from addiction.
According to Rokelle Lerner, the senior clinical adviser at Eric Clapton’s treatment center, Crossroads Centre Antigua, and author of Daily Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics, “The effect of coloring on the brain is amazing for relieving stress, which is key in the healing process of anyone suffering from addiction.”
As the illustrator of Inkspirations for Recovery, I’m especially invested in the healing that is possible at the intersection of art and self-evolution, so I put together a list of ways coloring can be a powerful tool in the recovery process. From stress and anxiety reduction to mindfulness and self-compassion, here are eight reasons the simple act of coloring should be a part of your recovery (or self-care) process: