You used to feel like an artist, but life happened and now you want to know how to get creativity back. Well. You’re in luck because you never lost it.

There are two hands, palms up, with the fingers covered in irridescent green paint. The text says "How to Get Creativity Back" and there is a watermark for

I believe everyone is creative. But a lot of people choose not to use their creativity or they aren’t in a place where they have time to devote to it. Then, it feels like you can’t access creativity when you want to, and you worry it’s gone.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to know how to increase creativity in the brain. You just need to give your brain some space to use creative energy.

How to Get Creativity Back

Creativity never really goes away. It just lies dormant until there’s some room for it.

So, if you’re worried you’ll never make art again and you wanna know how to get creativity back, don’t freak out. Your creativity is there, but it needs some space.

I spent many years working in very uncreative jobs. From technical writing to communications instructor, I paid my dues in my business casual slacks. With every work project I did that was patently not creative, it felt like I was losing myself bit by bit.

I know now that wasn’t true, but it was hard to see it then. After leaving my last day job, and slowing down the freelance work I had been doing, I started to see a real shift in the way I worked. I felt more inspired and less burnt out all the time. I felt like I had the capacity to write, which is something I hadn’t felt in a long time.

If your creativity seems to have flown the coop, I recommend slowing down as much as you can. It will always feel like you’re behind on the creative work you want to do, especially if you have to stop for any reason. But stopping gives you the space to relax and find yourself again.

For me, the slow down felt arduous, but ultimately, I’m more creatively productive because of it.

How to Get Creativity Back After Depression

Now, if you’ve been dealing with depression, finding your creativity again can feel insurmountable. Trust me. I know. I spent the majority of 2023 dealing with this.

RELATED POST:  No One Owes You a Damn Thing (So Do Whatever You Want!)

What I’m about to say isn’t something that I wanted to hear back then, and I assume you won’t want to hear it either. But the answer to how to get creativity back after depression is simply taking care of your mental health.

I found a therapist, started taking Vitamin D supplements, made myself eat better and more regularly, and started working out in a very regimented way. After about six months of that, I could see a real improvement in my mental health, and I was ready to start doing creative work again.

Knowing how to increase your creativity and imagination often means just taking care of yourself. I wish there was a magic pill for it, but here we are.

I’m toying with the idea of sharing a more in-depth post about this, so if you wanna know more, let me know in the comments.

100 Ways to Increase Creativity

There are more than 100 ways to increase your creativity, so don’t stop at this list. And if you’re wondering how to get creativity back, start with these activities and add your own.

Remember, reading the internet isn’t the key to inspiration, so don’t dwell on this post if you’re trying to get your creative groove back. Instead, try a few of these, and then follow your heart into whatever activity you’re being called to.

  1. Listen to the music you loved when you were in high school.
  2. Give yourself some down time to let your mind wander.
  3. Read outside your comfort zone.
  4. Go to a place that makes you feel creative. Check out this creative places post for more info.
  5. Attend your city’s art walk and see what your fellow citizens are up to.
  6. Grab coffee with someone who’s doing something cool.
  7. Spend some time outside.
  8. Walk through an antique store and touch weird old stuff.
  9. Stay off social media.
  10. Focus on one thing at a time.
  11. Keep your workspace clean.
  12. Make time for the projects you’ve been meaning to get to.
  13. Decorate your workspace with inspiring things.
  14. Zone out more often.
  15. Quit doing things you feel obligated to do and do what you actually want to do.
  16. Sit by a lake for a while.
  17. Carry a notebook to record interesting bits of your day.
  18. Cut loose and party occasionally.
  19. Block the things that distract you.
  20. Work with creative people.
  21. Work alone when you feel the need to.
  22. Take up creative hobbies outside of the work you do.
  23. Dress like an artist. Check out this post on how to dress like a writer for more inspiration.
  24. Give yourself time to brainstorm and ideate.
  25. Go through The Artist’s Way at least once.
  26. And you should definitely do your morning pages.
  27. Plus, you should try these artist date ideas!
  28. Rest more than you have been.
  29. Eat better than you have been.
  30. Work out like your creativity depends on it. (It does.)
  31. Do digital detoxes.
  32. Romanticize your daily life.
  33. Play more.
  34. Do more deep work.
  35. Trust your gut.
  36. Lose track of time doing something you love.
  37. Don’t compare your work to the work of others.
  38. Do the tough self-care stuff beyond just the bubble bath.
  39. Go to therapy.
  40. Understand the connection between crazymakers and energy pennies.
  41. Make big, hairy scary goals.
  42. Break those big goals into manageable chunks.
  43. Don’t talk about it. Be about it.
  44. Read at a bar and chat with whoever strikes up a conversation about the book you’re reading.
  45. Go to the home of a famous artist you love.
  46. Attend a Creative Mornings event.
  47. Celebrate when you finish a big project.
  48. Read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
  49. Critique Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
  50. Write a letter to yourself at the start of every year, and read the letter you wrote yourself the year before. Check out this dear creative self post for some inspiration.
  51. Do things you love.
  52. Start your day with music instead of social media or the news.
  53. Cook new meals.
  54. Keep your creative tools in easily accessible spaces.
  55. Daydream like you’re getting paid to do it.
  56. Share what you’re working on.
  57. Fail often.
  58. Tell your inner critic to fuck off.
  59. Spend less time with people who drain your energy.
  60. Find creative friends.
  61. Know how you find your flow state.
  62. Listen to binaural beats.
  63. Journal regularly.
  64. Create collages with junk mail and scrap paper.
  65. Fall down a rabbit hole that interests you.
  66. Take the time to learn new stuff.
  67. Go on a day trip to a fun city nearby.
  68. Host a brunch.
  69. Tell stories around a campfire.
  70. Quit being a perfectionist.
  71. Wear something wild out in public.
  72. Make big plans.
  73. Challenge yourself to do something that scares you.
  74. Know that you’ll never feel ready.
  75. Invest in a software that blocks websites and apps that distract you.
  76. Put your head down and keep your eyes on your own work for a really, really long time.
  77. Use art supplies in your planner when you record your day. I did this in my sort of bullet journal.
  78. Stop your work before you burn out.
  79. Take walks throughout the day.
  80. Focus on quality of work rather than getting shit done if you need to.
  81. Focus on getting a ton of shit done rather than creating high-quality work if you need to.
  82. Make a list of all the things that inspire you to have at the ready when you need it.
  83. Take a nap if you need it.
  84. Seek feedback on your work.
  85. Find a critique partner and help each other improve.
  86. Let go of old projects and ideas that don’t represent the work you do anymore.
  87. Make out with someone.
  88. Caffeinate responsibly.
  89. Take time away from creative projects.
  90. Tackle all the stuff you’ve been putting off to clear your mind.
  91. Use a timer to do a work sprint.
  92. Make a vision board.
  93. Rewatch your favorite movies.
  94. Do something outside of your normal routine.
  95. Take a vacation.
  96. Get a tattoo or piercing.
  97. Put together a Lego set.
  98. Embrace the season of life you’re in and how that affects your process.
  99. Define what work-life balance means to you.
  100. Fall madly in love with the work you do.
RELATED POST:  Passion Planner Traveler's Notebook Setup and a Plan with Me

How Do You Find Your Creativity?

What makes you feel more creative? Do you have a list of things that help you feel like an artist? How do you find creative ease in your work? Do you try to live like an artist?

One Response

  1. I appreciate your post on getting creativity back. Your experiences and tips are practical and down-to-earth. It’s a good reminder that creativity just needs some space to come alive again. Thanks for the great advice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *