The Creative Wellbeing Project

After completing our 12-week course, our research indicates participants’ well-being increases by approximately 40% across a range of well-being elements. Enhancements to emotional wellbeing and a sense of awe/spiritual wellbeing (a feeling of connection to something larger than oneself) generally offer the biggest gains. 

Participant Feedback

How would you describe your experience with The Creative Wellbeing Project?

  • “It has caused me to pause every week, to rest in a space to receive, to discover, to reflect, to create and explore. I have also been triggered at times, but that has been really helpful too as it has helped me access feelings I need to. The activities and the lovely little box of materials were all helpful. I feel I have been part of something I can’t quite verbalise at the moment – witnessing myself and others be brave, honest, vulnerable as well as playful and caring.”
  • “I’ve enjoyed every minute. Julia is an excellent facilitator and the activities are well-judged and fun. I have learned more about myself than I would have thought possible and have rediscovered a love of art despite being very much a novice artist!”
  • “Great experience, Great Teacher, Great Content.”
  • “Julia was wonderful, she helped us a lot with her words and artistic activities. Through the exercises, I was able to identify my problems as well as solutions.” 
  • “I discovered that I have skills that I was not aware of. I got inspired by someone’s else work example from the group
  • “I enjoyed exploring my mind.”
  • “Apart from learning about art itself, I enjoyed connecting with others and learning from their experience.”
  • “A lovely, gentle awakening of creativity in a nurturing environment.”
  • “I very much enjoyed the course.”
  • “This course brightened the dark approach of winter, brought some colour to the every day, and made me feel I wasn’t alone. Excellent course, thanks to Julia and the funders for your generosity of spirit.”
  • “For a few good years I tried to change my job and thanks to this course I finally succeeded.”
  • “I have learnt so much about techniques in drawing and painting, to use art to explore my emotions, use art as a tool for meditation and relaxation. I now appreciate abstract art and love it.”
  • “I am sad that the course has come to an end, I would love to continue. Julia Ruppert has been a fantastic course leader – her gentle encouragement for us to participate, to express our emotions, to share our drawings without being judgemental or critical, was most helpful. The rest of the group and I felt relaxed throughout the sessions.”
  • “Each week was different, interesting, inclusive, with an opportunity to learn more about myself and about life.”

What benefits have you taken away from the course?

  • “It has embedded and reminded me to be kinder to myself, compassionate and tender with those parts of myself that need healing, recovery and rest. It has also reminded me I have the heart of a creative, to be curious about that part and other parts of my real self and to give them time, energy and love. I have also benefitted from being a group, witnessing others and not letting social anxiety get in the way. I’m 55 and have cared for others all my life and thought that was my identity. This course has been part of me putting on my own oxygen mask and giving myself permission to love and express myself.”
  • “I learned more about myself, my thoughts and my emotions.”
  • “Self-discovery, thought-provoking conversation and friendship.”
  • “Relaxation, not caring so much about perfectionism, listening to my thoughts, opening my mind, listening to other people, listening to Julia’s words, thinking about my way of life, seeing the good things in life (positivism).”
  • “I realized/learned that there are many other ways to express my creativity. I believe I am becoming less critical with my final creative results. I am focusing and enjoying more on the process of creating art. I learned to stop and be aware of small things. I noticed that everyone sees things from their point of view, based on what they experienced, learned, feel, etc.”
  • “To be more relaxed.”
  • “I am emotionally strong and I feel I am not alone.”
  • “Fresh perspective on happiness, and an appreciation for methods of artistic expression, sense of community.”
  • “Self-compassion and reflection. Improved listening skills. Reawakened creativity.”

How would you describe this course?

  • “Wonderful, helpful, supportive, insightful.”
  • “An amazing opportunity to reflect and interact with like-minded people.”
  • “Thoughtful, Insightful, Creative.”
  • “It helped me a lot –  to relax and reduce my problem with perfectionism.”
  • “Interesting, interactive, productive and very welcoming environment.”
  • “relaxing and a comfortable place to express.”
  • “Extremely helpful and inspiring.”
  • “A wonderful gift.”
  • “This is a very safe space to explore our own well-being through creative tutored exercises.”

General course feedback:


“This course has been really wonderful.”

“It’s different to therapy, but it is therapeutic as images tap into our right brain and get to the heart of things much quicker than using our intellect. It’s a wonderful course for nurturing yourself, learning ways to care about yourself and learning from the group too. There is also a sense of not feeling alone with whatever it is that brought you to the course in the first place: we all have our stories, our challenges and our gifts. I am so grateful to Julia and the organisers. May the funding continue as it can have long term effects on our wellbeing that are immeasurable in many ways.”


“Empowering and enlightening.” 

“A wonderful course that I would recommend to everyone.” 

“An opportunity to engage in creative activities using zoom to explore your creativity to enjoy and find the unexpected can be meaningful.” 

“This course will enable clients to look at their thoughts in a creative way which is releasing and an aid to build resilience.” 

“For funders: A well-structured and well-planned course, led by a warm, welcoming, professional team. This is a piece of serious therapeutic work, delivered in an accessible and supportive way. For prospective participants: A great way to explore what wellbeing means to you, through friendly sessions and very achievable art activities. I wasn’t sure what this course would do for me but I needn’t have been concerned – it was relaxed, fun and the activities showed me how to feel better in my life. Well worth it!” 

“I would just say that these courses are so important in the community. And it is so good that they are either free or affordable.” 

“I really enjoyed the Creative Welbeing project. It has helped me understand myself a lot more. It has given me something to look forward to each week. I found it a very supportive safe place to be. Juila has been amazing!” 

“A really enriching experience with great opportunities for creating a community and exploring both positive and negative thoughts.” 

An amazing experience, an opportunity to explore, enjoy, create and reflect on life, love and happiness, while building your confidence, self-compassion, self love and values.” 

“A project to encourage emotional growth and self-understanding primarily through the use of art and other forms of visual stimulation.” 

“The course is so enriching and positive, it allowed me to reconnect with parts of myself that I had forgotten about and broaden my view on life with the people I have met.” 

“An amazing opportunity to discover new art forms, learn new stress-based reduction techniques and learn from all the other amazing participants on the course.” 
“The course was a journey of discovery that helped me to discover the roots of my well-being with the support of both Julia and the other members of the class.” 

When I joined the course, little did I know how different and amazing it would be.  I thought it would be a learning-to-paint-for-relaxation classes. The Creative Wellbeing Project is an extraordinary and incredible course and you are an amazing course leader. I had attended art classes a long time ago – in the past 11-weeks I have learnt so much about techniques in drawing and painting, to use art to explore my emotions, use art as a tool for meditation and relaxation – it has opened up new dimensions for me.  I feel more confident to talk about myself and my emotions to others. And, I now appreciate abstract art and love it  All thanks to you. The gentle encouragement to participate, to express our emotions, to share our drawings without being judgemental or critical, was liberating. The rest of the group and I felt relaxed throughout the sessions. I am sad the 12-weeks is almost here.  Thank you for awakening me to look at things differently, how to entertain positive thoughts, self-understanding, and much more.  I have learnt a lot and feel very grateful to you.” ~ December 2021

The art kit arrived like a gift, and the thought that had gone into its presentation made it feel really special.  I have stacks of art equipment, but receiving the box reminded me of birthday presents when I was young – all you need to complete a special project within a single self-contained parcel.  It also provides a level playing field and it’s good to think that we’re all working with the same tools at the same time on a common task.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“I am extremely grateful to you Julia for running the course, I honestly did not know what to expect, whether I would enjoy it, or be any good at it. It has been a huge part of calming my anxiety which means I can do more things that take me out of my comfort zone, which is always a good thing. Thank you and bless you Julia, long may your work continue.”  Spring 2021, 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“Usually my life is so busy with work, caring, looking after others etc, that I have very little time to actually sit and process my own thoughts, so this course has given me (and taught me how) to make space in my day, without feeling that it’s indulgent.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“I spent four years at art school in the eighties, where most teachings seemed to consist of deconstructing and undermining students’ creativity before (sometimes) rebuilding it.  The course has stopped me from being overly critical of what I produce – sometimes the process of mark-making is more important than the resulting work.  I’ve learnt to get back into the zone when drawing and for the first time, to let my emotions transfer themselves into what I draw or paint without being self-conscious.  I hope that I can continue to be instinctive.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

‘I have loved meeting the others on the course and finding our common bonds – Lockdown has been such a long and isolating time, and as a carer for my husband who rarely leaves the house, it’s been a long time since I encountered anybody or anything else that was new and stimulating.’  Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“I am really enjoying doing art, being creative and the freedom of expression is great. I also enjoy the fact that the group is very much willing to share their art, and their experiences and they are very supportive with it too. We also have to reflect a lot which for me has been a real bonus, whether it’s the homework or just talking about how we feel about certain aspects of our life. I have surprised myself by the work I have created, which gives me more confidence, and makes me happy.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

I have found that the art itself has nurtured my well-being, along with exploring other things I can do which nurture me. I have also felt that being amongst others has given me some perspective and a sense of community. Using art as a tool has helped my anxiety enormously as it focuses my senses on something else.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

I feel the course has given me the chance to clear my head to calm down and relax a lot more. Which going forward I need if I want to beat the anxiety.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“I think that I am becoming less rigid and more accepting of myself and my emotions.” Spring 2021 – 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“For me, the course has been stimulating and a safe space to explore a creative aspect of myself much neglected up to now. Julia provides a secure and safe environment from which we can take risks in opening ourselves to ourselves.” Spring 2021, 6 weeks into the 12-week course

“I am so grateful to you for this opportunity and the other members for sharing their wisdom and artwork. It’s so good to feel that we are not alone.” 2021

“I have been doing more doodling and I have got my mindfulness colouring book out too. I think I am more self-aware and notice when I need a bit of time out, particularly when I am at work- I am giving myself permission to do something different for just a few minutes.” 2021
“I am so grateful that miraculously, as someone who never created art for art’s sake prior to doing this course I now find that I am! I’ve been inspired to create because gladly I seem to have relinquished that internal critic that prevented me from making art.” 2021
“I really enjoyed it, I liked that although people shared certain things within the course there was no pressure to. It was great just getting to meet people through this shared experience and really not know much more about them. I thought Julia’s tone was really relaxing and I thought she had an amazing ability to play things back to people and look at what was being produced and easily identify themes, patterns, and thoughts and relate that back to everyday thoughts and wellbeing – I definitely liked the changing perspective/looking at things differently conversations.” 2021
“I think the course helped me remember and reconnect with a more playful side of me and also (I hope) do away with resistance to investing myself into visual expression as that’s not likely to be an area I can excel in. It simply felt right, like it always does and the link between it and quality of life was hard to ignore.” 2021
“Thank-You so much!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It has profoundly transformed my way of approaching art, and it connected me with others when isolation was dominating my life.” 2021

“Brilliant! 2021

“The creative arts sessions have been a corner of joy within myself. I have used several of the meditations in times of stress.” 2021

“Loved the posted art kit, it felt like a gift.” 2021

“Immensely enjoyable, relaxing and supportive.” 2021

“Thoughtful, playful and encouraging. Also informative and inspiring.” 2021

“I think it’s a wonderful way to connect with young people living locally outside your immediate circles, in a low-key situation! And not only were the sessions fun: they also led me to start making my own art regularly again.” 2021

“I can’t tell you how much I loved the course.” 2021

“It became a real highlight of otherwise pretty monotonous lockdown weeks! Not only did it spark my imagination a huge amount, leading me to start making art playfully for the first time in a year, but it also genuinely improved my mood. I’m a young adult carer, which has been very difficult at points during lockdown, but I always felt really happy after the Creative Wellbeing courses!” 2020

“I really enjoyed it! It felt like a small enough class to be properly involving (it felt like we were all getting lots of personal attention from Julia and time to speak to one another), but without feeling too intense, either! The posted art kit made me so happy when it arrived! The care that had gone into wrapping it, with stickers and tissue paper, made it feel like a properly special, kind gift.” 2020

“This course is the best hour and a half of my week.” 2020

“I’ve been part of art groups, but I’ve never seen anything like this offered before. This course is about hope, positivity and anchoring. It was a safe place to take risks and get past your inner critic that says, ‘what you’re doing is rubbish.”  2020

“The Creative Wellbeing Project is a lifesaver, it helps you take stock when you’ve been through a difficult time and to redefine your life.” 2020

“For me, it was a sanctuary, something that could hold you during a difficult time and help you to carry on. The exercises weren’t just tasks; they were something you could be.” 2020

“The course was lively, uplifting and empowering.” 2020

“The Creative Wellbeing Project is something that needs to be experienced. I looked forward to every class, and the exercises helped me redirect negative thoughts in more positive ways.” 2020

“The course was such a pleasant surprise, I sometimes feel deadened and bored in groups, but the tutor was energetic and positive. The sessions felt like ‘springtime’ and that was really contagious for everyone.” 2020

“The course gave me confirmation that it’s ok to be me, to have space to exist as I fully am. Being there brought a lot of reassurance, but it was also really exciting.” 2020

“I remember feeling lighter – like my mind had been organised a bit and wasn’t all over the place. Just breaking down emotions and putting them in place really helped.” 2020

“I was able to process memories that had been niggling at me. When they were drawn down they started to make sense. This helped me organise them and gave me closure.” 2020

“The group was really welcoming and it was easy to be there, I just wish it had been a little longer.” 2020

“The course lightened my perspective on life and lifted my mood a lot. There was a lot of support, so I suppose I felt safe.” 2020

“This course would suit people who want to find meaning in their lives.”

“It was something I could go to each week that would be positive and life-enhancing, whereas before my life felt quite bleak.”

“I would like it if there were more classes like this available for people who suffer from mental wellbeing issues and would like this course to be made available on an on-going basis.”

“I think this course could be beneficial for anyone.”

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our funders for making The Creative Wellbeing Project possible.