The Positive Effects of Writing on Your Health
Written by
Jennifer Lockman
November 2016
Written by
Jennifer Lockman
November 2016

Did you know that writing can do the following:

  1. Help you sleep better
  2. Improve your mood
  3. Boost your immune system
  4. Help you heal faster and
  5. Improve your mental health?

If you’re in college you have probably already done your fair share of writing. But did you know writing can help you in all those areas? This is real! Clinical studies have shown that those who write have shown both physical and emotional improvements in their health. It might make that next essay or journal assignment not seem so daunting. How exactly does writing improve your health? Let me explain...

Writing Can Improve Your Health

The simple act of writing, especially expressive writing, has been proven to actually improve your health. According to The Huffington Post writing can improve a wide range of things. For example, writing before bed can improve your sleep by helping you to relax, relieve stress, and let go of emotions that may otherwise keep you awake at night. It has also been proven that those who were regular writers were able to lower their blood pressure, probably also due to a decrease in overall stress that expressive writing can offer. Did you also know that writing can improve liver function when compared to those who did not write at all. Who knew writing could accomplish all that? Even if you’re already in good health, it certainly couldn’t hurt to start writing!

Writing to Heal

In addition to improving your health, writing has also been proven to help your body heal fast. Whether it’s a sports injury, a common virus, or otherwise, writing can help your body repair itself faster. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association (APA), a study was performed on individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Part of the group was required to journal for 20 minutes a day. After four months those who were in the writing group actually showed significant improvement in their health over those who did not write. Similarly, the article from The Huffington Post mentioned in the previous paragraph reports a study of those with a physical wound on their arm from a skin biopsy. Half of them were told to write expressively on a regular basis and the other half were told to avoid writing about feelings at all. Believe it or not, those who wrote about their emotions showed a faster rate of healing than those who did not. Physical wounds? Amazing! Those sound like convincing enough reasons for me!

Improving Your Immune System

The same article by the American Psychological Association also studied how writing can impact one’s immune system. While any type of writing seems to help heal the body, the most effective style of writing is writing about emotions. Whether journaling or writing stories about events in your life, they can both help improve your immune system. It was shown through this study that writing about emotions helped reduce stress in patients with HIV/AIDS. They were then later tested for immune function and, you guessed it, those who participated in the writing had a higher immune function than those who did not write. If you’re living in a dormitory or sharing a house with several friends, you better become a writer so you can help your body those nasty viruses going around!

Writing to Benefit Your Mental Health

While there is great evidence of improved physical health for writers, did you know it can help to benefit your mental health too? According to Help Scout, writers can improve many areas of their mental health through expressive writing. First and foremost, it is known to reduce stress. As some of you may know, stress has been linked to a plethora of mental illnesses as well as physical illnesses. It makes sense then that reducing stress will improve one’s mental health further. Writing has also been proven to improve one’s mood over time and increase their happiness. Why not? With less stress it’s easier to focus on the things that make you happy, and when you’re feeling happy overall, you tend to be in a better mood. I bet if you knew expressive writing could do all that you may have put a little more thought and effort into some of those journaling assignments.

If you’ve ever thought about taking a creative writing class, do it! Whether journaling, blogging or writing an essay for class, or just writing for yourself it can improve some major and important areas of your health. Not only is writing good for the soul, it can also help you to heal quicker and improve your mind. Those are some great benefits for something that college is already requiring you to do anyway. Did you know that you could even get paid to write? Paid to heal yourself quicker and improve your health? Not such a bad gig! Websites like an Essay Service or Upwork will help connect their writers with people needing essay assistance. So get writing, take those writing assignments more serious, potentially earn some extra cash, and thank your professors for helping you improve your health!

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  • Melissa Gween Meek

    So very true, thanks for your words.

  • Adele Marie Park Writing

    loved this article. It is wonderful to be told that what we do has such an impact on all areas of our health, physical and mental.