Last updated:

January 18, 2024


 min read

How does art help adults with ADHD?

Explore the transformative role of art therapy for adults with ADHD, fostering focus, mindfulness, and self-esteem. Deep dive into the blog to know more.


Art is said to have numerous benefits, not just for children but also for adults who struggle with ADHD. In this blog, we will discuss how adults can unleash their creativity and manage their ADHD symptoms simultaneously.

ADHD affects different individuals in different ways, but common symptoms of ADHD include: 

  • Difficulty concentrating and maintaining focus.
  • Impulsive behaviour and poor impulse control.
  • Restlessness and an inability to sit still.
  • Forgetfulness and disorganisation.

ADHD can bring challenges in various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and daily functioning. While treatments like medication and therapy are commonly prescribed, some adults with ADHD look for different lifestyle modifications they can make in addition to taking regular therapy. 

Art as therapy

Art is a powerful form of self-expression, allowing individuals to express their thoughts and feelings in a non-verbal way. For adults with ADHD, who may find it difficult to communicate or manage their emotions effectively, art offers a space to explore their thoughts and emotions. Drawing, painting, designing, or sculpting allows individuals to externalise their inner experiences, creating a sense of control and emotional freedom.

Focus and concentration

One of the main challenges adults with ADHD face is focusing on tasks. Immersing yourself in art requires a high degree of concentration that can engage your mind and relax you. As individuals engage in the creative process, they often experience a state of "flow," a term used by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to describe a mental state of enormous absorption and concentration. Therefore, the ability to concentrate on other facets of life is greatly enhanced by art. 

Mindfulness through art

Artistic pursuits naturally promote mindfulness, a practice that has been shown to be beneficial for people with ADHD. Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment, focused on thoughts and feelings without any sense of judgement. The goal of art therapy is not to create art; rather, the process is more significant than the final result.

One naturally enters a state of mindfulness as one focuses on the colour, shape, and texture of the body. 

Boosts self-esteem and confidence

Living with ADHD can sometimes lead to feelings of frustration and inadequacy, especially when tasks seem out of control. Art provides a platform for self-expression and fosters a sense of achievement. Completing an art project, no matter how difficult it is, can boost self-esteem and confidence. For adults with ADHD who have experienced setbacks in other areas of their lives, the tangible results from artistic endeavours can be especially powerful.

Communication and cognitive restructuring

Art allows individuals to communicate complex emotions and ideas without relying solely on words. For adults with ADHD who struggle with verbal communication, art is a valuable tool for expressing their inner world. In addition, engaging in art can help resolve emotions by providing creative and healthy ways to manage and express emotions.

The importance of cognitive skills

The creative process of art involves the integration of various cognitive skills such as problem solving, spatial awareness, pattern recognition, and so on. For adults with ADHD who may have difficulties with specific cognitive functions, art provides a fun and stimulating way to exercise and build cognitive abilities.

Community and Social Connections

The arts often give an opportunity for social interactions, bringing individuals together through workshops, classes, or collaborative projects. For adults with ADHD, who may face challenges in social situations, art provides a common space where they can make connections based on common interests. A sense of community can help improve psychological well-being and provide a support system for understanding the challenges associated with ADHD. 


The therapeutic value of the arts for adults with ADHD is becoming increasingly recognized in all approaches to ADHD. In addition to traditional therapy, the creative process provides a unique form of self-awareness, improved concentration, and emotional regulation. Whether through drawing, painting, or other artistic endeavours, individuals with ADHD can use the power of art to unlock their potential and meet the challenges of everyday life with greater flexibility and creativity. As more research emerges, integrating the arts into ADHD treatment programs can be a valuable and personalised tool to promote psychological well-being.

If you are looking to get in touch with a mental health professional, you can reach out to the team at Rocket Health today.


J. (2021, November 1). Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, pioneering psychologist and ‘father of flow,’ 1934–2021. University of Chicago News.

Boojari, S., Haghgoo, H. A., Rostami, R., & Ghanbari, S. (2015). The Relationship between Cognitive Functions and Academic Performance in Children with Attention Deficit,. . . ResearchGate.