GAGMH: Is Art at the Heart of International Day of Happiness?

Last Updated: 20 Mar 2024
Christina Davies

The International Day of Happiness, a global celebration aimed at creating a happier world. This year’s theme is Happiness Together, so why not celebrate the day by taking part in a shared arts activity?

Dr Christina Davies, Chief Investigator of the Good Arts, Good Mental Health project based at The University of Western Australia, said “The arts could hold the key to more happiness in our lives”.

“Arts engagement is linked with better mental wellbeing and connection to others. The arts provides an endless source of fun and entertainment that increases our social network and creates positive shared experiences with friends and family,” Dr Davies said.

According to the United Nations, happiness is a fundamental human goal and calls for inclusive approaches, like arts engagement, which promote wellbeing.

“Arts activities that people may like to try include going to concerts, book clubs, art classes, dancing, choirs, photography, the movies or even colouring in together,” Dr Davies said. “People don’t have to be good at art for the arts to be good for them – it’s about having a go and taking part in the arts activities that make you feel good.”

The International Day of Happiness is being celebrated on 20 March because it is a date when day and night last for almost equal time all over the globe.

“This equinox is felt by everyone, which matches perfectly with the idea of arts engagement and global happiness,” Dr Davies said.

Man and daughter colouring

‘Happiness together’ – Dad and daughter colouring together on Happiness Day.

Over the past 12 months, the Good Arts, Good Mental Health project team has worked with more than 2,000 community members on research confirming that people are keen to learn more about the mental wellbeing benefits of recreational arts.

Free arts resource to do with children, friends and family, including a new set of ‘happiness together’ colouring sheets are available for download from the UWA Good Arts, Good Mental Health website.

The Good Arts, Good Mental Health project is supported by the Western Australian Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, which is an initiative of the WA State Government, the Minderoo Foundation, The Ian Potter Foundation, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, CircuitWest and St John of God Health Care.

MEDIA REFERENCE: Liz McGrath (UWA PR & Media Adviser) 0418 252 436 Dr Christina Davies 0404 159 241

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