33 Surprising Ways to Boost Creativity for Free

We already know being creative can make us happier and healthier. But while we may think of creativity in terms of writing a novel or painting a masterpiece, experts say it can really mean anything from trying a new recipe to submitting an original idea during a meeting.

Here we’ve got 33 fun ways to fire up that creative spark, from having a drink to taking a nap—seriously.

10 Minutes or Less

1. Listen to music.

Jamming out stimulates the part of our brain that controls motor actions, emotions, and creativity. Classical music might give us an extra boost: According to “The Mozart Effect,” listening to Mozart can increase creativity, concentration, and other cognitive functions. Though it’s not clear if this effect works for everyone, but a little classical music probably won’t hurt.

2. Meditate.

Stuck in a mental rut? When panic strikes, try meditating: It promotes divergent thinking, a state of mind in which we’re able to generate new ideas.

3. Get someone else’s opinion.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A friend might mention something that sparks a whole new stream of thought. The more ideas and perspectives, the better.

4. Think about something far away.

Research suggests our ability to solve problems improves when we think about events far off in the past or future or in another location. So picture New Year’s Eve 2022 or dining at a café in Paris and let your imagination go.

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