So Sadness Enhances Creativity?

So Sadness Enhances Creativity?

I was listening to a radio interview on the topic of creativity and one   statement stuck in my brain.  Four days later and I’m still thinking about the theory that sad people are the most creative people.  At first I thought of tortured artists like Van Gough and Pollack but weren’t they dealing with more than mere sadness?  OK, perhaps I am getting too analytical.

When I was sad, I didn’t feel the creative spirit pouring out of me.  I was tired and cried all the time.  My most creative venture was getting dressed—if there was anything clean to wear! If I was really creative I could a make dinner out of supplies in the pantry.

Why would sadness unleash creativity?  My theory is that the INNER CRITIC voice may be dampened to the degree that creativity sees an opening and feels safe to explore. 

Blessings did arise from my sadness.  Through cognitive behavior therapy, I learned how to work with my emotions and completely embrace myself.  I am a work in progress, don’t get me wrong, but I start each day grounded in gratitude and seeking happiness.

My Girlfriend Voice (MGV) came to light during my sadness.  I noticed I had this soothing, compassionate voice in my head.  For example, if I was contemplating how to handle a snarky comment from my former boss my MGV would say, “You can go down to their level or just let it go.  You’ll make the right choice”.    The choice was mine.  I love having choices!

Had I listened to my inner critic that day, it probably would have said, “Here we go again.  Why do you put up with this crap? Why don’t you have a new job?  Are you too lazy to look for one?  You should……  Why don’t you…. OMG!  Loser.”

I came to realize that the words the inner critic was delivering to my head were so harsh, things I would never dare utter out loud to another person.  Why would I talk to myself in such an abusive way? My inner-dialogue, lacking any sort of compassion or trust, shredded my self-confidence and squashed my objectivity.  It was a form of self-mutilation because words are weapons.

The more I listen to MGV, the less I hear from my inner critic!!separating from the inner critic

It would be unrealistic to think I could completely eliminate my inner critic.  Perhaps there is something important buried in those harsh words?  Again, it is my choice to take what I want and leave the rest behind. I’ve tried giving my inner critic an appointment time– like the DMV.  I tell her I’ll listen with undivided attention as long as what she says is helpful, kind or beneficial.  I’m not into whining or belittling but rather finding a solution.  Funny, she hasn’t come to call nearly as often.  ♥

From the heart,



Color artwork from Simon on the Sofa and the Cartoon from Voice Dialogue International

Categories:  Inner dialogue, Inner critic, Self-esteem, Strategies

Tags:  Self-support system, #MyGirlfriendVoice, Building your inner wisdom, Your inner critic, Words are weapons too

First published on 3/27/12

2 thoughts on “So Sadness Enhances Creativity?

  1. I think sadness just makes you realize you have an emotional side that needs exploration, it reminds you to stay in touch with yourself and helps you live from the inside when you need to, it tells you when you need to nurture yourself and grow outwards, tortured souls can make the most beautiful things, because they’ve been through the ugly. Creativity occurs when we take our pain and use it as fuel, as reason, to both do and be more than what we are handed, I’m glad to have read this post, it reminded me of all the above, plus it made me crack a smile and think “yeah I can do this”, thanks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s