How writing for wellbeing could save our mental health

Hello, we’re WriteWell founders Christina and Susannah and we wanted to share with you our recently published report on mental health, creativity and self-care, particularly writing and how it can help with wellbeing. It’s based on the findings and insights we acquired during WriteWell’s development.


Interest in using expressive writing as a therapeutic tool has been growing since J.W. Pennebaker began his pioneering work in the field in the mid-1980s.

The rate of growth further increased in the 2010s, the decade when we, the Professional Writing Academy team, launched the UK’s first course in therapeutic and reflective writing. The popularity of that course inspired us subsequently to launch WriteWell, an organisation dedicated to writing for wellbeing, in the spring of 2021.

This report draws on academic, corporate and governmental reports; interviews with tutors and experts; Christina’s experience working in the National Health Service and in medical journalism; Susannah’s in wellbeing publishing; and on their shared experience of running PWA’s online learning community and our Therapeutic and Reflective Writing course.

Expressive or therapeutic writing – where one expresses feelings and/or deals with trauma through writing (often in the form of creative or life writing, journaling, bibliotherapy, curative writing or poetry therapy) – has been shown to have a powerful impact on health and wellbeing.

Writing in which one expresses feelings…has been shown to have a powerful impact on wellbeing.

The precise nature of those benefits is still being explored, but recent studies suggest they have a positive role to play in public health in the future.

This brief examination of how and why creativity in general – and writing in particular – impacts positively on wellbeing and mental health looks at:

  • Current wellbeing and mental health in the UK, and at the use of creativity and writing in improving wellbeing.
  • Historic perceptions of the relationship between writing, creativity and wellbeing, and of the nature of the writer in this context.
  • The modern use of expressive writing as therapy.
  • How and why writing can help wellbeing and aid recovery from trauma, and how WriteWell’s service works.
  • Current and potential future uses of writing as a form of therapy to enhance wellbeing.

It is hoped that as a whole, the report will enable readers to better understand WriteWell’s role in this exciting, emerging new use of one of humankind’s ancient activities.

If you have any questions for us, please get in touch any time at

With best wishes,

Christina and Susannah


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