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Feeling Stressed? Museums and Wellness Go Together

People in an art museum
Museums can reduce your stress and anxiety.

Museums of all types and sizes provide opportunities to step away from the stress and anxiety in your life.

Pick your museum and create a plan before you visit a museum in order to leave with a sense of renewal.

Ignore what the museum wants you to do

Museums want you to learn, to be engaged, and to participate. You don't have to. Focus on your needs. Do you need quiet? Do you need to be distracted? Do you need to be enthralled?

Ask for help

When you arrive at the museum, ask about what you'd like to see. At very small museums it's harder to find options, but at a medium or larger museum, tell them that you'd like help finding a quiet gallery, or a beautiful painting, or a spectacular view.

"Ask the ticket seller what their favorite object or favorite gallery is. They may point out something you would otherwise have missed." – A frequent museum visitor
People in a museum gallery
People watching

People watch

When our lives feel overwhelming or very stressful, it can be calming to people watch. Sit in a gallery and look for calm, relaxed people. Or people wearing green. Or older couples. Or engaged teenagers. Or the silly poses people do for selfies!

Give yourself a goal

Plan to take five photos of art that makes you feel cheerful. Look for an object that relates to your hobby or interests. Talk to one museum staff person and ask about their job. Find a boring label and imagine re-writing it in an intriguing, engaging way.


Take a pencil and a notebook and doodle or sketch for a few minutes while you're at the museum. Sketching is known to improve our mental wellness, even if we're not good at it!

Detail of a ceiling
Museum ceiling

Look up, look down

Look for something that surprises you. A gorgeous tile floor. A painted ceiling. A hand-carved stair railing. The sun reflecting off a piece of silver.

May your next museum visit bring you a sense of calm and a bit of rejuvenation. How do museums help you de-stress?


Books About Museums, Travel, Culture, & Wellbeing 

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