Can We Benefit From Sadness?

As musician Alanis Morissette points out, “We’re taught to be ashamed of confusion, anger, fear and sadness, and to me they’re of equal value as happiness, excitement and inspiration.”

The image is the character 'Sadness' in the wonderful movie Inside Out, which portrays how we can make positive use of all our emotions.

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Does Stress Fuel or Hijack Creativity?

Depending on how we look at it, stress can both stimulate and disrupt creativity.

Many artists may use stressful situations and emotional turmoil in their creative work, but stress and emotions such as anxiety can interfere with creative thinking.

Musicians including John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and many others have created "break-up" songs.

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Fear and Creativity: Robert Maurer and Elizabeth Gilbert


How does fear affect our lives and creative work? Should we even try to "get over" the experience of fear?

Actor Natalie Portman once commented: “Fear is intrinsic to everything you do as a creative person."

Robert Maurer, PhD, a UCLA clinical psychologist, would probably agree.

He has interviewed many successful actors, writers and other creative people, and researched social and neuropsychological aspects of achievement and creative expression for many years.
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Adele and Amy Schumer and Self-esteem

"I’m amazing for you, not because of you."

Do you compare yourself to others, your life to other lives? That may be natural, even inevitable, since we live as social beings - but it can erode our self-esteem.

Comedian, writer and actor Amy Schumer has related an experience that lowered esteem and confidence; maybe you can relate or find it is familiar:

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