Mail Art is Good For Your Mental Health!

This month we’re launching a new Mail Art project that connects isolated Stockport residents to our volunteers and a variety of arts activities from the comfort of their own home. I am really excited about the idea of an art exchange through the post, you might be suprised to know that Mail Art is good for your mental health!

I love receiving letters and post that isn’t bills, banking notices or Amazon orders.. When I was younger I spent 6 months volunteering overseas with limited access to the internet. I loved receiving mail – there was something really special for me about the fact that the sender had held the post in their hands – had decorated the page in their own way and then sent it all the way over to me, where I was holding it in my hands, taking it all in. I felt much more connected to the sender than through an email or a text message, so I wanted to try to explain why receiving personal mail through the post can boost our wellbeing.

What is it that means Mail Art is Good For Your Mental Health?

  1.     It gives us something tangible; that we can hold in our hands, feel on our skin, as well as take in with our eyes, all create a stronger connection, improve mental function and are linked to the 5 ways to wellbeing!
  2.     We take time to open the envelope or the parcel, pausing for a minute in between our busy day to day life to stop, pause and open the mail – and this is always much more exciting when it’s not bills!
  3.     It’s a wonderful surprise – it is rarer and rarer to receive personal mail nowadays so the surprise can bring a smile to our faces.
  4.     It’s a traditional, tried and tested method of communication, that while might be slower than our modern technology, it is a more established way of staying in touch, so can feel more special. 
  5.   We get to send something back!! The joy of receiving a letter or piece of artwork in the post gets all the more exciting when we start to think about giving something back – knowing that the post we send will spark joy in somebody else’s day!
  6. And just connecting with other people and art in general are proven to improve wellbeing, I think we could all do with a little wellness boost right now!

Culture Buddies is open to older, isolated adults in Stockport who due to the closure of services, lack of digital access or health concerns are not benefitting from other services at this time. If you know somebody who would benefit from being part of the Culture Buddies programme, click here for more information. 

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Hebe Reilly
Project Manager, Arc Culture Champions