Making a piece of art reduces stress for most people, according to a study at Drexel University in Philadelphia, published in Art Therapy. Skill level doesn't matter. Researchers gave a group of 39 adults paper, markers, modeling clay, and collage materials and let them create whatever they liked for 45 minutes. Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, dropped in three out of four people. Among the others, cortisol rose in some, but this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, according to researcher Girija Kaimal, EdD. "It could've been that the art-making resulted in a state of arousal and/or engagement," she says.