Art Galleries and Well Being: The De-stressing Power of Exhibitions for Millennials

A recent study has found that young adults use art galleries and museums as a means to de-stress. The survey undertaken by Art Fund discovered that those under thirty are twice as likely to visit a gallery or museum at least once a month exclusively to unwind. While those of all ages appreciate the de-stressing power of these settings, there is an undoubted link between millennials and the specific usage of galleries to lessen anxiety.

The ability of art galleries to calm young people can easily be explained. Millennials have a plethora of unique worries such as student debt, the pressures of social media and entering and succeeding in a difficult job market. Spaces like galleries and museums allow young people to take a moment outside of their stressful lives and away from technology to have time to themselves.

Over half the people surveyed stated that they visit galleries and museums regularly to consciously ‘get away’ from their daily routines. In a world where young people are increasingly forced to be switched on at all times, with technology especially making escape from job worries or other issues almost impossible, even a short trip to a cultural space can be a welcome and necessary change.

In light of this study, here is a list of a few of Leeds’ finest cultural institutions. Juggling social lives, deadlines and future plans can make student life pretty stressful too, so visiting one of these places is an excellent way to chill out.

Leeds Art Gallery: After recently being refurbished, Leeds Art Gallery has reopened and offers an excellent collection of artistic works from pre-Raphaelite paintings to modern sculptures. The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA

The Henry Moore Institute: This is connected to Leeds Art Gallery and is specifically dedicated to sculpture. 74 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH 

The Tetley: Previously a brewery, The Tetley now houses contemporary art, with temporary exhibitions and permanent displays. Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ

The Hepworth Wakefield: A very short train or bus journey from Leeds, the Hepworth in Wakefield presents international modern and contemporary art with extensive permanent exhibitions on the works of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Gallery Walk, Wakefield WF1 5AW

Hyde Park Picture House: While not a gallery or a museum, one of the oldest cinemas in the UK deserves a place on the list. Hyde Park Picture House is a wonderful place to relax and watch a film in an attractive setting. 73 Brudenell Road, Leeds, LS6 1JD

The Royal Armouries: If you’re less into art and more into guns and weapons, the Royal Armouries displays the National Collection of Arms and Armour. Armouries Dr, Leeds LS10 1LT

Lucy Keitley

Image Courtesy of Jose Alvarado/Ulrich Museum of Art