Get Creative to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

March 12, 2021 | Carrie

Comments (1)

Creative expression is what connects the heart to the body. Several studies have shown that embracing your creativity – through visual arts, music, writing, designing, or another way – can help relax the body and release dopamine. Dopamine is a natural anti-depressant.

Girl using laptop in the park
"Girl Using Laptop in park" by CollegeDegrees360. Used on a CC license.


Staying in tune with our creative selves can help individuals thrive and maintain sanity during challenging times.

Here are a variety of resources that embody the spirit of Toronto Public Library’s Digital Innovation Hubs. Check them out, as they can help you unlock your creativity in both traditional and technologically savvy ways.


Digital Innovation Hubs: Live and Online Programs

Did you know that the Digital Innovation Hubs offers many live online classes that can help your unlock your creative potential? Past classes have included an introduction to Canva (graphic design platform) and photo editing with Raw Therapee (an open-source program where users can edit their personal photographs).

These programs help teach customers how to design and edit images. Learn how to make changes to personal photos, creative attractive social media posts, or make homework assignments more fun!

Check out the upcoming Digital Innovation Hubs Programs and Classes to discover a new skill and embrace your creativity.

There's always something artistic available with an educational spin to it.


Creative Tutorials by Experts:

Lynda offers several video tutorials led by experts in their field. You can access these resources from the comfort of your own home. Some of the courses include web design, photography, 3D Animation, fashion and graphic design. For example, did you know that Lynda offers tutorials on how to play a piano as well as how to write your very own songs? If you have a spare instrument lying around at home, we encourage you to check out these tutorials below. To follow the links below to these courses, you will be asked to sign in with your library card. Course descriptions are all from


Play Piano and Keyboards - Learning Path

If you've ever wanted to pick up the piano or keyboard as an instrument, this is the path for you! You begin with the basics of keyboard-based instruments and then expand your knowledge with courses in jazz improvisation and songwriting techniques.

Write a Song - Learning Path

Have you ever had a musical idea, melody, or great lyrical phrase bouncing around your head—but don't know what to do next? This learning path can help you take a great concept and build it out into a song. Learn tips and tricks from the pros to help make songwriting a part of your life and career.


Creative Content on Hoopla

Did you know that with a Toronto Public Library card you can access Hoopla? Hoopla is an application where you can borrow digital video, music and comics  that can be streamed on your personal computer, smartphone or tablet. There are several of videos that can help walk you through your creativity in a step-by-step process. My personal favourite is the Bob Ross series.

For those who do not know, Bob Ross is an American painter that created a series of videos to help people learn painting techniques and colour theory. So if you have some spare paints and blank paper at home, we encourage you to give painting your feelings a try! Also, do not be shy to look up similar creative experts to see if we have them in our collection.


Music for the Soul

Classical Music with

Toronto Public Library offers, which offers videos of classical music concerts, operas and ballets, music documentaries, and master classes by leading musicians. It's a great resource to use for background music while working on a creative project, too. Who doesn’t enjoy listening to great classical masterpieces while they are creating a masterpiece of their own?

Naxos Music Library

Even if classical music is not your forte, Toronto Public Library also offers the Naxo Music Library which allows customers to listen to music of all different genres. Feel free to check them out. Music is a great catalyst to feel happy, inspired and motivated!



Books are also a great resource to learn and get creative. TPL has tons of books on of sewing, upcycling, cosplay making, prop building, jewelry making, repairing and crafting... just to name a few. Check out some of our book recommendations below and make something that you are proud of.

Epic Cosplay Costumes

Epic Cosplay Costumes : a Step-by-Step Guide to Making and Sewing Your Own Costume designs

The complete photo guide to jewelry making

The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making

Upcycle with Sizzix

Upcycle with Sizzix: Techniques and Ideas for Using Sizzix Die-Cutting and Embossing Machines 

Two balls or less

Two Balls or Less: Over 30 Simply Stylish Knitting and Crochet Projects


There are many ways to celebrate your creativity, whether it's traditional or unconventional. I know when you think of Digital Innovation Hubs, you think of big, fancy expensive tech. But truth be told, the building blocks of anything innovative and creative is imagination. We hope you can enjoy these resources and happily connect with your inner creative.

Although in-branch services are unavailable right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto Public Library's Digital Innovation Hubs and Fabrication Studio provide access to technology, software and classes to help support creativity and innovation. Please check the COVID-19 information page for updates.


This blog post was written by Michelle Vasconcelos, Digital Design Technician Intern.