Feeling stressed? Paint a picture, even a bad picture. Researchers at Drexel University are convinced that making art, pretty much any art, reduces the stress hormones in our bodies. Most of the time. A Drexel news release reports that the researchers studied 39 adults, ranging from 18 to 59 years old, who participated in 45 minutes of art-making. Cortisol levels were taken before and after the art-making period. The participants, half of whom had no real experience making art, were given markers and paper, modeling clay and collage materials. No, they were not given directions. Ready? The envelope please…. The researchers found that 75 percent of the participants’ cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art. At the same time, 25 percent of participants had higher cortisol levels after making art. Even good art.