by | Mar 1, 2024

Crochet for Relaxation and Well-being

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding moments of peace and tranquility can seem like a distant dream. However, nestled in the gentle rhythm of yarn and hook lies a timeless practice that not only produces beautiful creations but also fosters relaxation and enhances mental well-being. Welcome to the world of crochet – a therapeutic journey for the mind and soul.

More Than Just a Hobby

Crochet, the art of creating fabric using a hook and yarn, has been cherished for generations as a beloved pastime. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, research indicates that engaging in crochet can have profound effects on mental health and overall well-being.

The study conducted by Barry University in 2011 highlighted the positive impacts of crochet on mental health, specifically in managing depression, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, it explored how crochet can be utilized as a coping mechanism during significant life transitions such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or serious illness.

 The Relaxation Response

One of the most significant benefits of crochet is its ability to induce the relaxation response. Similar to meditation, this physiological state is characterized by decreased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and reduced levels of stress hormones. The repetitive movements of crocheting, combined with its focused attention requirement, gently guide practitioners into a state of calmness and tranquility.

“I leant how to crochet because I have a child with an chronic medical condition. I spend so much time in hospital, at appointments and in emergency situations. It’s so calming to be productive when you are so useless otherwise. It helps me to not resent the time we spend dealing with illness if I can combine it with a hobby.” Respondent 2596 (Theme: Health)

Stress Reduction and Anxiety Management

In today’s fast-paced world, stress and anxiety have become everyday challenges for many. Fortunately, crochet offers a simple yet effective solution. Studies have shown that regularly engaging in activities like crochet can significantly reduce stress levels and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. The meditative nature of crochet allows individuals to escape the pressures of daily life, providing a soothing balm for the mind.

When questioned about their crochet habits, participants mentioned various locations: primarily at home (95.8%), followed by while waiting for appointments (50.8%), at the residences of family and friends (46.1%), in vehicles (41.1%), and on public transportation (25%). The versatility of crochet and its ability to start social conversations are highlighted by the following quotes.

“[…} the number of conversations that have been started by a stranger about the crochet project I’m working on in public never ceases to amaze me!” Respondent 1379 (Theme: Connection)

“While you are crocheting, in public like on the train, people like to talk to you, and it is really nice , much better than looking at the phone.” Respondent 1607 (Theme: Connection)

“It’s incredible how many people will come and ask you what you’re making, comment on the WIP [work in progress] and the colour/design. It’s great!! Who knew! Not me before trying.” Respondent 2860 (Theme: Conne

Enhancing Cognitive Function

Beyond its immediate calming effects, crochet also offers long-term benefits for cognitive function. Research suggests that activities like crochet stimulate the brain, promoting neuroplasticity and enhancing cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, concentration, and memory retention. By challenging the mind in a gentle and enjoyable manner, crochet serves as an excellent form of mental exercise.

Crocheters vs. Non-Crocheters

Numerous studies have investigated the correlation between engaging in creative activities like crochet and mental well-being. According to recent research, individuals who regularly practice crochet exhibit lower levels of stress, reduced symptoms of depression, and an overall higher sense of well-being compared to those who do not crochet. These findings highlight the therapeutic potential of crochet in promoting mental health and resilience.

Embracing the Healing Power of Crochet

In a world where self-care is increasingly prioritised, crochet stands out as a valuable tool for nurturing brain wellness. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a curious beginner, the benefits of crochet are accessible to all. So, why not pick up a hook, select your favorite yarn, and embark on a journey of relaxation and self-discovery? Your mind and spirit will thank you for it.

Engaging in Crochet Groups

Only a minority of respondents (26.3%) participated in crochet groups (18). However, among these respondents, a notable proportion reported feeling less lonely through crochet (31.3%), and over one-third mentioned making new friends through this activity (39.2%). This implies that involvement in crochet can positively influence social connectedness, so supporting its integration into social prescribing programs. Social prescribing aims to assist individuals with diverse social, emotional, or practical needs, with many programs focusing on enhancing brain health and physical well-being. Potential beneficiaries of social prescribing schemes encompass individuals with mild or chronic brain health issues, those with complex needs, socially isolated individuals, and those with multiple long-term conditions who frequently utilise primary or secondary healthcare services.

An unexpected discovery was the sense of connection to both past and future generations, as highlighted by a couple of participants.

“[…] I come from a long line of women crocheters – great grandmother, Aboriginal grandmother, and mother…. and me! It unites us even though all of them have died. and I reflect back on items they made… I have a ball of blue silk yarn that was my great grandmothers… and occasionally I will chain a little of it to feel it run through my hand… I use her hand me down hook as well… I have a collection of hooks from them all. […]” Respondent 124 (Theme: Connection)

[…] It’s nice to do something my gran did (she taught me). Sort of like carrying on a tradition by making heirlooms for my kids, using a technique taught to me by their great grandmother. Nice feels :)” Respondent 1576 (Theme: Connection)


In conclusion, crochet is much more than just a creative hobby – it’s a powerful therapeutic practice with profound effects on brain health and well-being. From reducing stress and anxiety to enhancing cognitive function, the benefits of crochet are backed by research and embraced by countless individuals worldwide. So, let’s weave a tapestry of tranquility and embrace the healing power of crochet in our lives.