Sew Your Blues Away! – How Sewing Fights Depression

sewing fights depressionThe World Health Organization estimates that there are 350 million people worldwide who suffer from depression. It is also found out that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to men. The thing is –anyone can get depression and that includes you and me.

Sew Your Blues Away


Indeed, people around the globe can get depressed regardless of their socioeconomic standing or age. This is not exactly a very encouraging piece of news but it is also a fact that we can combat depression and one of the ways in doing so is to take up a craft like sewing.  You can literally Sew Your Blues Away!

Many studies indicate that sewing is good for both our mental and physical wellbeing.  Just to reiterate, aside from the obvious benefits of sewing like having an up to date and well-fitting wardrobe or getting rid of missing buttons, it is also good for your health!

sewing fights depression

When we focus all our physical and mental facilities on a sewing project, we stop worrying about our everyday problems like paying utilities, issues at the office or family conflicts. And although these problems do not necessarily go away, we do not let them bring us down and we allow ourselves time to rebuild.  And in the end, we have a new dress in the closet too;)

Crafts like sewing allow us to relax from the pressures of daily life. Simply speaking, it makes us feel good. It is also a very useful craft to pass on to our kids. Nowadays, there are so many low-quality clothes available in the stores. And most young people just buy them and wear them a few times then forget about them. The day may even come when “disposable” clothes will come in fashion. Think of the strain that will give our environment.  You can be sure that if people learn to sew their own clothes, they also look at clothes in a completely different way. They will start to notice the work that goes into it and the quality of the fabric, notions, and style that comes with the dress.

Sewing Helps the Brain

Studies show that sewing helps develop a hand to eye coordination that is good for the brain. It also keeps ours fingers agile and nimble. In addition, it is always good for our self-esteem when we mend our daughter’s clothes and watch her wear it again and again. If you have never done this, try it, it sure feels great and that is good for the heart too.

sewing fights depressionIn short, mentally engaging movement helps to break the cycle of negative thoughts, as well as allowing the brain to recover and improve by generating newer, healthier brain cells.  Specialists state that an engaging hobby is often more effective than just taking an antidepressant, which typically targets only one neurotransmitter.  While sewing not only heals, it also improves the brain's resistance to future bouts of depression by reminding our brains that we have an impact on the world around us.  Neuroscientist Kelly Lambert, author of Lifting Depression supports this conclusion when he said: “Hands-on work satisfies our primal craving to create solid objects and it could also be an antidote to our cultural malaise(unhappiness).”

Sewing is fulfilling because we can see the end result. It could be the curtain that is now hanging in your window or the dress that your daughter will be wearing on her graduation day. It is also great for your social life.  If you enroll in a sewing course, you will meet new friends.

And with sewing becoming popular again, you can also join any of the hundreds or thousands of sewing circles on the internet. In some places, you can find sewing circles meeting regularly to collectively do a project, host a get-together or simply compare notes.  Here at So Sew Easy, we have a large and active online chat group and sewing circle with some 19,000 members.  I'd like to think that this helps all our members with a healthy sense of community.  I know it certainly helps me.  If you'd like to join, pop over to:

So if you feel like the strains of everyday life is getting to you, just take out your sewing machine and fabric and start to sew your blues away!

If you need some place to start, here's a handy list of easy sewing projects for beginners.

easy sewing projects

Easy Sewing Project HERE

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25 Responses to Sew Your Blues Away! – How Sewing Fights Depression

  1. E.Soto says:

    Hola All of you , I really interesting learning how to do sewing , And I m Deaf myself . Yes I have been lonely and depress for long time until fews month ago , got new sewing machine I start learn how to use sew, I learn a lot . This sew really give me spirit and mind peaceful , sew is my new hobby now …Hope understand this comment with my poor english language

  2. Judia says:

    Great article!! I was a psychological major in college and have always loved sewing – the creativity, the sense of accomplishment, the quiet time, and the final product. I have an additional theory about why sewing chases the blues away, and that is because our eyes are focusing on COLOR in the fabric! We all have our personal.favorites. I know I can spot a bolt of cloth in the fabric store (or even looking online) from 40 yards if it has my favorite colors in the pattern … just looking at our happy colors” changes our brain chemistry. I also totally agree than being involved with a sewing group and enjoying communicating with people with like interest has its own rewards. We have a small group at our church that gets together and makes chemo hats for cancer patients, some are distributed to local homeless shelters, victims of domestic violence, and even some are given to the police to carry in their squad cars to be given away when they see a need. It is amazing how being committed to making one that a month for someone less fortunate puts our personal blahs in perspective and makes us feel great!

  3. Fantastic article. Sewing helps me a lot with my depression and anxiety and it’s great to see in writing how beneficial it is to our health. Hope you don’t mind but I will be sharing the article on my blog (

  4. Nicola says:

    Great article and it’s how I got into sewing initially. Hope you don’t mind but I’ve shared it on my blog

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Nicola, thanks for checking. Yes, we’re very happy for you to link to this article from your site. I think it is useful and important info so hopefully as many people as possible will be able to read it. Glad sewing has helped you too. It definitely helps me. Kind regards, Mayra

  5. Bijoux Ward says:

    This article is great. Thank you for reminding us how sewing and other hobbies are good for mental & physical health.

    I live (exist) in a stressful relationship and try to cope by doing things I enjoy doing. It takes effort for me to start doing them, but once I do start, I realize how much better I feel and less stressed I am, at least while I am doing something. I feel I have accomplished something as well.

    I try to stay positive though it is hard. I don’t know many people where I live and have not joined any groups. Few things are nearby and affordable which is another matter.

    Thank you again, this article has now given me more hope to enjoy life.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Bijoux, believe it or not I have been exactly where you are, what I did is I opened my home to others to join me and I found a few good friends. If you live in a small town I can assure you are not the only one feeling the same way. Reach out to people and they will come specially when you have something in common and as wonderful as the world of sewing. Let me know how you do. Kind Regards,

  6. Suzie says:

    I’m almost 65 and I’ve been sewing off and on for 45+ years (learned in Home Ec), sew almost everyday. I would use the excuse that it keeps my brain young, who knew I was right! Yay sewing!!

  7. Judy says:

    The universe works in mysterious ways. I just had surgery and decided I needed something to keep my mind off the discomfort of recovery. So, I pulled out a quilt I was working on and got to sewing. It was just what the doctor ordered. I opened up my Pinterest to look up a binding pin and this article was the first thing on my feed. How crazy is that!?!

  8. Shelly says:

    I figured this out a couple of months ago. I didn’t feel like doing anything, and I wasn’t sleeping. This went on for about 3 weeks until it was time for my sewing circle to meet again. I almost called and cancelled, but I forced myself to go. It was all I could do to muster up the energy to get everything together and into the car, drive over there, and unload everything; but I did it. It was the best decision I made. I sewed for three hours, loaded everything up to go home, and sewed for several more hours. I had the best night’s rest that night that I had in almost a month. I now make it a point to sew at least three or four times a week.

  9. Dianna says:

    Wonderful article. I have a chronic illness that gets me down. Through pulmonary rehab, I seem to be breaking through and pulled out my old friend to sew again. Makes me feel a certain satisfaction to create something wearable.

  10. Vivian Backes says:

    I love this aritcle. I never realized it but that must be why I sew. “I have to be in the mood to sew”, that is what I would say. Now this article explains everything. Sewing creates something new and beautiful and in the process it clears my head. Sewing gives my mind the rest it needs from daily stress at work or family issues. Im 61 years old (wow that seems harsh to see that on paper, 61) and I was taught to sew by my mother at age 8. I have sew all my life and have never thought about why I sew. Now this just makes me love sewing even more, its for my mental health. BRAVO ON THIS ARTICLE….

    oh PS I found this site by looking for a easy sew shrug. I made one last night from your instructions and I love it. I will send a picture when I wear it with my Kentucky Derby outfit with my handmade hat included. I also hula hoop and these shrugs are going to come in handy with my hoop outfits….. so excited about this new find.

    Im going to love receiving your Newsletter…
    thanks, Vivian

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      You are welcome Vivian, welcome to SSE!

    • Rebecca Dockum says:

      Vivian, you rocked my morning! Picturing you in your Derby hat and also hula hooping is inspiring!

      • Vivian Backes says:

        Hi Rebecca, I am so proud if I inspired you… Pick up a hula hoop today, find a hoop tribe in your area…. its wonderful. You must be a seamtress so you can make hula hooping outfits, there is a need out there for we handy sewing people.

  11. Charlene says:

    I really appreciate this article and can identify with it. I believe every bit of it speaks truth. I live in South Dakota where it is winter nine months out of the year; well, it seems like it anyway. I have seasonal affective disorder, where the lack of sunlight causes depression, and August through March can be really tough for me. Sewing has helped me by always having a project to do. When I don’t feel like doing anything else, that sewing project I’m in the middle of calls me to come and work on it. Like the article says, when I’m sewing, I forget a lot of my other “troubles” and feel happy with the creation that is emerging right before my eyes. Thank you, SewSoEasy, for putting this out there!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Charlene, thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed the article. Hopefully spring is now well on the way there for you now there in South Dakota!

  12. Pam W says:

    I definitely sew to manage my blues and my stressors. When I felt down and have trouble sleeping I like to see – the fabric feels good to my hands, keeps me from eating (yay), and makes me feel better when I make something – showing me completion when I can’t solve some other things and lifting my sense of accomplishment. And by funny happenstance, the author of the book that was recommended was one of my college professors! 🙂

    • Avis says:

      Pam W. – thanks for the reminder that focusing on a sewing helps one avoid eating! Food is my go-to stress/depression reliever. I’m printing out your post and putting it on the fridge!

  13. Susan Johnson says:

    I agree with all the above and also say sewing is my therapy. I recommend a crafting hobby of some sort (with others)at times is beneficial to our mental health, Creating something beautiful out of a pile of stuff is to me very pleasurable and rewarding. Im sure those group quilting bees were indeed a support group for the pioneer woman of long ago.I know my meetings with like-minded women, talking, sharing laughing, and learning is a blessing for me.

  14. Natalie says:

    I couldn’t agree with this more! I have suffered from bouts of depression for years and have always felt sewing is my release. My husband even agrees that sewing is my therapy and will often encourage me to forget about everything else and go sew. (And has even come home with fabric to encourage me!). I truly believe sewing brings peace to the mind, body, and spirit!

  15. Rebecca Dockum says:

    This makes me ponder about the women who made quilts during the depression. Was this a form of therapy? What about the sewing bees? Did this also provide some sort of support group? It seems society’s lean to individualism has lost the art of healing emotional well being in sewing and group crafting. I have always said sewing is my therapy!

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