Posted in Uncategorized

Cross-stitch Therapy

Many articles and blog posts have been written about the importance of mindfulness and taking time out for your self and your mental well-being. Colouring books for adults has become very popular in recent years as well as the resurgence of journaling. In my teenage years, I went through a bout of depression after seeing the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. For an unknown reason at the time, I found writing and colouring books to be therapeutic. I even remember asking my mum to buy some more colouring books as I had already finished off the kids colouring books that we had around the house (from when my siblings and I were younger) and I needed something a bit more challenging. 

As I’ve gotten older and I’ve gotten back into cross-stitch, I’ve found cross stitch to be just as thereputic as colouring in and journaling. When I’m stitching on my own, I’m able to focus solely on the task at hand and have some music, tv or flosstube playing in the background. On the days when I’ve let life get to me and I’m stuck in my head (i.e. I’m unable to vocalise the mood I’m in or I know I’m in a bad mood and it’s best for me to not talk too much), I use cross-stitch as a way to focus my attention on something positive and methodical. Additionally, when my family and friends ask why I do cross-stitch, my regular reply is ‘it’s one of the few things I can do where I’m allowed to get angry and annoyed at myself and I can’t get fired for it!’

Subversive cross-stitch quote – Author of quote unknown

What I hadn’t expected or anticipated was the number of people who have written about cross stitch and embroidery being thereputic! I have known for some time that other forms of creative arts such as writing, painting, sculpting etc. have enormously positive affects for people who need a way to channel the energy they have and express their thoughts and feelings. Susan Luckman (Professor of cultural studies), Kate Dwyer and Robin Shreeves (freelance writer) are just three of the many people who have written about the positive affects of cross stitch and embroidery as ways for people to reduce their anxiety and stress levels. 

Which may be why subversive cross stitch like the above image, has become so popular and given cross stitch a new lease on life. As it has given people an alternative way to express themselves and communicate their thoughts and feelings that they may not have otherwise had words for. 

So how has cross-stitch and the creative arts helped you? Have you been able to help someone through cross-stitch? Alternatively, do you have a favourite saying or quote? Have you put it into stitches? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Related posts:


I am an avid cross stitcher. I was first introduced to cross stitch when I was primary school age. Paused for while during my teens and then took it up again in my early/mid 20's and I haven't looked back. To mitigate the amount of time I'm sitting down stitching, I'm a regular member of the gym and I'm a runner. To keep me motivated, I participate in short to medium length fun runs. Which at times feel torturous, but I feel really good at the end of them! With these activities in mind, this blog is about the combination of my experiences with running and cross stitch and encouraging people to think differently about cross stitch - it's not just Grandma's who do this anymore!