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Many people who live with a chronic illness find that there are few genuine distractions from the pain and inconvenience that come with being sick. This might be why so many patients turn to art as a way to escape (or even explore) their health experiences. Art has the power to influence thought and action, to transform lives and help people heal. In fact, according to a 2009 study by Arts & Health Alliance, more than 40 percent of health care facilities had arts programs, including musical performance, healing gardens, and art classes.

Because art can be so influential in our lives, we thought it might be fun to share some of our favorite artists from the Instagram community. From lymphoma to bipolar and photography to pen and ink, the following is a list of artists who create, even in the face of adverse health conditions.


Melissa Spitz

  • Condition: Bipolar (Caregiver)
  • Medium: Photography
  • Follow On: Instagram

View this post on Instagram

The Last Time I saw Mom, November 2016 I see my mom about twice a year, my dad even less. These holidays designed for you and YOUR family to go do something FUN, cut at me. I have so much fear of turning into her. If anyone ever tells me I look like my mom, I get angry. I worry about my genetics often, what would happen if I reproduce… Will I turn into her? I am hyper critical of all my emotions, worried I too am mentally ill. This picture was the first time I saw it, my genetic predisposition. And that yes, although I will not admit it, I do look like my mom. #YouHaveNothingToWorryAbout #MothersDay2017 #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealth #mom #genetics #mothersdaughters Mother's Day, 2017 It’s impossible to describe my relationship with my mom in three photographs, or one grid…but this account is becoming a community, place, a family, for me. What I started because I felt impossibly alone has connected me to more people than I ever could have imagined. I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank all of you, mothers, daughters and children for sharing your stories and supporting this account and this work. I hope regardless of your situation you have love and respect in your life. You have nothing to worry about. XO – Melissa

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on


Amber Eastland aka “DoTheArt”

“I share my story because I don’t want people like me to feel alone or unable to find the beauty in life. I also hope to share what I have learned from having all these health issues so that maybe, hopefully, just one person has an idea of what to ask for from their doctor – or possibly know what to avoid.”




Chloe aka “Bedmonk”

  • Condition: Kidney Disease
  • Medium: Pen & Ink
  • Follow On: Instagram


Antima Nahar

  • Condition: Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Medium: Illustrator & Graphic Designer
  • Follow On: Instagram


Meg Fisher


Savannah Hudson

“I’ve had a love for painting and drawing since I was a young child, but I have found that I can express the subtleties of living with Lupus much more effectively through visual means than I can with words. I was struck by the change of mindset that comes with being diagnosed with a chronic illness, and how I became much more sympathetic to the adversity faced by others. I wanted to share this feeling of empathy with others.”

  • Condition: Lupus
  • Medium: Painting
  • Follow On: Instagram


Emma van Leest


Matthew Paul Mewhorter aka “Cancer Owl”

Want to support these amazing artists? Follow their pages! Sure, they could use nitreo or something similar to grow their pages (learn more here) but I’m sure it would mean the world to them if lots of you went and followed them. Shares and other forms of engagement would also be appreciated, I’m sure!

Lastly, don’t forget to follow Health Stories Project on Instagram!

We also appreciate everyone who follows and supports us. We share new faces and new stories each week.


Your story has the power to make a huge difference in other peoples’ lives. If you’d like to help others by sharing sign up to join Health Stories Project.