“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life," so Pablo Picasso once famously proclaimed. Though we expect the pompous Cubist was being his usual haughty self when he uttered the well known quote, his belief in art's transcendent qualities might not be too far from the scientific mark.
New cognitive research out of Germany suggests that "the production of visual art improves effective interaction” between parts of the brain. The study, conducted on a small population of newly retired individuals (28 people between the ages of 62 and 70), concludes that making art could delay or even negate age-related decline of certain brain functions.
Essentially, if art isn't washing away the dust accumulating on your soul, it might be cleaning up your braininstead.