Investigating the Health, Economic, and Social impact of the ARTs

In the HEartS project we explored the impact of the arts and culture on health and wellbeing, from individual, social, and economic perspectives. In addition to the analysis of secondary data from cohort studies such as the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, this project involved the gathering of new data. We looked at:

  • The effect of arts and cultural pursuits on health and wellbeing
  • How the arts support health
  • The financial value of engaging with the arts in relation to health
  • How and why these effects might vary among different people

The project was delivered in partnership with the Centre for Performance Science, and a wide range of public health partners and arts partners.

Findings and publications can be found here.

Selected publications

Tymoszuk U, Perkins R, Fancourt D, & Williamon A (2020), Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between receptive arts engagement and loneliness among older adults, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology55, 891-900 [DOI].

Tymoszuk U, Perkins R, Spiro N, Williamon A, & Fancourt D (2020), Longitudinal associations between short-term, repeated, and sustained arts engagement and well-being outcomes in older adults, Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 75, 1609-1619 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Garnett C, Spiro N, West R, & Müllensiefen D (2019), How do artistic creative activities regulate our emotions? Validation of the Emotion Regulation Strategies for Artistic Creative Activities Scale (ERS-ACA), PLOS One14 (e0211362), 1-22 [DOI].

Mak HW & Fancourt D (2019), Arts engagement and self‐esteem in children: results from a propensity score matching analysis, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1449, 36-45 [DOI].

Mak HW & Fancourt D (2019), Reading for pleasure in childhood and adolescent healthy behaviours: longitudinal associations using the Millennium Cohort Study, Preventive Medicine130 (105889), 1-8 [DOI].

Mak HW & Fancourt D (2019), Longitudinal associations between ability in arts activities, behavioural difficulties and self-esteem: analyses from the 1970 British Cohort Study, Scientific Reports9 (14236), 1-7 [DOI].


Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Programme area

Epidemiology, clinical trials and implementation science



Principal Investigators

Professor Aaron Williamon, Royal College of Music/Imperial College
Dr Daisy Fancourt, UCL


Dr Marisa Miraldo, Imperial College
Robert Perneczky, Imperial College
Rosie Perkins, Royal College of Music
Neta Spiro, Royal College of Music
Ula Tymoszuk, Royal College of Music