One of histories greatest leaders, Winston Churchill, seemed to believe very strongly that painting was good for the mental process and an effective way to relieve the overworked brain of stress.
“I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely
absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the
future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for
them in the mental screen.”
Hi book, 'Painting as a Pastime' is still available. http://www.amazon.com/Painting-Pastime-Sir-Winston-Churchill/dp/1906509336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420820569&sr=8-1&keywords=painting+as+pastime