In his weekly column “How to Build a Life” featured in The Atlantic Magazine, social scientist Arthur Brooks explores themes of well being, purpose and meaning.

A recent essay titled, Art Should be a Habit, Not a Luxury, Brooks argues that experiences with art are essential to living a fully realized and meaningful life. Brooks begins his article by citing data from the advocacy group Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts to show as a society we have conflicting values and behaviors when it comes to art: two-thirds of U.S. adults say the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” and yet most of us don’t make time for art.

Brooks sums his message up beautifully by stating:

"Too often, we let the humdrum reality of life get in the way of the arts, which can feel frivolous by comparison. But this is a mistake. The arts are the opposite of a diversion from reality; they might just be the most realistic glimpse we ever get into the nature and meaning of life. And if you make time for consuming and producing art—the same way you make time for work and exercise and family commitments—you’ll find your life getting fuller and happier."

We promise this is not a paid ad for A-L-P, but it could be! The more that social scientists like Brooks validate this idea, the stronger our case is made.