Leisure and health: Why is leisure therapeutic?

Linda L. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to examine the empirical evidence and describe theoretical perspectives that address under what conditions and why leisure can be therapeutic and contribute to health and well-being. This review of the literature provides empirical evidence that leisure can contribute to physical, social, emotional and cognitive health through prevention, coping (adjustment, remediation, diversion), and transcendence. After examining this empirical evidence, the article addresses why leisure is therapeutic and concludes by presenting two concepts useful to practitioners who desire to provide leisure guidance to help people avoid risk and maximise the therapeutic possibilities of leisure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-26
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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