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How Showering Can Kickstart Your Creativity

7 min read
  • Lifestyle

Design Your Dream Shower Request a free consultation or call (800) 704-9847

Ever experience a stroke of genius while in the shower? If yes, you’re not alone. Shower epiphanies are actually quite common.

During a consumer survey in 2014, cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman found that 72% of people have experienced new ideas in the shower. In fact, 14% took showers for the sole purpose of generating creative thoughts and insights.

So why do our best ideas come in the shower? Turns out science can help explain this phenomenon. Read on to learn how showering primes your brain for creativity and what you can do to tap into your creative side during your next rinse.

72% of people have experienced new ideas in the shower.

Showering Helps Us Relax

Woman dry brushing skin

Creativity and relaxation go hand in hand. Neuroscientist turned writer Jonah Lehrer believes that a steady rhythm of alpha waves produced when we’re relaxed is responsible for creative inspiration. These alpha waves ripple through our brain while we daydream, meditate or practice introspection. By turning our attention inward, we’re able to make insightful connections that can spark creative thoughts.

Taking a shower encourages the relaxed headspace needed to stimulate creativity. The warm water helps to loosen your muscles, while the time alone gives you a break from external stressors.

Showering Releases Dopamine

Man washing hair in shower

When we’re relaxed, the reward center in our brain is activated and we get a rush of dopamine. This neurotransmitter plays a starring role in a person’s level of creative drive according to Alice Flaherty, a leading neuroscientist who studies creativity. In other words, the more dopamine we release, the more our mind wanders. This can inspire divergent thinking, which helps you make new connections and generate novel ideas.

But relaxation and dopamine alone aren’t the only triggers for creativity since we do produce the chemical during hundreds of activities where we aren’t creative. The missing ingredient: a distracted mind.

Showering Provides a Distraction

man reaching for shampoo bottle

A distracted mind completes the creative trifecta. Harvard University researcher and psychologist Shelley H. Carson, author of Your Creative Brain, argues, “…a distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.’’ To put it another way, distractions are excellent for mining new ideas; focus is required for execution.

So next time you’re in the shower, embrace distractions and tune out the world to let your mind roam free. You may just boost your creative problem-solving process.

3 Tips to Harness Your Creativity in the Shower


Listen to relaxing music while showering.

Evidence suggests that tuning in to music can encourage your mind to wander and lead to creative inspiration. Next shower, play a classical playlist and tune out the world.


Add aromatherapy to your shower routine.

Cinnamon-vanilla smells and creativity seem to be linked. To enhance your shower experience, set the mood with aromatherapy and your favorite essential oils to get the creative juices flowing.


Keep a notebook in the shower.

Don’t let your great idea go down the drain. When creativity strikes, be prepared to jot down your thoughts on a waterproof notepad before you forget your moment of genius.

Get Creative with LuxStone

Next time you fall into a creative rut, hop in the shower. The magical combination for creativity—a relaxed state, dopamine high, and distracted mind—is all there.

To kickstart your creativity, create a relaxing, spa-inspired escape with a KOHLER® LuxStone® shower. Stylish shower walls, soothing showerhead experiences and thoughtful shower accessories make your new custom walk-in shower design the perfect retreat to form new insights.

Request A Free Design Consultation

or call to speak with a KOHLER Authorized Dealer (800) 704-9847