Creativity and Gratitude

Creativity and Gratitude

Exercises and Inspiration for a Year of Art, Hope, and Healing

Amy Oestreicher


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Embrace your journey. Share your story. Unlock the power of creativity with an artistic prompt for every week of the year.

Sometimes life takes a detour. No matter how much we plan, we encounter bumps in the road that can be frustrating, confusing, and unpredictable. Whether it’s our health, stress at work or home, or current events, we all contend with challenging moments and the occasional curveball. When Amy Oestreicher faced her own detours—including twenty-seven surgeries over ten years and PTSD—she harnessed the power of art to make sense of her shifting roadmap and learned that even when we face the unexpected, we can create something more beautiful than ever imagined. In this hands-on activity book, flush with examples of Amy’s original artwork, encouraging tips, and fifty-two prompts—one for every week of the year—she gives you the tools you need to release your creative energy, and unleash the artist within.

Through sections on hope, gratitude, creativity, and storytelling, you will:

  • Embrace creativity as a mindset and learn to look at the world through a creative lens
  • Challenge old ways of thinking and redirect negativity into creative growth
  • Draw, sing, write, collage, paint, and dance your feelings
  • Hone the life-changing art of gratitude lists
  • Find magic in everyday objects
  • Encounter your surroundings with a renewed sense of wonder
  • Learn the four keys to resilience

Whether you are a seasoned artist or novice doodler, working to overcome tragedies or reshape the way you manage everyday stress, this workbook will inspire you to engage a creative mindset that allows you to embrace your journey, share your story, and harness the power of positivity.


Amy Oestreicher:

Amy Oestreicher is a multidisciplinary creator who overcame a decade of trauma to become a sought-after teaching artist, author, international keynote speaker, RAINN representative, PTSD specialist, and advocate for people with disabilities. She dedicates her work to celebrating untold stories and the detours in life that can spark connections and transform communities, and has given three TEDx Talks on transforming trauma through creativity, which have garnered tens of thousands of views, and shared her story on networks such as NBC (The Today Show), CBS, MSNBC, and ABC, and in more than seventy publications on the arts and community transformation. As a visual artist, Amy's multimedia creations have been showcased in galleries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Chicago, San Diego, and New York. As a playwright, she has received several awards and accolades, including Women Around Town’s “Women to Celebrate” 2014, BroadwayWorld’s “Best Theatre Debut,” Bistro Awards’s “New York Top Pick,” and the “Singular Award” at the Sarasolo Theatre Festival. Her one-woman autobiographical musical Gutless & Grateful has toured over two hundred venues since its debut in 2012. She is also an Audie award-nominated playwright and her plays have been used by a wealth of theater companies and performed across the country by students for immigration festivals, academic projects, and during Sexual Assault Prevention Month. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post,, Glamour, Seventeen magazine, and the Huffington Post, and her story has been covered in the Daily Mail, and her memoir, My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful, was published in 2019. Amy is also the founder of the campaign “LoveMyDetour,” which is used for seminars, workshops, curriculum, books, music, and performances, is part of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, and is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College. Her website is She lives in Westport, Connecticut.