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Is creativity the key to happiness? See what crafts and hobbies could do for you

If you want to lift your spirits, try lifting up a paintbrush, knitting needles or a crochet hook first.
/ Source: TODAY

Feeling down? Then get ready to discover perfect pick-me-up.

Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of "Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness," paid a visit to TODAY to share one simple secret to happiness — and anyone can take advantage of it.

Lee has teamed up with digital lifestyle learning platform and streaming service Bluprint, an NBCUniversal company, to share their new research that links creative acts with joyful results.

"Creative hobbies actually bring us into the present moment, and scientists have found that when our attention is in the present moment, that is when we're happiest," she said.

So if you're focused on the perfect knit-purl pattern of a scarf you're making or the tiny details of a needle-felted figure, your mind is worried about the usual day-to-day concerns.

TODAY and Bluprint will be partnering across TV and digital through the rest of the year to highlight ways to bring more creativity into our lives with a collaboration called #CreateTODAY.

The research from Bluprint shows that there's no need to be a master of a craft — it's the act of creating that's important.

"I think what's interesting about this new study is that it shows 75 percent of people who have creative hobbies don't mind making mistakes in the process," Lee said. "I think that's what's really great about these hobbies, because we are not at work. We do not have to focus on rules and doing things exactly a certain way. We are free to improvise, to try new things."

And we're free to step away from our monitors and smartphones, too.

Bluprint creativity
Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of "Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness," explains the important link between creativity and happiness.Zach Pagano/TODAY

"I think that's actually a big part of it," she said, "that these hobbies really connect us to our senses — the textures of the yarn, the colors of the fabric and many different kinds of things speak to senses that we don't get access to when we're sitting in front of our screens."

If you're thinking this all sounds great, if only you had enough free time to sew, knit, paint, draw or play the ukulele, then think again. According to Lee, creative endeavors don't leave you feeling drained for time. In fact, they have the opposite effect.

"When we do things that bring us joy, our sense of time actually expands," Lee explained. "When we do these things, we feel like we have more time for the other things in our lives."

Get started creating on Bluprint today with a 7-Day Free Trial!