Home » Wellness Wheel » Intellectual



Intellectual Wellness is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.

  • Learning because you want to – not because you are told to. Doing the work assigned.
    • Learning through varied experiences – reading, writing, sharing and exploration
    • Observing what is around you
    • Listening & Questioning
    • Finding applications for material learned in the classroom
    • Staying current with world affairs/news
    • Exposing yourself to new experiences (e.g. arts, theater)
    • Reading Books & Newspapers
    • Staying interested in community activities
    • Expand the knowledge of others


Intellectual Wellness on Pinterest


Campus Resources

Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery

Vanderbilt Music Library

Vanderbilt Vibe Dance Group

Vanderbilt Bhangradores

Vanderbilt Dance Program

Vanderbilt Off Broadway

Vanderbilt Original Cast

Vanderbilt Tongue N’ Cheek

Vanderbilt Meledores

Vanderbilt Dodecaphonics

Vanderbilt Swingin’ Dores

Active Citizenship and Service

Active Minds at Vanderbilt

Arts and Campus Events

Begin with Books

Crucial Conversations


Local Resources

Nashville Public libraries

Nashville’s Independent Bookstores

Used bookstores in Nashville

Book club Meetups in Nashville


Nashville Arts & Culture

Community events throughout the Middle Tennessee area including movies, theater, critics pick restaurants and more.


Local Museums


Activities & Exercises to improve & interact with intellectual wellness

Read for Fun
It may be hard to do when you are spending most of your time doing required homework and readings, but try to find time during the morning, night, or weekend to sit down and read something for fun. Reading, especially something you enjoy, can improve your intellect by stretching your mind to think about things you normally don’t think about!


Debate an issue with a friend, but choose the viewpoint opposite the one you hold.
Sounds tricky, right? That’s the point! Focusing attention on information that is different than your beliefs can improve intellectual wellness. Naturally, we tend to only focus our attention on opinions, beliefs, and facts that hold true to our viewpoints. When you expose the mind to opposing ideas, it expands the mind to grasp new information. Top 100 debate topics


Improve your skills for studying and learning.
Learning new things about the way your mind processes information can be a vital tool to helping you succeed.


Learn a foreign language.
Learning a foreign language can be beneficial to your intellectual health and your employment prospects.

When learning different ways to communicate, your mind expands. This not only helps with being receptive to new knowledge, but also helps broaden information already learned.


Play a game. (Board games or Online)
Board games and cards are popularly known as leisure activities. These activities can also help with your intellectual wellness. The next time you have free time, pick up a deck of cards or pull out a board game and play! It makes no difference whether you are playing alone or you are playing with others. As long as your mind is thinking, improvements are being made. Some online brain teasers can be found here: www.brainbashers.com/


Play a musical instrument.
Music has a powerful impact on our minds. Playing a musical instrument can increase intellectual wellness by learning how to create sounds, make patterns, and emote through music. Any instrument can work to increase intellectual wellness, so start today and take up a new hobby.


Write down your thoughts or journal frequently.
Taking the time to write down thoughts or journal frequently can help those who struggle with expressing their feelings or in general for anyone who is trying to make sense of what they are feeling inside. Being able to identify your feelings and understanding yourself more and your actions increase intellectual wellness by exposing your mind to deeper thinking.


Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles.
Crosswords and Sudoku are leisure activities that have proved to increase intellectual wellness. Working through puzzles or finding words in patterns uses a great amount of brain power. Increasing your ability to work through these activities can maintain and build your intellectual wellness.

SciArt in America magazine: “SciArt, or science-based art, is the avant-garde of the art world, with an increasing number of artists who hold doctorate degrees in the sciences, who are funded by the National Science Foundation, and who hold artistic residencies in scientific institutions such as CERN. It is through this online publication, featuring science-based art events, spaces, artists, and conversations that I want to bolster science-art in America.”~Julia Buntaine, Editor-in-Chief


Interesting Articles

  • Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education (Article)
  • The Most Diverse Cities Are Often The Most Segregated (Article)
  • You have $8 billion. You want to do as much good as possible. What do you do? (Article)
  • This Graphic Explains 20 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Decision-Making
  • Here’s the best way to guess correctly on a multiple choice test (Article)
  • That Didn’t Need To Take An Hour (Article)
  • Stress Reduction for Your Intellectual Well Being (Article)
  • Quick Tips for Intellectual Wellness (Article)
  • How to Refresh Your Brain in 10 Minutes (Article )
  • 10 Brain Teaser Apps for Iphones (Article )


The Wellness Center Team invites suggestions and community contributors to our Wellness Wheel pages-We are always looking to keep things fresh! If you have an article you’d like to see posted or would like to add your organization as a resource, please contact Jennifer Ray at jennifer.e.ray@vanderbilt.edu.