There is some indirect evidence that some adversity can make you stronger. Researchers such as Mark Seery, Alison Holman, and Roxanne Cohan Silver found that a certain level of exposure to adverse life events resulted in better mental health and well-being outcomes. 1 They found that a history of lifetime adversity, in contrast to low and high levels of adversity, was related to lower global distress, lower levels of functional impairment, less post-traumatic stress, and high levels of satisfaction. Yes, some levels of adversity can make us feel better.
Chronic stress, however, can have a negative influence on health, the immune system, cognitive performance, learning, memory, and brain development in general. 2 When the brain detects some sort of threat, it releases hormones that are used to cope with the threat and the body goes into a fight-or-flight response. Extended or chronic exposure to these hormones and the fight-or-flight arousal state can significantly impair health and cognitive functions and, by extension, the creative process. The bottom line is that a little adversity might be ok; but if the adversity leads to chronic stress, then it will damage the individual.