New research suggests that abstract art has qualities that can literally change our mindsets and prompt us to let the minutia of day-to-day life fall away. I found an article on this study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US) by Daphna Shohamy of Columbia University, discussed in the online site Inverse.
"This means that art has an effect on our general cognitive state, that goes beyond how much we enjoy it, to change the way we perceive events and make decisions.," Shohamy says. She says that abstract art shifts our cognitive state away from concrete details and towards abstract ideas. It forces us to explore within ourselves, which can be rewarding.
For more detail on how this study was done and an elaboration of the ideas, check out the Inverse article.