Children get thrown into new activities all the time. Your parents may have put you into after-school clubs as a daycare alternative when they worked late, or they might have seen flyers and advertisements for fun interactions perfect for children.
But as an adult, there aren’t as many clubs for you to join, and you don’t have anyone looking for ways to keep you entertained anymore.
Adults, like children, need hobbies. Without them, our lives become mundane horror stories of “eat, sleep, work, repeat”. But how do you get into a new hobby as an adult, when most fun activities are aimed at children? Today, you find out.
Table of Contents
Finding Inspiration To Pick Your Hobby
Before you start looking at the activities around you, you need to figure out what inspires you. One person’s hobby is another person’s chore, so you shouldn’t lump yourself with your friends and family’s projects just because they find it fun.
So grab a piece of paper, and start making notes. We are going to figure out what interests you.
What Is That Thing You’ve Always Wanted To Do?
To some people, finding inspiration is easy. They have a list of things they have always wanted to do, or just one thing that often comes to mind.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to climb that local mountain, and whenever you’ve driven past it that urge takes over you.
Maybe, whenever you see a rock climber on TikTok, you briefly wonder where your local center is. Or perhaps, after watching an action movie, you wish you knew how to complete those daredevil moves.
If these thoughts sound familiar, then this is your wake-up call to start completing these activities. Set aside some time to climb that mountain, and then look for your next walk of interest. Actually, search for that local climbing center, and book a beginner’s session.
Whatever your daydream concept is, make it a reality.
Look At Your Childhood
If you don’t fantasize about adventure or learning something new, then this doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Instead, look into your past.
During your childhood, you would have been exposed to multiple activities, and at least one of them would have made you happy.
Did you spend a lot of time reading as a kid? Perhaps, you loved playing with your dog. Maybe you were always waiting for the next video game to come out. Reconnecting to your childhood interests can spark that same passion back into your life.
How Do You Like To Spend Your Time?
If all of our suggestions so far sound too overwhelming to dive through, then perhaps we should start smaller. How do you spend your time normally?
A lot of people get back from work and instantly start watching TV. If that sounds like you, and you’re bored of this interaction, then start looking at the types of TV shows you’re watching.
If you’re into detective shows, start going to escape rooms. These will continue to engage your deductive thinking skills.
If you watch action shows, maybe you should start learning a fighting sport – karate, boxing, jiu-jitsu. And if you enjoy reality shows or programs with social elements weaved together, then perhaps you should start writing.
Take A Class Or A Lesson
For many of us, the problem isn’t “what” but “how”. We might know what inspires us and what will make us happy, but we don’t know how to complete these goals.
Your local community center or college will likely have adult causes for you to attempt. If you already have a hobby in mind, but want to excel at it, then joining a class will also help you with this aim.
Say, you already enjoy cooking but want to push your skills to the next level, take up a class that focuses on the areas you want to improve.
However, if you have no idea what you want to do, and cannot think of a single activity that will definitely become a hobby, then lessons might be for you too.
Many activity centers will have adult classes for a multitude of activities. Sit in a random class and see if the lessons spark something within you.
Hobbies vs. Interests
Through our advice so far, we haven’t explained what a hobby actually is and how it might differ from a person’s interests. If these concepts confuse you, don’t worry. We will explain them in more detail and show you some examples.
Interests are the beginning of something. After watching a historical drama about the French Revolution, you may become interested in how history came to be and how the politics of a country was influenced.
An interest sparks intellectual curiosity. This curiosity doesn’t need to go anywhere, and it might fizzle out after a week or two, but from that spark, you may read more about the subject, watch more shows around the topic, or search for more details when you happen to attend a museum.
The interest might come back in waves, and you may find yourself drawn to the topic whenever it happens to show itself.
Hobbies are when you consistently become involved in something for enjoyment. Interests can turn into hobbies, for example after learning about the French Revolution, you may end up volunteering for a museum both learning and teaching others what you have found.
However, hobbies do not need to have an intellectual side. If you enjoy walking or sports, and try to take up the activity on occasion, you don’t need to include an intellectual aspect to your physical activity.
Because a hobby is completed often, people who participate in the activity often develop a skill within the topic. Those who practice in sports often will be better than those who dabble once in a while.
And those who volunteer at a museum would learn more about their special interest than those who don’t.
To break down the two ideas, even more, interests are often fleeting and normally surround an intellectual curiosity. Hobbies are completed somewhat regularly and lead to skills being developed.
Benefits Of Having A Hobby
You may think that having an interest is enough. That all you need is something to fill the gaps between work and sleep. However, hobbies can do more than “fill time”.
Because hobbies are relatively constant in our lives, they allow us to take a break from our duties (such as work and social expectations) and allow us to simply be. Meditation is when you still your mind and allow a sense of calm and peace to take over.
The ability to step away from your racing thoughts and instead reach calm that will lower your stress levels.
However, you don’t need to sit straight and do nothing to complete this serene moment. Anything which allows you to be physical and step away from the mental conflicts of your life will achieve the same resting feeling.
Knitting, hiking, cooking, reading, all of these hobbies allow you to step away from the world around you and become present or in the moment. In turn, this will lower your stress.
Happiness is a difficult feeling to measure. We all require different aspects of our lives to go well to feel happiness.
Generally speaking, we can narrow down these aspects into 4 needs – Feeling as though you’re progressing, allowing yourself to feel calm, socially interacting, and enjoyment without judgment.
Our hobbies allow all 4 of these ideas to come together. As we continue to work on our hobbies we naturally get better at them, allowing us to progress and excel.
However, even though we are learning and adapting, our hobby allows us to disconnect from the world around us, giving us an element of calm. Despite this disconnection, we can talk to other people interested in the same topics as us, creating a social connection.
And lastly, because there aren’t tests or real comparisons, we can enjoy this activity without the idea of failure or judgment lingering around us.
Some hobbies are completed as a solo activity, while others are collaborative. Easy examples of these are reading and participating in the theater. However just because some activities are designed as solo hobbies, that doesn’t mean you cannot make friends with them.
Book clubs, video game open lobbies, and walking groups are just a few ideas to make a solo activity a group event.
When you surround yourself with like-minded people you can share your love for the hobby in question, and bond over the shared experience you have with it.
Some people use their hobby as a vehicle to make friends. It’s the perfect way to narrow down your search for like-minded people, as you already have at least one topic of conversation prepared.
Improved Work Performance
Although your hobbies are probably disconnected from your work, the skills you learn from them can be used in this area of your life.
Playing online games that require clear communication to get the task completed, can easily be translated into open and clear communication for your work goals.
Learning to paint life drawings can help you understand and pick out fine details you would have otherwise ignored.
Practicing a new sport can help you understand how important each element of your team structure is, and use them all for their advantage.
Any skill that you develop can be used in your work life too, as developing your skills (no matter the reason) means developing your experience across all areas of your life.
Better Physical Health
If your hobby involves physical activity, then you are more likely to lower your blood pressure and BMI, than regular fitness techniques. This is because you will be more interested in your activity, and therefore will continue longer in your exercise than if you were simply at the gym.
Your hobby can distract your mind from the stretches and strains of the activity in your attempt to score the next goal, run to the next landmark, beat your competitors, or achieve your personal best.
When your goal is more interesting than simply “doing the exercise”, you are more likely to push yourself, which in turn will keep you engaged – allowing you to workout for longer.
When you learn new things, you are more likely to become tired at the end of your day. This is because your brain wants to retain this new information and to do that it needs to reach the Slow-Wave Sleep stage.
To reach this stage, your body needs to go into deep sleep, and it can take a couple of hours to reach this point in your sleep cycle.
As you sleep, your brain goes through the exciting and important elements of your day and stores that information occurring to need.
During REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), your brain then links these memories with other concepts or ideas allowing you to create new ideas or solve a tricky element of your hobby.
Because your brain is focused on this retention it will force your body into sleeping earlier and for longer. If you allow this sleep to occur naturally, you will end up fully rested with new concepts to help you overcome struggles or strive further in your hobby.
What’s Your Goal For Your New Hobby?
For some of us, finding a new interest isn’t hard, but maintaining is where the struggle lies. Participating in a hobby without a goal can turn the activity from a recurring de-stressor to mild interest.
Goals allow us to stay focused and stay interested in our tasks. If you have taken up knitting and completed your first blanket, it can be easy to lose interest in the hobby as you’ve “completed it”. Having completed your first goal, you may end up feeling lost and unsure of how to proceed.
In these instances, you need to create a new goal. Perhaps you should knit a blanket for all of your friends and family.
Maybe you should create a blanket where each line of wool represents the temperate that day. Or you could create a blanket that matches your second interest such as a TV show or book theme.
To help your hobbies stay interesting, give yourself challenges that allow you to push further into your interest. There is no time scale to complete these challenges, so make them as difficult or simple as you need them to be.
How Expensive Can Hobbies Be?
Hobbies can range in price. Some have one-off purchases, others have monthly costs. The range in price all depends on what your hobbies are. Although the prices can range, there is almost always a cheaper version of the cost.
Take reading as an example. You can buy books from a bookshop, but if your goal is to reach a target by the end of the month, then this can burn a hole in your wallet. Instead, you may prefer to buy your books from a charity shop or flea market.
Although these pages are second-hand, they will be dramatically cheaper allowing you to continue with your hobby.
If you are limited to a budget, consider one-time purchases which you can save up for, or second-hand/reduced options to lower the overall costs.
Popular Hobbies For Adults
If you are still confused about which hobby to pick up, go through this list to help you narrow down your options. Any one of these topics could spark your interest, so try them all if you have to!
Popular crafting-based hobbies include knitting, scrapbooking, painting, and soap making.
The most expensive crafting-based hobby in that list is soap making. Unless you plan to sell or share these bars, it will take you a long time to feel as though the $100 deposit into a soap-making machine has paid itself back in entertainment.
This is because the materials and tools needed are unlikely to exist in your home beforehand, and one afternoon of creation will make enough soap to last a couple of months.
However, if you plan on making these little crafts as a gift or perhaps want to set up a small business, then it will quickly turn into a fun, creative, and worthwhile purchase.
The cheapest hobby on that list is scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is when you collect all of the photos, receipts, and little details from an event.
Then you stick them down onto a plain book specially created for that event. It could follow your child’s school days, your family holiday, or any other event you want to immortalize. All you need is a blank notebook, some glue, and the scraps you’ve collected from the event.
Cooking And Baking
Your evening meal doesn’t have to be a dull mash-up of random ingredients left in your refrigerator. Instead, it can be the highlight of your day.
Making cooking your hobby allows you to eat healthily, create something that will be used, and show off to your family and friends without turning them into a hoarder.
So many hobbies which create things, force you into wasting storage space as you continue to create dust collectors. But with cooking, everything you create will be enjoyed and used up in one go.
It can also create a meditation-like state for you to reach a sense of calm in, as you take time to chop, stir and watch your food simmer.
If you’re unsure how to start your cooking journey, pick up a cooking book and start on the very first recipe. You might only cook from the book once a week, to match when you have time to partake in your hobby, but once one recipe has been completed turn the page and create the next.
This can easily be turned into a goal, as you try to reach the end of the book.
Writing is often a personal journey, as you note down feelings or expressions which are hard to explain. Some people prefer to journal, making notes during special days of their life to help them remember them later one.
Others like to write fictional stories, to cement the fantastical ideas they carry in their mind.
If you like the idea of writing, but become bored after a while due to a lack of feedback, a great way to stretch your creative muscles is to join a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
This role-playing game requires players to write backstories for their characters, and for the narrator (the Dungeon Master) to write whole worlds into existence.
If you and your friends meet up once a week to play the game, then you’ll receive feedback once a week as they interact with the story you have created.
If you want your hobby to be situated outdoors, then don’t think you are limited to sports. Although there are some great sports for you to consider, you can also complete adventure trails, go mushroom picking or help to maintain the local wildlife.
Adventure trails are walking trips that traverse through either breathtaking scenery or historical landmarks. You could create a country-wide trail that you hope to complete one day, taking in all of the sights or historical areas as part of your goal.
Or you could walk along your local woodland areas, and try to spot mushrooms. With this hobby, you get to learn about the varied and vast world of fungi, where to spot them in the wild, and how to cook unusual ingredients.
During any of your outdoor experiences, you may want to cycle from your home to your destination. This way you get to experience the joys of physical activity in nature while allowing your destination to be the main event.
A lot of us want our hobbies to involve physical attributes, as our working lives aren’t naturally active. Normally, this type of activity can be separated into three types – sports, classes, or solo activities.
In sports, you could take up swimming, badminton, or soccer. For classes, you may wish to participate in yoga or dancing. And as a solo activity, you may wish to develop your weight lifting skills.
Each of these will require a tutor or personal trainer to get you started, but they will help you maintain cardiovascular fitness as well as a physical hobby.
We have mentioned sports games and role-playing games already, but the world of games is so vast that we needed to create a whole subheading for it.
Generally speaking, there are 4 types of games. Board games, video games, sports games, and non-cardo games.
Board games have boomed in recent years, as more unusual, challenging, and entertaining games have been created. Games such as Catan, Pandemic, Carcassonne, and 7 Wonders create an intricate evening of fun for you and your friends.
Of course, video games create the same appeal. The difference is that you can play them solo or in a group. Either way, you can create goals to beat top scores, challenge yourself with subpar builds, or simply have fun in a magical world.
We have already talked about sports games, but non-cardo games need to have their time to shine too. Games such as billiards, darts, and bowls are social and simple allowing you to have fun and play competitively without too many complications.
However, just like any game, you can make them harder as your skills progress.
Some people love to play music, others like to listen to it. Learning an instrument is difficult, but the rewards you get from playing your favorite songs or creating your own music are incomparable.
And if you love a certain band, singer, or genre, following them or their scene can feel like being welcomed into a family.
If you love music but don’t know how to expand on this concept as a hobby, go to your local “open mic” bar and listen to the musicians who play there. Get to know them and start building a network of local music to listen out for.
We have talked about reading a lot in this article, but if you’re scrolling through and haven’t read every sentence, we will give you a re-cap.
Reading is a fantastic hobby to help you relax after a long day. To help you stick to this hobby, give yourself a challenge. Perhaps you should create a list of books you want to read by the end of the month or a collection of novels written by the same author.
Your hobby might include creating art, collecting art, or learning about artists and their creations.
If you want to create your own art, we suggest painting or photography. You can start your photography hobby by using your smartphone, and once you become talented enough and engaged enough to branch out, you can then buy some of the more expensive equipment.
When it comes to painting, you can either grab your tools and simply get started, or you could buy some beginner’s books to learn the basics.
Some people collect coins, others collect sneakers. If you’re interested in a particular item, you could collect that item and learn about the details and discrepancies which make them interesting.
Some people collect items knowing that they will grow in value if kept in pristine condition. Others collect them because they want to “catch ‘em all” and own every version of this item that they can.
The sense of accomplishment you can get from finding a rare collectible is empowering.
Some people love to hunt through yard sales and thrift stores for these items, knowing that others are unaware of their value. In the end, it feels like treasure hunting.
Pets & Animals
You may find yourself obsessed with your pets. You can use that obsession and turn it into a hobby. You could teach them unusual tricks, create an Instagram account to show off their beauty, or showcase them in dog shows.
If you don’t own your own pet, you could rescue or foster some instead. In your care, you could teach them how to be friendly, the basic tricks they need to get by, and allow them to feel loved once more.
This will help you feel a sense of purpose with your hobby. Helping those less fortunate at the same time as enjoying an experience with your furry friends.
If you like to work with your hands, then you could create a hobby of fixing or crafting things. Head to your local antique store or flea market and purchase an old and beat-up-looking piece of furniture.
Then fix up the item by changing the upholstery, replacing the rotten wood, or giving it a fresh coat of paint. After you’ve fixed it up, you could sell it on or keep the craftwork as a badge of honor.
We suggest buying old and cheap items first, to help you work on your craft as you learn. Once you’re feeling confident, you could buy wood and start building from scratch.
These types of hobbies allow you to see your growth in real-time. And once you reach a new level of skill, you could always go over your first attempt to bring them up to standard.
Having a hobby can help you gain a sense of purpose as you dive into an activity disconnected from your work and family life. And when you spend time doing these fun and engaging activities, you’ll encounter new friends along the way – people who enjoy the same things as you.
No matter what you pick, you’ll become less stressed, you’ll find sleeping easier, and your overall health will increase.
This is all because you’re allowing yourself to detach from the stresses of your life, and jump into a world with less judgment. You’ll reconnect with your own interests, and learn new things about yourself.
Finding a new hobby is easy. Simply consider what you enjoy doing, and find a way to make that into a goal-driven task. You may have to look into your childhood for inspiration or dip your toes into every activity you can find. But once you find it, you’ll never be bored again.