Last updated on June 4th, 2021
A thorough guide into interesting hobbies for adults and children; this guide will be split into indoor and outdoor activities.
Having a hobby can come with a plethora of benefits, such as meeting new people and finding a relaxing release from a busy schedule. Hobbies are reserved for activities that are separate from your work life so that you’re not consumed with business.
Overworking yourself is a cause of multiple physical and mental health issues, such as diabetes and depression. Not only are hobbies fun and entertaining, but they can also prevent you from developing serious health conditions.
Children are excellent at learning new hobbies, so what happens when we grow up and stop having time for new hobbies? Some think the time constraints are too much, and others might worry about the cost that a hobby might require.
However, we think that the benefits of hobbies outweigh these risks. Moreover, there are thousands of hobbies out there, all ranging vastly in different time commitments and monetary requirements. There are even plenty of free hobbies to take up!
Today we’ll be looking at the benefits of picking up a hobby, how you can choose the right hobby for you, as well as a list of popular hobbies – one of which might even catch your eye.
Why You Should Take Up A Hobby
Before we get into our list of hobbies, let’s discuss just a few of the benefits that come with picking up a hobby. By no means are these all of the benefits that come with hobbies, but we think that it’s enough to persuade you to get started.
A hobby can make you more interesting to others
Loneliness is not something to ignore – it can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. In adults, loneliness can lead to depression and alcoholism, as well as lower work performance and no self-esteem.
Even if you have peers around you that you can talk to, you might feel insecure about impressing them. Have you ever been asked the dreaded question: ‘what did you get up to on the weekend?’
Without a hobby, your answer of ‘sitting on the couch all day watching Netflix’ might leave you feeling embarrassed and lower your self-esteem.
But with a hobby, you’ll be able to converse with them all about it and maybe even teach them about it.
For example, if your hobby was painting your peers might ask you what you were painting and even to see an image. This is your time to brag and impress them! Hyping yourself up and having others do it around you can do wonders for your self-esteem.
Helps with stress and mental health
As we mentioned earlier, a hobby can prevent stress from taking over your life and consuming you.
It has been reported that one in three Americans are living with extreme stress, and 48 percent of Americans say that their stress has increased over the past five years.
These statistics are enough to prompt the American Psychological Association to warn the USA of stress being a major health problem. Stress can lead to depression and anxiety, along with a number of other mental health issues.
The World Health Organization now considers depression as a leading cause of disability. This can stop you from working and therefore make you even more depressed and isolated. Depression and anxiety cost the economy one trillion dollars every year due to lost productivity.
As you can see, stress is a gateway issue to many other worrisome factors. The good news is that hobbies can reduce stress and therefore help your mental health.
Being able to turn off from work and bring some fun into your life allows you to forget about overwhelming feelings from your job. Hobbies can provide you with an outlet for work stress. For example, the soothing and calming act of fishing can allow you to think about something other than work for a few hours of the week.
Hobbies can also be social! We’ve already mentioned the importance of having peers to socialize with to keep you happy and away from the dangers of chronic loneliness.
Social hobbies such as hiking, joining a sports team, or wine tasting can help you meet new people and enjoy the company of others who think similarly to you.
You might be having a hard time connecting with people in your life due to your opposing opinions or interests. Joining a social hobby can help you meet people with similar interests and even create lifelong friendships.
Confidence and Self-Esteem
A survey found that one in three Americans are scared of failure. With a hobby, you can alleviate this fear by excelling at something. For example, by your tenth darts session, you’ll be much more confident than when you began your first.
Seeing improvement can improve your self-esteem and confidence and allow you more to impress others. Take learning a new language for example.
This is a tricky hobby that could take months to do, but by the time you perfected the language, you’d have a really impressive talent to wow people with.
Only 20 percent of Americans are bilingual, so imagine how many peers you’d be able to impress with your new hobby. Not only this, but you’d be able to travel to and fluently converse in the countries that speak that language.
Being able to impress yourself and others can be a great way to improve your self-esteem and confidence, making yourself feel better about yourself and preventing poor self-esteem from leading to depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Sticking to what you know and improving yourself on something you already know can still be fun, but picking up a new hobby can challenge you and keep your brain more engaged.
For example, setting yourself a goal of becoming a black belt in karate is a great way to challenge yourself.
Earning your black belt is not going to happen overnight, so already karate is an excellent hobby that is going to keep you interested for a long time.
If you’ve never tried karate before, even the straight punches are going to challenge you, and the simple Kata is going to be difficult to learn.
Similarly, learning how to play chess can challenge you. The better you get, the more you can raise the stakes. For example, when you’re just starting out you can play by yourself. But once you get better you can begin competing in tournaments against other chess players to better your skill and even win prizes.
Challenging yourself can lead to a better self-esteem and confidence boost, and this can help towards mental health and positive thinking.
Another benefit of picking up a new hobby is that you can gain knowledge that you didn’t previously have.
Picking up new knowledge can make you feel happier and smarter than you did before, positively impacting your work performance and relationships.
Almost any new hobby will allow you to gain knowledge.
From birdwatching and learning about all of the different species to reading non-fiction books and learning everything that they have to offer you.
Gaining knowledge can help you in any aspect of your life, or perhaps you just like knowing more information that you can use in a weekly quiz you attend. Either way, gaining knowledge from a hobby beats mindlessly watching television any day.
Firstly we’ll be looking at the hobbies that you can complete indoors. Perhaps you’re not a very outdoorsy person or simply don’t find the fun in being cold outdoors for hours at a time. Indoor hobbies can leave you with just as many benefits and are often more crafty and better for gaining more knowledge.
If you love television and movies and don’t want to completely let go of this just yet, you can build your own home cinema with a projector screen.
In fact, what’s better at switching your brain off and taking you away for a few hours than watching a film?
A home cinema is much more impressive than simply watching a movie on your laptop or television, and you’ll feel like you’re really at the cinema. You can also invite friends and family around to enjoy the movies with you as well, so it can also be a social hobby.
However, watching a movie is not the only benefit that you can get from this hobby. A home cinema is a gateway hobby to plenty more, such as making gourmet popcorn recipes, homemade cinema snacks, and building the actual cinema yourself.
The possibilities are endless with this hobby and you have the opportunity to determine how much work you put into it. Creating a cinema room in your house can be a lengthy process to take up a lot of your time, but after it’s finished you’ll have a cinematic experience that you can enjoy over and over again.
Gaming is a great hobby that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. A great thing about gaming is that you can play online games and begin meeting new people over the internet. Many people have found great friends through online gaming.
There are plenty of benefits that come with gaming as a hobby. We know that gaming can sometimes be misunderstood as bad for you and a waste of time, particularly when it is getting in the way of other aspects of your life.
However, gaming can actually stimulate creativity and give you an outlet to express yourself.
They can also help you focus. Have you ever tried to beat a boss on an incredibly challenging level? There is no way that you’ll be focusing on anything other than that!
You can take this skill and transfer it over to your work life and have a better overall performance in your life. Similarly, this can also help to teach you problem-solving skills that you can transfer into your everyday life as well.
A physical skill that you can learn from a gaming hobby is better hand-eye coordination. This is best strengthened by shooting games that will keep you alert at every time. You can improve your reflexes by shooting the enemies before they catch you.
Gaming is an umbrella term for many different hobbies – not just online gaming. For example, chess, bowling, and darts are other games that can become your new hobby. These all come with their benefits and you can either join a team to meet new people or play them by yourself to enjoy some quality alone time.
Reading is an excellent hobby that can benefit you in a number of ways. Reading fiction improves your creativity and improves your imagination.
What’s more, reading is relatively inexpensive as well and you can purchase books from the thrift store and secondhand online stores.
What’s more, one book will leave you with hours of entertainment so you won’t be spending too much money on multiple books a day. The larger the book is, the longer you’ll get out of it. So, reading fiction is a time-consuming hobby that you can enjoy for however long you want to.
Depending on the size of the book, it can take you anywhere from two to 20 hours to read. Splitting this from one hour a day or maybe even less means that one book could last you for a week to an entire month.
Reading allows you to immerse yourself in a fictional world that has nothing to do with work or other life pressures. There is a reason why so many people say that reading takes them away!
Giving yourself an outlet through a book can alleviate stress and differentiate your day from work and downtime. Reading can also help develop your writing skills and help you to write your own book if this is something you’re interested in.
Reading non-fiction is just as beneficial as fiction with the added advantage of learning new knowledge that you didn’t previously. Non-fiction allows you to learn more about topics that interest you.
We know that we’re all about removing yourself from work, but reading non-fiction can help you in your work life by helping you gain knowledge that could help towards it. Alternatively, you could choose to learn about a country you’re about to visit on vacation or another hobby you might have, such as cooking.
Non-fiction books might be slightly more expensive than fiction, but they’ll often take longer to read. These books can make you feel smarter and therefore more confident in your everyday life.
Reading is not a social hobby, although you can join a book club to talk to people with similar interests and have complex discussions on the book you read that month.
Playing an instrument
In a survey, 54 percent of households reported one or more members being able to play a musical instrument. Learning to play a musical instrument can be tricky and time-consuming, so don’t think that you’ll be able to book gigs over night.
However, teaching yourself how to play an instrument can be great for your self-esteem. Being able to say that you are a self-taught musician is something that many people would marvel at, and rightly so!
Teaching yourself can be more difficult than getting help from a tutor, but you’ll also be saving a lot of money by doing so.
Whether you can learn how to play an instrument by yourself will depend on how much effort and time you’re willing to put into it, and if you’re going to stick with the process.
Once you’ve learned how to play the instrument, whether that be by yourself or with the help of a tutor, you can join a band or musical group to meet new people. Here you’ll be able to get tips and tricks from others as well as learn new songs and chords.
How difficult this hobby is will also depend on the instrument you learn how to play. Below is a list of the easiest to most difficult instruments to learn:
- French Horn
You might be surprised to see that the piano is among the easier instruments to learn, as well as guitar and drums being in the middle range. However, if you fancy a challenge you can always opt for a violin.
If you already know how to play the guitar you will have an easier time learning the techniques of a violin. This is similar for many instruments, so might want to do your research before choosing an instrument. Learning an instrument is excellent for boosting self-esteem.
Why not mix your hobby with something valuable that you can use in everyday life? Learning how to cook will make you healthier, more experienced with food, and more confident in your cooking ability.
We all need to eat on a daily basis, right? Learning by cooking can do two jobs at once – you’ll enjoy yourself while completing your hobby, and you’ll have dinner sorted for the night. Win, win!
Cooking refers to making main meals such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Baking, on the other hand, refers to baked goods such as cakes, pastries, and cookies. Both of these are valuable skills that will impress anyone that gets to taste your creations.
The cooking hobby often begins with you experimenting with different cookbooks and recipes from all around the world. However, once you become more familiar with the process, you can start creating your own dishes from scratch.
There are endless possibilities with cooking and you’ll never get bored of this hobby. Plus, your friends and family will love getting the leftovers from whatever you make. As you get better you might begin selling your creations or even create a cookbook.
Cooking is an excellent hobby as you can do it most evenings after work to remove yourself from the stresses of the day. It also saves you money from ordering food out and time completing a hobby before having to cook.
We touched upon this earlier, but board games are also excellent hobbies that you can turn into a social experience.
Checkers and chess are two of the most popular board games out there, with many people wanting to master the incredibly difficult techniques and strategy.
Most games rely partly on luck to advance, but board games tend to have more strategy to them.
This can strengthen your brain and require you to focus on nothing other than the board.
You can also learn valuable lessons such as patience, thinking through your movements, and focus. You can join board game groups to play with other people and once you improve your skills you might even choose to participate in tournaments for cash prizes.
There is more than simply playing board games, however. Backgammon is the oldest board game in America, dating back to before 3000 BC. Checkers is the oldest board game in the world, reportedly founded around 3000 BCE.
So, there are thousands of years between then and now that board games have been being created and developed. This is the ideal knowledge for collectors to learn, as there are plenty of options to begin collecting board games through the years.
This is a popular hobby for people who enjoy going looking for collectibles at jumble sales, secondhand shops, and online. A lot of the oldest board games are rare as well, so you can get a lot of money from selling these to other collectors.
Alternatively, you could opt for an outdoor hobby that will allow you to get out there in the fresh air. If you work in an office all day, you might prefer an outdoor hobby to enjoy the outdoors at any opportunity that you can.
Hunting is a very popular hobby in the USA. It allows you to get out in the wilderness by yourself and simply enjoy the peace and quiet.
You can spend hours by yourself outside waiting to spot a target, and it can be very therapeutic for you to forget about any stressful situations going on around you.
Hunting can come in many different forms, such as shooting, bow and arrows, and knives. While some disagree with hunting and everything it stands for, it does allow you to learn survival skills by hunting for your own food.
Hunting is also a good way of exercising without realizing you’re doing so. You’re going to need to carry a heavy pack on your back while being dressed head to toe in hot camo gear. If you’re bringing a tree stand or a blind you’re going to have even more to carry.
Finally, hunting can also allow you to learn more about nature and wildlife. Bear in mind that you don’t have to hunt animals – you can simply shoot clay pigeons or practice on a target. If you are going to hunt animals; however, be aware of the rules and guidelines of your area.
Joining a sports team is a popular hobby that many people opt for. Too many people wish that they could return to their youth and kick a ball about with their friends after school, but think that they don’t have the time.
However, a sports team with other professionals who understand a busy schedule can be excellent. You’ll play once or twice a week and this will give you something to look forward to every week.
Below is a list of the most popular sports played in America, ranked from most popular to least.
- American Football
- Ice Hockey
- Auto Racing
- Mixed Martial Arts
No matter which sport you enjoy and play, you’ll be gaining a lot of benefits from it. Of course, sports are great ways to exercise. Exercising can benefit your physical wellbeing by preventing issues such as obesity and heart problems.
However, exercising can also improve your mental health by reducing depression, anxiety, and poor moods. It improves your self-esteem and brain function so that you can work more effectively and your confidence will increase.
Exercise releases endorphins that can make you happier in daily life, and you’ll also enjoy doing so. Sports are great for meeting new people and making friends, and you can enjoy your time outdoors away from the office and your house.
There’s not much more freeing than being able to cruise down the streets on a skateboard, weaving between people and obstacles in your way.
An added benefit of skateboarding is that it can act as a mode of transportation so that you don’t have to spend time on public transport.
As you know, we love hobbies that aid our daily life and make our lives easier. So, skateboarding to and from work can complete two tasks at once, meaning that you have more free time at home to do other activities that you enjoy.
You can also practice tricks at the local skatepark. Here you’ll be able to meet others like you and get advice for learning new moves. You might even be able to impress some of the younger kids there, which will be a nice confidence boost for you.
Target shooting is similar to hunting but doesn’t require you to shoot a live target. Instead, you can practice on a target that will be stationary and easier to hit.
While you might not think that this is the most relaxing hobby out there, it can actually be very calming.
Target shooting helps you to learn about focus and concentration, two skills that can be translated into almost every other aspect of your life. Target shooting will also take your mind away from other things in your life so that you can spend an hour or two without these worries.
Target shooting can also make you feel as though you have control of something in your life, which can help you feel powerful and confident while other factors in life might be making you feel less than this.
Lastly, some people simply find target practice fun. It’s not a particularly social hobby due to the ear protection you have to wear, so you can be alone out there with your firearm, the target, and yourself.
Who doesn’t love the idea of an adventure sport in their life? Imagine climbing up a steep rock face, or bike racing down the side of an extremely rocky mountain.
The thrill you’d get with these hobbies is enough for you to quit the day job and just seek out the thrills.
There are degrees of adventure sports that you can decide upon.
The most dangerous sports, such as slacklining, cage diving with sharks, and cliff jumping, are those of which are going to give you the most adrenaline.
Adrenaline is where the fight or flight hormone in our bodies allows us to face danger head-on or escape from it safely. An adrenaline rush is a high like no other and many people compare it to taking illegal drugs.
Other adventure sports that aren’t so dangerous are jet boating, rally driving, and riding roller coasters. These will still give you an adrenaline rush, but it might not be as impressive as if you were to walk along a tightrope without any protective gear (see: slacklining).
Be cautious that this adrenaline rush can be addictive and sometimes be dangerous to your health. You might want to chase the high so much that you overdo it, so stick to adventure sports once or twice a week. This will give you something to look forward to.
Again, who doesn’t love a hobby that integrates two different tasks into one?
Running allows you to clear your mind, get your exercise in, and might even act as your travel source to and from work!
Running is an inexpensive hobby as you don’t need to purchase any gear like you would need to for adventure sports.
You also don’t need to pay for expensive gym memberships to get fit – simply get outside and start running.
The endorphins that are released from running are often called the “runner’s high”, which is a euphoric feeling that you get for running a certain amount of time. This can improve your mental wellbeing and overall mood.
Running is also great for improving your physical well-being as well. You might also get improved self-esteem from being fitter or gaining more muscle. If you’re looking for a hobby to make you feel more confident without spending too much money or time, running is an excellent option for you.
How To Choose The Right Hobby For Yourself
Now that we’ve been through some of the most popular hobbies that you can participate in, you might be thinking how are you ever going to choose the best hobby for you? We know that they all sound appealing in their own way, but below we’ll help you narrow them down to one.
What interests you
Of course, you shouldn’t choose a hobby that you don’t find interesting or appealing.
Too many people do this by choosing a sporty hobby in the hopes of getting more active and healthy. However, if you don’t enjoy the hobby you’re not going to stick with it.
Plenty of hobbies are flexible enough to support your interests.
For example, if your main interests were cats and plants, you could take up the hobby of reading about them, painting and drawing them or exploring them in the real world.
However, if you love reading and never watch movies or television shows, there is not much point in you taking up a home cinema for your new hobby. So, evaluate your interests and see which you can integrate into a hobby.
Some people want to spend next to nothing on their hobby, while others believe that they’re investing in their enjoyment.
It’s uncommon to find a hobby that doesn’t require any money whatsoever, so you will likely have to budget every week or month for your hobby.
This might be as little as $5 or as large as $200 a week. Of course, if you have a lower budget you’re not going to be able to keep up with renting or purchasing gear for adventure sports. Likewise, you’re not going to be able to get many quality ingredients to cook with for only $5.
However, don’t worry if your budget is on the smaller side. Reading, running, and sports are relatively inexpensive and won’t require you to pay high prices to join in on group activities.
Some hobbies require a more expensive initial investment but then need almost zero cost at all. An example of this is learning how to play an instrument, provided you’re going to teach yourself without the help of a tutor.
There are plenty of hobbies for high and low budgets, so just make sure that you have a set budget before you start narrowing down your options.
You might love the idea of target shooting, but come to realize that there are no target practices around where you live.
Similarly, you might want to get into adventure sports but there are no options to do this around where you live.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for local activities around your area. Many sports teams or local clubs will post flyers around the area that you can take advantage of. There will also be news online on social media that you can follow if you know where to look.
A word of advice is to not purchase all of the gear you need for a hobby before researching whether you’ll actually be able to use it or not. This will save you a lot of time and money if it turns out that there’s nowhere for you to practice the hobby.
Friends or peers are involved
Some people get anxious or nervous when joining new hobbies in group settings. If you don’t know anyone there you might feel like an outsider to people who already know each other.
Seven percent of Americans have a Social Anxiety Disorder which can make it difficult for them to meet new people or be put in obscure situations alone. So, you might want to tag along to a group that your friends or peers already go to.
If you’re interested in the same things that they are, you could both enjoy the hobby together.
This would take some of the pressure off of you and you could meet new people without feeling desperate to make new friends. A bonus is that if your friend is popular within the group, they might be able to get you a friends and family discount on the joining fee! If your friend already has a hobby that you want to get into, ask them about it so that you can get a jumpstart on the hobby.
To conclude our article, it’s clear to see that there are plenty of benefits from joining a hobby that you enjoy and love. Hobbies can improve your social life, self-confidence, and allow you to learn new things other than things from your work life.
We’ve listed 12 of the top hobbies above that might spark your interest, but remember that there are thousands of them out there – you just have to find the one you’re most interested in.
To find the best hobby for you, you should first determine what interests you the most. Then take a look at what’s available to you in regards to your budget and the area you live in. If you’re really strapped for choice, ask your friends what they enjoy doing.
There you can join your friends as well as making new friends as you relax from the stress of everyday life and simply enjoy yourself. Thanks for reading – now all that’s left to do is get out there and enjoy your new hobby!