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How to Find Hobbies as an Adult (And Actually Make Time for Them)

Source: @jessannkirby
Source: @jessannkirby

When I was a kid, I had tons of hobbies. Any free time I could get was spent on activities like reading, drawing, scrapbooking, weaving friendship bracelets, writing stories, and taking dance classes. Some of these hobbies were more long-lived than others (I continued dancing into college but quit making friendship bracelets after a summer or two), but I loved them all. Now, if you were to ask me what my hobbies are, I’d probably stare blankly at you for a minute before blurting out something mundane like sleeping. The thing is, it’s hard to find hobbies as an adult and even harder to make time for them

Amid all the responsibilities that come with being an adult (see: working, paying bills, feeding oneself), it can feel impossible to also fit in activities that are just for fun. But what you do with your time outside of work and other obligations can have a significant effect on your mood, productivity, and overall health and wellness. By using that time for activities that fill your cup, you can add a sense of joy and fulfillment to your life that has nothing to do with your career. A hobby is something you do just for you, after all.

It’s never too late to start a hobby, and it is possible to make time for it in your busy schedule. Read for our best tips for finding a new hobby as an adult. 


Source: @jessannkirby


How to Find Hobbies as an Adult

The first step to starting a new hobby is choosing one. These tips will help you find an activity you’ll love:


Take stock of your free time

Before you decide on a hobby to make your new personality, you need to figure out how much time you can devote to it. Are you looking for an activity you can do every night before bed, or do you want something you can commit your weekends to? The key here is to be realistic about how much free time you have and choose a hobby that aligns with that time commitment. A hobby like horseback riding, for example, is going to demand a lot more time and effort than something like needlework or learning a new language, which you can easily do at home on your own time.


Consider what you already like to do

Reflecting on the activities that bring you joy in your daily life can help give you the inspiration you need to find a hobby you love. Think of it this way: If you had an entire day free from any responsibilities, what would you spend time doing? Would you cook an elaborate meal, curl up with a book, or spend the day out in nature getting in some physical activity? Think through what you enjoy about that activity, then look for hobby ideas with a similar vibe.


Reflect on your favorite childhood activities

Time to tap into that inner child, baby. The activities you enjoyed most as a kid can be a great indicator of which hobbies might appeal to you now. As evidenced in the intro, my childhood hobbies all revolved around creative pursuits, so I personally would start there in my search for interesting hobbies. Maybe you were really into sports, fascinated by nature, or inseparable from your Easy-Bake Oven as a kid. Whatever it was, I bet there’s a grown-up version you could try now.



Start small

The last thing you want is to spend a small fortune on supplies for your new hobby only to realize in a month that you’re just not into it anymore. Start by looking into some hobbies to do at home using stuff you already own or can purchase inexpensively. Then work your way up to taking classes, joining clubs, or investing in fancier equipment as you get more into it. Diving in headfirst straight away is a great way to burn yourself out and end up quitting too soon.


Sign up for a class

Starting a new hobby should be fun, but it can be frustrating if you have no idea what you’re doing. One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with a new activity is to learn from someone who’s an expert at it. In most cities, you’ll find plenty of local businesses and community centers that host art classes, cooking classes, and all sorts of other workshops that can teach you the basics. Sometimes they’re even free! And if you’re looking to learn from the comfort of your home, there are tons of online options for nearly every hobby imaginable. Sites like MasterClass and Skillshare are great places to start. And if you can’t find any classes that apply to your hobby of choice, good old-fashioned YouTube videos can be just as effective.


Enlist a friend

If starting a new hobby from scratch sounds intimidating, enlist a loved one to try it out with you. Instead of braving that ballroom dance class by yourself, for example, bring along your significant other or a friend and make it a fun date. Or invite them over to try out a new hobby you can do at home. If neither of you is any good, at least you’ll be able to laugh about it together. But if you both have a great time, you might just discover a new activity you can do together.



40+ Hobbies for Adults

Need some more inspo before you get started? Whether you’re looking for a cheap hobby you can start right now, a relaxing activity to help you wind down after work, or an active hobby you can do with friends and family, we’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling for a list of hobbies you can start as an adult—no experience or special skills necessary.

  • Learn how to cook
  • Paint or draw
  • Start a garden
  • Get into photography
  • Play pickleball or tennis
  • Create flower arrangements
  • Start a book club
  • Try creative writing
  • Experiment with mixology
  • Put together puzzles
  • Sew your own clothes
  • Take up jogging
  • Make jewelry
  • Practice yoga or meditation
  • Learn how to play chess
  • Start a blog
  • Master the art of baking
  • DIY furniture or decor
  • Go hiking
  • Learn calligraphy
  • Press flowers or leaves
  • Make your own soap
  • Take ballroom dance classes
  • Practice journaling
  • Join a sports league
  • Start scrapbooking
  • Learn how to knit or crochet
  • Go thrifting
  • Pick up rollerblading or longboarding
  • Pour your own candles
  • Dye fabrics
  • Take up golf
  • Weave macramé designs
  • Teach yourself a new language
  • Play board games
  • Make pottery
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Go rock-climbing
  • Start a collection
  • Make your own beer or wine
  • Go bowling
  • Practice nail art
  • Work with polymer clay