Thursday, June 30, 2011

36 Ideas For New Hobbies

I know that I’ve written an article about How to Have Fun Again, which is apparently one of the more popular entries on the site.  The main idea of it is that you should put yourself out there and try new things, no matter how stupid you think they are.  I’ve also heard from people that just need a little gentle pushing in the right direction to find a new hobby that will be fun and entertaining for them in their off-hours. 

So, I compiled a list, with editorials as I felt like including them, of potential hobbies so that you all might be able to find something that you enjoy.  Ideally, any of these would serve as a jumping-off point to becoming involved in or creating your own community centered on these things.  

And if you want more of these, be sure to check out my ebook over at Amazon, The Big Book of Hobby Ideas.


Start a Podcast: Easy, fun, and low upkeep with some very basic equipment.

Paint/Draw/Color: All you need is a box of crayons and a pad of high-quality paper and you’re off.

Learn a Foreign Language: Not only is it enjoyable, but it also gives you a skill that can help you break out of a boring, old job, and find exciting new possibilities, provided you’re willing to put in the effort to become fluent.

Start a Blog: I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily “easy,” especially if you want to go to five days a week, but it has low barriers to entry, and can get your name out there, especially if you’re a good writer.

Pick up a new sport: Tennis and golf are the easiest if you don’t know many other people.  Consider trading lessons for a service that you can provide if lessons would be overly expensive.

Join a Kickball League: I just joined one with my buddy Ralph in St. Louis—everyone can play kickball, and if you add a few beers, you have yourself a good little Sunday.

Become a “Buff” about a particular topic: It could be something as broad as “pop culture” or “American History,” or as focused as “17th Century French Poetry.”  The important thing is that you want to learn about it to the point where you develop an expertise in the area.

Start a Journal: Incredibly helpful to get your thoughts down on paper—a godsend to organize your thoughts a bit.

Take Improv Classes: Especially if you’re afraid of performing, it can be great to learn some basic games and try to get in touch with your creative side.

Take Cooking Classes: Another useful skill that can be very fun is cooking.  Assuming you all are at the same level in your development, you can make some like-minded friends this way.

Write a Story/Novel:  It’s tougher than you think.  Be prepared to chuck stuff after investing hours in getting it “just right.”  The sense of accomplishment when you finish something is fantastic, though.

Go Hiking/Camping/Rock Climbing: Get out of the house and do something outdoors—the fresh air will do you good.

Start a Collection: This one can get expensive and take up a lot of room with useless shit, but some people find collecting things adds meaning to their lives.

Become Big Into Beer/Wine/Food:  Again, these can get expensive, but that’s only if you get caught up in all of the bullshit surrounding these topics.  They can also give you great satisfaction.

Start a Garden: If you have the room.

Start an Online Comic Strip: If you’re so artistically-inclined and witty enough.

Start an Online Business: Plenty of ways to make money out on the internet.

Try to Contact Famous People/People that You Admire to Ask for Advice: Notice the “Contact” part—NOT “stalk.”

Woodworking: If you have the tools

Write a Screenplay: Not as tough as writing a novel, but still requires discipline.

Make Movies With Your Friends: Once you have that screenplay, see if you have the chops to put it on film yourself.

Board Games: Even if your friends don’t like them, see if you can find a local group that does.

Toastmasters: For those that want to get better at public speaking and meet some people.

Learn How to Program HTML/Web Design: An in-demand skill, at least as long as that “fad,” the internet is around…

Learn How to Program Computer Games and Make One: No matter how simple it is, if it’s fun, people will enjoy it.

Learn How to Play a Musical Instrument:  No need to have the most expensive instrument out there, and try the barter system for lessons.

Learn How to Make Basic Home Repairs: Good skill, and can save you money.

Travel the World: Using frequent flyer miles and hostels to save cash if need be.

Become a Fan of a Sports Team: If not already.

Fantasy Sports: Ditto.

Enter a Contest: On something you’re already pretty good at.

Take Up Photography: It can be fun.

Set an Outlandish Goal and Follow Through With It: Like setting foot on all seven continents, or eating at every Waffle House in the U.S.  The more outlandish, the better—that way it becomes interesting to others.

Take Dance Classes: Good place to find ladies for guys, and vice versa.

Try Sculpting/Pottery: An old favorite of mine—make something nice out of junk.

Build Something with a Hammer and Nails: Makes you feel useful.

These are only a few of the hundreds of hobby ideas that could potentially improve your life and well-being.

Fortunately, I've written a full-length ebook with hundreds more. It's "food for the soul" and probably costs less than your next meal. You can check out "The Big Book of Hobby Ideas" on Amazon right here.

D.J. Gelner is a writer, entrepreneur, and recovering attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. You can e-mail him at Follow him on twitter @djgelner. Friend him on facebook here.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thankyou for putting theese ideas on the web!! It has helped me decide on a new hoby!!

  3. Thanks Hannah! Glad it helped you out--enjoy your new hobby!

  4. I can't decide, please help me if possible. I like Tech and working with my hands, but woodworking has been tried and tested (not for me). Do you have any ideas? I'm not that physically active and I don't enjoy being very socially active.

  5. Hwy Bradley, thanks for stopping by. How about fixing up old cars? That seems more tech-oriented, but still involves working with your hands. As far as the social aspects, I know of gearheads on both sides of the spectrum: social butterflies and wallflowers alike.

    Other than that, maybe building things out of electronics? Legos? It seems like the creation of something is big to you, so maybe think more along those lines.

    Let me know if this helps!

    1. Oops--meant to say "Hey," not short for "Highway." Oh well--mistakes happen...

  6. Hey DJ, great article and you hit the nail on the head by saying the main idea of it is that you should put yourself out there and try new things, no matter how stupid you think they are.
    The fact is everbody is born with a gift, they just have to open it and find their forte.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I think this is really a very nice post. Thanks for the great content!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this to catch a bass


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