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Sport and Competition

Choosing a Hobby

37 curated recreations

Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
Source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Many people are so busy today that the word "hobby" seems almost obsolete.

Yet, most of us should reserve time for something pleasurable that has nothing to do with our career. For many people, that's relationships but a rewarding hobby can also light an otherwise dreary existence and enhance even an otherwise fine one.

If you might be interested in a hobby but aren't sure what, this list may be a useful starting place. From among hundreds of hobbies, I selected these 37 based on these criteria:

  • Not excessively violent. Evidence suggests that violent hobbies don't work off steam, except briefly. Instead, they may increase violent tendencies, so I've omitted hobbies like boxing and hunting.
  • Inexpensive. So I've excluded, for example, skiing, travel, and golf.
  • Not excessively dangerous. So I've excluded, for example, mountain biking, motorcycling, and tackle football.
  • Not a major hassle. So I excluded, for example, scuba diving, sailing, and mountaineering.
  • Not unduly time consuming. So I excluded TV watching and sports spectating.
  • Popular. You're most likely to be interested in those. So for space, I've excluded, for example, metal detecting and slot car racing.

Sedentary hobbies

Art: painting, photography, drawing, sculpture.



Coloring. Those adult coloring books, meditative, are very popular now.

Coffee roasting

Collecting: (rocks, dolls, stamps, etc.)

Cooking or baking

Crossword puzzles

Film/video making

Fixing or building things

Flower arranging

Jewelry making

Jigsaw puzzles

Learning (from reading, webinars, videos, online and in-person courses)

Listening to music

Model building, including legos, etc.

Movie watching. A client started a movie club, analogous to a book club. Everyone agrees to watch the same movie on video or in a theater during the month and then they meet to discuss it over dinner at a member's home.

Needlework: sewing, knitting, crocheting, macrame, embroidery, quilting.

Pet: cat, fish, hamster, etc. (Dogs are included in the active category)

Pottery making


Soap making

Theatre (behind the scenes): costumes, makeup, set painting, set building, lighting, sound, marketing, house-managing.





Active hobbies


Dog owning. Thousands of pooches are waiting at pounds and rescues for you to adopt them. A large searchable database is at

Geocaching: outdoor treasure hunting using GPS to find your next "treasure."

Hiking or walking

Playing sports: basketball, ping-pong, skating, softball, surfing, swimming, tennis, touch football, etc. Extreme exercise such as triathlons and long-distance running may be unhealthy.

Performing hobbies

Acting. Community and college theatres are often looking for actors, at least for small roles. Psychology Today readers might particularly be interested in psychodrama groups, in which participants relive significant life events through improvised role-playing.





Musical performance

The takeaway

Are any of those worth a try? Some other hobby? And do you want to try it solo? With a friend? Join a group? Start by putting your little toe in or by going whole-hog? In any event, do enjoy. A hobby can be a needed break from today's pressured life.

Marty Nemko's bio is in Wikipedia. His new book, his 8th, is The Best of Marty Nemko.

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