Creativity is a skill that we all have to some degree, and it can be very therapeutic to stretch this ability and see how it makes us feel.
For the past few years, I’ve been delving into trying more creative hobbies to take my mind off of my stresses and to see what I have the ability to create.
Some of these hobbies like blogging (which I consider to be super creative) are a way that I make money, but I also have hobbies like sewing that are just for me.
Creative hobbies are great for those who suffer from depression or anxiety because they give you an outlet to express your thoughts and abilities in a different way than what you do on social media or at work.
So if you’re looking for hobbies to try, this post is for you! Let’s dive in!
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Why Should You Have Hobbies?
There are many reasons that you should have hobbies. Here are just a few of them:
– It can help you reduce stress
– You will get to explore your interests in greater depth
– Hobbies are a way of learning new skills
– Hobbies can help you meet new people
I would recommend that everyone have at least a few hobbies, and I think it’s really important to try different things even if they don’t sound interesting. You never know what will turn into your new passion!
Simple and Easy Creative Hobbies
These hobbies don’t take much effort to learn and don’t need any fancy equipment or supplies. You probably have everything that you need already!
Writing or Journaling
One of the best things about writing or journaling as a hobby is that all you need is a writing utensil and some paper. If you’re not in the mood to write, just doodle.
If you feel like your mind is racing with thoughts and emotions that are overwhelming or even painful, writing can be a great way of releasing them onto paper instead of keeping it all inside. It’s also therapeutic because it helps organize your thoughts so they don’t get jumbled.
Yup! Coloring can be a fun and easy creative hobby. My mom got super into coloring a few years ago and now has more coloring books than I do.
There are many types of coloring books including animals, flowers, and mandalas. You can find them for sale online or at pretty much any bookstore these days. You can find my mandala coloring book here.
There are also coloring apps that you can download onto your phone, tablet, or computer! Just search “coloring app” and see what turns up in the results. Even better – most of these free apps don’t require an internet connection.
After attending a paint night earlier this year, I caught the painting bug. It seems like painting would be an expensive hobby, and it definitely can be, BUT you can get inexpensive painting kits with everything that you need.
And you don’t even have to have any formal training. Check out some YouTube videos on how to paint simple pictures or just do what feels right to you. That’s what I tend to do.
There’s also a technique called “painting by numbers” where you use guidance like dots and lines to help paint an image. It makes it simple for anyone who is new at painting or has never had any training in art or drawing. Some of my co-workers have paint by numbers group and they rave about how fun and simple it is.
Hand-Lettering (or Calligraphy)
Both hand-lettering and calligraphy are types of art where you hand-write letters and words. You’ve probably seen those videos on Buzzfeed or YouTube where artists are hand-lettering beautiful cards and paintings.
I’ve been really interested in learning how to do this because I think it’s gorgeous! I bought a calligraphy kit a few years ago but still haven’t learned how to do it. One day!
Crafty Creative Hobbies
These hobbies are for those of us that have a crafty side! If glitter, thread, popsicle sticks, and yarn are your jam, these are for you! My sister is the queen of these hobbies!
I first learned how to sew when I was young. I lack height and always had to hem my pants. I don’t wear pants much anymore (leggings all day) but the skill still comes in handy when something else needs a few stitches.
I recently had to perform surgery on one of my beloved stuffed animals because he was losing his stuffing. I used my sewing skills to repair him.
Sewing is super fun and it’s great for those of us that love to create things by hand. Plus, it’s a money-saver if you’re good at sewing your own clothes!
Don’t think that you have to be able to make an entire dress or costume from scratch in order to call yourself a seamstress. Sewing skills run the gamut and there are so many creative ways of using them.
Knitting is similar to sewing in that you can make tons of things with it. I find knitting to be a little more portable than sewing because all you need is your fingers and yarn!
Knitting has become super popular lately, especially among the millennials. If you’re trying to figure out what creative hobbies are good for depression or anxiety, this may be one of them
I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit because I love how cozy knitted things always feel (plus they look super cute), but I don’t have the patience. Maybe one day though!
I have a couple of friends that are very good at macrame. Macrame is similar to knitting, but it uses string rather than yarn. All you need to start macrame is a bundle of string, some scissors and a few other supplies.
I think macrame is one of the best creative hobbies for depression or anxiety because it’s so calming to do repetitive motions with your hands while you work on creating something artistic! It also looks super cool when you’re finished.
If you don’t know where to start with macrame try a quick search on Skillshare for a class that can help.
I never learned how to crochet but I have many crocheted items thanks to my mom and sister. They are both great at it! Crocheting is similar to knitting because it uses yarn and the needles are similar sizes. However, the technique is much different.
Crochet can be used for making clothing items like headbands and scarves. I even have a beautiful crocheted blanket with all of my favorite colors.
Woodworking is a hobby that requires patience, focus, and hand-eye coordination. This is definitely not one of those hobbies where you sit down with some wood glue and an X-acto knife to make something in five minutes.
If you’d like to learn about woodworking, you’ll probably need to take some classes or buy a book.
Not only is it fun to make things with wood, but if you’re into DIY decorating, this might be the hobby for you! It’s great because once your friends see what awesome stuff that you can make out of wood, they may be coming to you for gifts!
I never really thought about leatherworking as a hobby until I dated someone who makes works of art with leather. It’s an unusual crafting hobby that not many people think about trying.
I’ve even seen him make an entire purse out of a few pieces of leather!
Leatherworking is definitely not something that I would be good at, but if you’re creative and patient with an eye for detail, it’s worth looking into.
The only downside to leatherworking is the cost associated with all the tools. Leather can be expensive, but if you get creative with it, you can make some really cool things!
I never knew how interesting scrapbooking could be until I met a former co-worker who did scrapbooks for all of her travels. I saw many of them when she invited many of us over for a BBQ.
There are lots of different types of scrapbooks and there is one for every kind of memory. Scrapbooking is a fun way to preserve memories and creating one gives you an excuse to get all of your pictures together in one place.
Furniture refurbishing is a super fun hobby that can also be very lucrative depending on the items you are working with.
Take a look around your house to find any items that you could refurbish. I bet you have a few things that could use some sprucing up.
You can also ask friends and family if they have any pieces of furniture they would like refinished or restored before selling or keeping it as a unique piece for yourself.
Digital Creative Hobbies
These hobbies are all about using technology and computers to expand your creativity.
If you have any interest in layout design, branding or logos, graphic design is definitely a hobby for you. Graphic design is an art form that has found its place in the marketing world, but it is also used for personal projects.
There are many graphic design tutorials online to teach you how to make your own graphics and logos without spending too much money on hiring someone else.
If you like it enough (and get really good at it), you can offer your services to local businesses and make some extra cash on the side while also working towards developing your own brand.
Digital illustration is similar to graphic design and painting, but instead of using graphic elements to create a layout you are using more illustrations and sketches.
Digital illustration is perfect for those who love drawing or painting on the computer rather than with printables or physical objects. My sister both paints on canvas and does digital illustration, so you don’t have to keep to one format if you like both!
There are many online tutorials that can help you get started with digital illustration.
If you do decide to do digital illustration, you’ll want a drawing tablet or a computer with digital drawing capabilities. This one is an affordable option if you want to get started without spending too much money.
With the influx of video content on the internet in the past few years, video editing has become a creative hobby that many people love to get into.
The great thing about video editing is that it can be used for both creative projects and professional work. You can use video editing to create short films, mockumentaries, advertisements, etc. The sky is really the limit!
Video editing requires the right equipment and software depending on your choice of editing program.
For the creative hobbyist who has a natural urge to write, blogging may be just what you are looking for.
I obviously love blogging and have been doing it for many years now. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about both blogging and myself since I started my blog a few years ago.
Starting a blog is relatively simple to do, but here’s a post to help you out if you’d like to start your own blog.
If you’d like to take pictures of the world around you, photography is a hobby that can help you do just that.
It’s definitely not easy to take great photos, but there are plenty of tutorials online to get started with basic composition and lighting techniques.
If you want to take it further than snapping some selfies or family portraits on your phone camera, you can always further your photography skills and equipment by buying a nice camera and a tripod.
Creative Hobbies That Help You At Home
If you’re looking for hobbies to do at home that will also help you out with your daily life, check out this list!
Cooking is a great creative hobby to have because you can get better at it and then use your new skills to make delicious food!
Cooking is one of my favorite things to do because I love eating, and who doesn’t? It’s the best feeling when you’re whipping up something in your kitchen!
You can try out different techniques, tools, spices, and more to craft the perfect meal for you. Get your loved ones involved too and see how they enjoy what you create.
I’m not much of a baker but baking is another creative activity that you can do at home!
Baking is great to try if you’re not into cooking because it yields delicious baked goods which could be used for gifts or just given away because they are so delicious.
Baking is also much more of a science than cooking is. If you’re great at following a recipe, baking is for you.
You can also get kids involved with baking because it helps them learn how to follow directions, measure ingredients (which they will need later in life) and make something delicious.
Soap-making has been so trendy over the past few years. If you’re looking for hobbies to make something new, soap making is definitely one of them!
Soap can be used in your own home or given away as gifts. You can even start your own business selling soap! A good friend of mine sells soap and donates the profits to different non-profits. She’s made some beautiful and unique soaps. And they also smell amazing!
Soap making is one of those hobbies that hits all the right notes: it’s crafty, allows you to express your creativity, and has practical uses! What could be better than that?
If you’re looking for hobbies that involve delicious food, why not also try your hand at making drinks?
Bartending is super fun because it allows you to make drinks at your own parties or just craft new drinks for yourself.
By the way, these drinks do not have to be alcoholic. There are plenty of amazing drinks that do not involve alcohol at all. Think of the lemonades, punches, and other delicious drinks that you can make!
You can get creative with your own recipes and see what happens. Or, try some of the thousands of drink recipes out there on Pinterest or Google. There are so many great ideas out there for new cocktails (or mocktails) to try!
Gift wrapping is actually something that I love to do! I often ask friends and family members if they’d like me to wrap gifts for them, especially around Christmas time.
It’s a nice way to slow down and focus on what you’re doing. You can pick out the wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, tape, and more. Mix and match to make every gift look unique.
This is also one of those interesting hobbies that can make you money. Wrap gifts for other people and charge them for the convenience.
Gardening is another hobby that my sister has that she is very good at. Over past summer she grew some beautiful flowers and vegetables in a greenhouse she bought on Amazon.
It’s relaxing to just tinker around in the dirt, especially when it comes to growing your own food. And who doesn’t love eating fresh fruits or vegetables that you grew yourself?
If gardening isn’t really for you but you like plants, maybe try something like bonsai trees or air plants! They require some work but very little compared to a full garden. You could also try a tiny kitchen garden, growing herbs, and small fruits and veggies.
Musical Creative Hobbies
Learn To Play An Instrument
This idea might be intimidating for some, but the truth is that if you practice and put in work to learn how to play an instrument, it can bring a lot of joy!
I’ve had an acoustic guitar just sitting in my closet for over 15 years. I wish I would have started learning how to play it when I first got it. There’s no telling where I’d be now.
Not only does playing music help with your creativity because you’re able to create something, it also helps you with your mental health.
The repetitive motion and sounds of an instrument can be very therapeutic for those who struggle with depression or anxiety because it forces you to focus on something else and take a break from the negative thoughts constantly going through your head.
Singing is something that I actually really enjoy doing – when no one else is around.
It’s just another creative outlet for me where I can express myself and my emotions in a different way than words on paper (or a computer screen) or through speaking.
If you’re someone who has anxiety about speaking to others, beginning singing lessons might be beneficial for you because it gives you the chance to find your voice and learn how to use it.
So what are you waiting for? Get creative! Start your own hobby today to help boost creativity, improve mental health or just have fun. If you are interested in any of the hobbies above, I highly recommend using Skillshare to start learning about them!
If you’re already in the process of trying out one of these creative hobby ideas, let me know how it is going for you!
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.