Ever been in a situation where you’ve felt like you have absolutely no interests and nothing to do? If so, we are here to tell you: don’t give up hope yet! While it can be hard to find something that suits your unique interests, we understand what it takes to identify activities that fit your personality and ignite a passion.
We used to teach people new hobbies every month for a living, so we know our way around uncovering new hobbies. It’s led to learning and doing things we never would have thought to try, like going on geocaching hunts, bouldering, lock picking, and even soldering electronics boards.
So regardless of whether you’re seeking something creative, educational, or just plain fun, you can trust us to guide you in the right direction. After having tried hundreds of hobbies in our pursuit of education and personal interests, we’ve recorded 7 tips that do a better job of matching a personality to new activities.
Here are the 7 tips on how to find a new hobby as an adult:
- Move, Reflect, Grow – Explore hobbies that support physical activities, self-reflection, or mental stimulation.
- Look Back in Time – Trace your interests back to when you were younger for inspiration.
- Embrace Your Community – Find something unique to your location and go all in.
- Upcycled Inspiration – Fuel your creative juices with antique malls, flea markets, and thrift shops.
- Against the Grain – Define what makes you uncomfortable and what you think you’ll dislike.
- Past Purchases – Is there anything you’ve purchased this past year you love?
- Look Around You – Tap into your community’s free workshops and classes.
It’s worth pointing out though that this article isn’t so much about sharing a list of hobbies for you to try – if that’s what you’re looking for, try this list of 19 meaningful hobbies. The purpose of this article is to share a method of finding a meaningful hobby as an adult rather than give you a list of options. This usually results in trying something you’re more likely to enjoy, find meaning in, and ultimately stick with longer.
Let’s explore all 7 tips in more depth.
1. MOVE, REFLECT, GROW
This is a philosophy of life that was inspired by Robin Sharma’s book The 5 AM Club but we’ve placed our spin on it as it relates to finding a passion hobby – that is, finding hobbies that move you, reflect on the moment, and help you grow. Taking a step back, the 5 AM Club is built around the premise that a fulfilling life is about maximizing your potential in the waking hours. Waking up before everyone else (5 AM) will give you space to conquer the day.
At 5 AM each day, you set aside one hour where 20 minutes is dedicated to moving, reflecting, and growing. We’ve applied this line of thinking to pursue fulfillment with hobbies, by trying to find 3 hobbies that check each box.
This approach is great for anyone who either has trouble connecting with a new hobby or has trouble sticking with a hobby and the reason why is all based on the science of forming habits. The book reveals that doing a behavior for 66 days straight can significantly increase the likelihood of making a behavior a habit.
Now, a hobby is supposed to be fun, so don’t make this a chore. But finding a hobby based on these three ideas and knowing they are about creating more meaning in your life will often make them more enjoyable.
More specifically, here’s how each concept applies to hobbies:
Move hobbies refer to activities that focus on physical health. Whether it’s running, CrossFit, or yoga – getting your body moving can do wonders for both physical and mental health.
Reflect hobbies are those that are meditative – they involve deep introspection and help elevate self-awareness. Meditation is a great example of this type of hobby, as is journaling or reading a book that encourages growth.
Grow hobbies stimulate creativity, cause critical thinking, or inspire innovation. These types of activities range from playing an instrument to creating artwork or even working on puzzles like Sudoku or Rubik’s cube. No matter what kind of Grow hobby one chooses – the goal is to stimulate the mind and explore new ideas or concepts outside our comfort zone.
If this approach seems interesting to you, head over to our walkthrough guide on move, reflect, and grow – we’ll show you how to do this and also show you a list of examples that meet the criteria in each category.
2. REACH INTO YOUR PAST
If you’re feeling stuck and need some inspiration for a new hobby, why not take a step back in time? Look no further than the things that you enjoyed as a child – even if it was something that seemed so silly back then that you never thought about doing again. It could surprise you how much these activities can spark new interest or appreciation when revisited as an adult.
About 7 years ago, I was looking for some new ideas for hobbies to try. I took this approach – and you know where I ended up? The LEGO aisle. That’s right, I loved LEGO as a kid and this method helped me realize I still love those little bricks. I’m not creative with them, but I enjoy zoning out and listening to music and following simple instructions – then looking back at the end of the build and seeing what I created.
About 200 sets later (not exaggerating) and this is a big part of my hobby life, not to mention my most expensive hobby (my favorite set is my Ewok Village – just know I paid nothing close to this price.) I learned that I wasn’t the only one doing this too. There’s a whole group of adults just like me – they are referred to as AFOLs, which is an acronym for Adult Fans of LEGO. A trip down memory lane led to finding my tribe.
But it doesn’t have to be toys, and going into your past doesn’t mean it has to go back to your childhood. You could tap into high school, college, and life before the kiddos – any time frame in years past will suffice.
From playing an instrument to participating in sports, there’s always the potential to reignite old passions while also adapting them with age. But even if these memories are fuzzy, we can still look back on old photos or ask family members for insight – who knows what activities you may uncover? Sure, it may not be physically possible to sit on a tricycle again… but hey, don’t knock it till you try it!
3. EMBRACE YOUR COMMUNITY
Every city is known for something, whether it’s an art form, cuisine, accent, etc – if you’re someone who loves where you’re from, this is a great way to uncover a hobby that will bring fulfillment. Look around town – start asking questions to uncover what defines your neck of the woods:
- What local dish would you want a house guest to try?
- Are there any artists or artistic styles, celebrities, or athletes connected to your area?
- Is there a drink with local ties your area celebrates?
Although those questions might seem inconsequential, usually your best gestures often portray what makes your local culture unique. Let’s use the city of little old Louisville, Kentucky as the example here:
- What local dish would you want a house guest to try? 9/10 Louisvillians will force you to take on the famous Hot Brown. Time to bust out the ingredients and learn to make the Hot Brown yourself. After that, you can explore another local cuisine to make and better connect with your community.
- Are there any artists or artistic styles, celebrities, or athletes connected to your area? From Muhammed Ali to Churchill Downs, you can uncover unique and fascinating examples of local identities. Maybe your hobby turns into watching every Muhammed Ali fight and better understanding what made him so amazing. Or maybe you watch all the final races of the Kentucky Derby and read a book about the horses and jockeys.
- Is there a drink with local ties your area celebrates with? Louisville is the heart of the bourbon country. So this one is easy. Maybe you hit the bourbon trail and try every one you can, rating them along the way. Maybe explore the history of bourbon – or better yet, become part of the history by learning to distill bourbon yourself.
That’s just one city, and although there’s so much happening in such a small town as Louisville, the truth is you can find something interesting about every location in this country. For those who thrive on building identity off of location, this is a great way to approach finding a hobby you’ll love. And this is particularly true for ex-pats out there who may be homesick.
4. RUMMAGE FOR INSPIRATION
There are two things to love about this approach. First, you’re exclusively using second-hand shops to fuel your new hobby quest, so this is great for your wallet. Second, you will find the weirdest things at flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales. You’ll find a hobby you didn’t even know existed.
For instance, it wouldn’t be unheard of to find a smelting furnace – and just like that, you’re in the jewelry hobby business. Or you may be standing in front of a rack full of old t-shirts and decide to try your hand at tie-dying. Maybe you find an old sewing machine and start creating clothes for yourself and your friends. Without spending too much money, you could even find an old typewriter or electric organ and make some music.
But you don’t have to fork over cash to make this method work. Remember, this is about inspiration. It can be as simple as seeing mod furniture and being inspired to learn the craft, finding a cool pop art print and wanting to learn screen printing, or just starting collecting pop art. The possibilities are endless; you just have to keep an open mind and know what you’re looking for.
Whatever your approach, it’s important to remember that hobbies don’t need a high price tag – or even any price at all. Whether dropping money on the hobby or rummaging through second-hand shops, becoming curious about what makes you tick is the best way to find a hobby you love.
The weirder the place, the better. Get out there and explore.
5. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
Want to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone? Taking a class or workshop on something new can help you get inspired and uncover hidden talents. For real thrill-seekers, why not try something daring like rock climbing or skydiving? When we take people bouldering that would typically avoid it, it’s amazing to see the growth that happens from stepping into discomfort.
At the same time, going against the grain doesn’t have to be as daring. It could involve taking a yoga class or trying to play an instrument you never thought possible. This side of the coin is about trying what you assumed you would never like, yet never actually participated in before.
The key here is to stay open-minded and explore activities that may seem out of reach for you. Maybe it’s hosting an event in your city or seeing a
These activities will push your boundaries and take you on an unforgettable adventure. And chances are, these are activities most of your friends haven’t tried yet!
6. PAST PURCHASES
Sometimes the answer is sitting right in front of us, or even on our credit card bills. If you’re looking for a potential hobby to pursue, why not start with the things you’ve already purchased? Have a look in your wardrobe, toolbox, or kitchen cupboards this past year – these items might offer some hints to give you an idea of what could interest you. Does anything stand out as something you’ve loved?
It doesn’t have to be objects either – was there an experience you put above all others in the past year? Perhaps a trip somewhere exotic, or just hitting the local museum. Once you crack the code, start to think differently about how you can take on the object or experience without having to repeat that exact thing.
For example, you took a trip to Cancun last year – it was awesome. You could make this experience more of a hobby by learning Spanish, hell, you could even learn the Mayan language if you want to make it specifically about the Yucatan Peninsula’s history. Speaking of which, you could study the ancient civilizations of Latin America, or even learn the hallmark recipes of Mexico.
You get the point – whether a product or experience, look at what you’ve done and loved in the past year, break it down into what you love about it, then explore new ideas for each component.
7. LOOK AROUND YOU
Seriously – take a look around your local neighborhood, and pay close attention to what your community center offers. There are usually plenty of affordable classes and workshops you can sign up for, and you will see a ton of new things to try. These can range from cooking classes to traditional instrument-making, so don’t be picky. Try as many as you can.
But this one is not so much about the specific hobby, but moreso making in-person connections. If you’re someone who wants to get to know more people, this is a great option for finding a hobby to build new bonds over.
Of course, let’s not forget about organizations and groups devoted to certain hobbies. For example, book clubs, cycling clubs, or art societies are just some examples that exist in your area. Joining one of these organizations might bring you into contact with like-minded individuals who could provide advice and resources – although they might decide to make the most out of the opportunity by trying to rope you into their hobby as well.
And check out Meetup for your area as well as your city’s local subReddit. These are filled with new ideas and connections. So look around you, you might be surprised at all the new hobbies just down the street, and new friends to be made.
FIND YOUR HOBBY BY TAKING A NEW APPROACH
If you’re still feeling stuck after reading this, it’s time to take a chance. Just pick one of these methods and follow it. Our hunch is that you’re still jumping straight to the hobby instead of following a method to guide you to the hobby.
Whatever you do, don’t walk away thinking you have no interests or hobbies. Everyone does, it just takes some time to uncover what they truly are. We love trying new things, and not every one of them becomes an instant hobby. Some never get repeated, and we can live with that.
But if you keep hitting a dead end when trying to find a hobby, we believe one of these 7 tips will help adults find a hobby they actually love.
So ask yourself: where do I belong? What excites me? And most importantly – what makes me come alive? Because at the end of the day, that’s what all 7 tips will help you uncover.