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Why is having a hobby good for your mental health?

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Published 20/05/2021
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A lot of us may feel like finding the time and get-up-and-go to have a hobby is just another thing on our to-do list. Between work, school, family, friends and chores a hobby might seem impossible to add to our hectic lives.

Hobbies let us escape our everyday lives and experience the things we love or would like to do more or find out about. Having a hobby can create/build new skills, make friends with like-minded people and also escape mentally. They can help you turn off ‘work mode’ and also the feeling of repetition in daily life. It might feel overwhelming adding another thing to your lists of things to do but hobbies are known to relieve stress and improve mental health.

Benefits of Hobbies

  • Mental and Emotional
Making time for activities you like is a great way to boost your mental health and your well-being. Hobbies are a stress reliever, help you relax and also takes your mind off the stresses of daily life such as work, bills and other duties. Hobbies can also give us a sense of control which some of us struggle with. When you complete tasks, however big or small, it boosts our esteem levels making us feel good about ourselves.

Here are some examples of hobbies that have been associated to help with mental health and depression.
Examples: gardening, listening to music, painting or drawing, cooking, colouring and photography
  • Creativity
A hobby can help you explore your creative side. This is particularly a good thing if your work is not very creative and repetitive. Having a creative hobby will also help your brain to be more creative in other aspects of your life.

Examples: Writing, baking, painting/drawing, photography, knitting, singing, and acting.
  • Physical
Physical hobbies work wonders for both your physical and mental health. When we exercise it releases endorphins and hormones which boosts our serotonin levels. Other benefits include lower blood pressure, weight loss, building muscle, strengthening bones, and an overall increase in energy.

Examples: going to the gym, hiking, swimming, dancing and yoga.
  • Socially
Hobbies are perfect for socialising and meeting new friends. You can join classes, online groups and meet other like-minded people that you’ll make friends with. You’ll learn new things, find support, get out of your comfort zone, and pursue your passions.

Examples: Book clubs, choir/music groups, team sports, cooking classes and volunteering.
  • Self-Improvement
A hobby is also an opportunity to improve yourself. Whether this is a skill, self-esteem or something you would like more knowledge on. For example, would you like to be a better cook, get fitter or learn a new language?

Examples: Cooking, fitness classes and language classes/apps.


A hobby is an essential part of having good mental health and well-being. Making time for your hobby will provide physical, mental, emotional, and creative benefits that make life more meaningful, relaxing, and fun! Regardless of which hobby you choose, the benefits of engaging in that hobby will likely surprise you.

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