How to find a hobby (and types of apps to try)
During your free time from work and other responsibilities, it's important to unwind. Hobbies are a great way to delve into a new passion or focus on one that you may have forgotten about due to piling responsibilities. Do you have hobby? Are you trying to figure out how to find a hobby? Either way, there are many apps on the market that can meet you wherever you are on your hobby journey.
What is a hobby?
A hobby is something done purely for leisure. Hobbies are simply done for enjoyment and are often tied to our passions or interests. A hobby can be anything from beekeeping to playing soccer after work or learning about a new subject.
Benefits of finding a hobby
There are benefits to having a hobby in your life, such as providing structure to your time. If you have a soccer game to run off to, a choir practice to be at or a sewing project calling your name, you're much more likely to put your work away and stop checking your emails.
Another benefit of having a hobby is they can help foster social connections. Whether this is in real life or in an online community, hobbies have a way of bringing like-minded people together. And even for the most introverted of people, human connections are an essential part of life.
You may also find that immersing yourself in a hobby can give you increased confidence. That may come from watching your skills grow, feeling productive or just enjoying the way you're spending your time. Hobbies may also help you relax by taking your mind off more pressing matters. Who has time to worry when you've got the soft feel of clay in your hands at a pottery class?
If you don't have a hobby yet, you may still find yourself asking, “What hobby should I try?"
How to find a hobby
There are a few places to start when trying to find a hobby.
- What have you always wanted to do? If every time you watch a baking show you think “I want to learn how to do that," it may be time to pick up that whisk and give it a shot. Maybe you've always wished you could do more home DIY renovations after watching home renovation shows. Give your local hardware store a call — many offer beginner courses or how-to presentations to teach you how to use tools to make that possible.
- Think back to childhood. Children are naturals at having hobbies. Whether it's collecting baseball cards, shooting hoops in the driveway, playing video games or going ice skating with friends, there's a good chance you had some hobbies as a kid. So, think back to what you liked to do then and start exploring that again now as an adult.
- Expand on what you already like. Do you love hanging out with your dog? Maybe dog training or agility sports could be perfect hobbies to complement that. Are you big on thrifting? You may want to see if you can thrift a sewing machine and try up-cycling or refitting some finds at your local thrift store. There are likely many things you already do and enjoy that can be expanded into a hobby.
- Look for inspiration. If you're really struggling with how to find hobbies, talk to your friends and family. See what they like to do in their free time and maybe something will speak to you. Or walk around a craft store and see if anything sparks your interest. Even getting out and experiencing things like going to the movies, visiting a museum or seeing a concert could provide inspiration. Just keep an eye out for it.
The most important part of finding a hobby is that it's about having fun. Your free time should be about things that bring you joy, so if you give a hobby a try and find you aren't having a good time, there's no shame in dropping it and trying something new.
Hobby apps to try
Whether you have a hobby or are looking for one, downloading a hobby app is a great way to nurture that. There are many different options based on whatever interests you.
For people who enjoy exercise as a hobby, there are so many avenues that can take. If you like to spend your time climbing mountains or getting fresh air, try a hiking or trail app. These apps have GPS loaded in them to ensure you don't get lost and give you lists of trails to try. They often break the trails down by difficulty and let you know about any special sights you might come across, such as a vista of a valley, a plunging waterfall or a field of wildflowers. Some hiking and trail apps also let other users review the destinations to give you a better idea of what you're getting into.
If you're a runner (or want to be), there are many different running apps that can motivate you and track your progress. Whether you want to be able to run a 5K and need step-by-step instructions, or you're a seasoned runner looking for a fun twist on a daily run, you can find an app for that.
There are apps for people who are gym fans, too. If you prefer pumping iron or getting your cardio on an elliptical, you can find apps that allow you to track your activity and progress, as well as apps that give you other ideas of exercises to try.
Arts and crafts
For the crafty folks out there, you may be surprised to learn there are apps that will support your hobby, too. For instance, there's are knitting apps that will provide you with pattern ideas, video tutorials and a place to track your progress.
There are also crafting apps that update regularly with new ideas for DIYs, room décor and painting projects, to name a few. This is a great way to find inspiration if you're in the mood for crafting but aren't sure where to start.
If you're interested in painting and drawing, there are many apps available to support that. Some of these are apps that provide a digital space for you to work, offering many tools and features for your art that you couldn't find in real life. Others offer inspiration and technique tutorials to better your art on paper.
Cooking and baking
Cooking and baking can be natural hobbies for many adults, as it's already part of your life. If it's something you enjoy doing and want to expand it into a full-blown hobby, there are many apps to do that.
There are some cooking apps that are essentially social media for hobby cooks. You can view trending recipes, check out other peoples' latest creations and share your own meals. They also let you save recipes to a digital cookbook within the app, so you're never without inspiration.
If you're new to cooking and baking, there are apps that will not only provide simpler recipes to scroll through, but also step-by-step video instructions to help you learn new techniques. If you've never made a meringue or aren't sure how to blanche something, fear not! These apps are here to help.
There are also many apps that are designed for specific lifestyles and allergens. If you can't have tree nuts or gluten or you follow a plant-based diet, there are cooking and baking apps out there that will cater directly to you and your needs.
Self-care can mean a lot of different things, but however you choose to practice it, you can bet there's an app for it. If you find peace through physical activity like yoga, check out one of the many apps available that are fully customizable to your level, pace and preferences.
Another way to unwind may be writing. There are numerous journaling apps out there that provide a secure, digital way to keep track of your thoughts, emotions, photos and more. Or if you prefer a more structured way to write, check out some creative writing apps. They can provide you prompts for stories, lists, poems, songs or plays, or just provide a digital space for you to store those things if you already have an idea in mind.
Figuring out how to find a hobby doesn't have to be overwhelming. Start with what you know and find a hobby app to support that. You'll be enjoying yourself in no time!