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Top 10 Stress Reliever Hobbies

These Hobbies Make Great Stress Relievers


Updated May 27, 2014

With today's stressful lifestyles, it's important to have time that you take to do something just for the fun of it. While there are many great hobbies to choose from, this is a list of hobbies that are particularly useful in relieving stress. Learn about the benefits of each, and find resources to get started on a new great hobby for stress relief this week!

1. Gardening

Woman planting flowers in her backyard
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Gardening can be a great stress reliever for many reasons, including getting you into the sunshine and fresh air, creating more beautiful surroundings to come home to each day, and more. See this article to read about the benefits of gardening, and find resources to get started.

2. Explore Photography

Whether you simply learn to take better pictures of your friends and family, or delve into the world of creating true art, photography can be a great hobby. As you practice seeing the world through the eye of a photographer, you may begin to see things differently. The end result? Not only do you have a diverting hobby and an activity to call your own, but you see the world as a more beautiful place in your daily life! To get started, see this article on photography for beginners.

3. Scrapbooking

Whether you have a few pictures, or boxes of them, scrapbooking can be a great hobby. It combines artistry with journaling to create a unique vehicle for displaying your memories and passing them to future generations. Typically more of a female pastime, scrapbooking offers many social opportunities (in the form of classes, gatherings, and forums), and a break from what stresses you, to create something beautiful that others can enjoy as well. Learn more about beginning scrapbooking.

4. Maintain a Saltwater Aquarium

Watching aquarium fish has proven health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and relieving stress. Maintaining an aquarium of beautiful fish can be considered a useful hobby because it requires regular (but not overwhelming) attention, has the potential to connect you with other saltwater fish enthusiasts, and provides you with the opportunity to create something unique: your own mix of fish, rock and plant life. To get started, see this article on maintaining a saltwater aquarium.

5. Puzzles

Engaging your mind in a puzzle can take your focus off of what’s stressing you, and develop your brain power at the same time. The end result is that you get a nice break, experience some 'flow’, and come back to your problems with a fresher, stronger mind, which can help you to better handle life’s stressors. About’s Puzzle Site has some terrific puzzles for all types of puzzlers, whether you have a little time or a lot!

6. Drawing

You can get in touch with your artistic side and use drawing as a way to process emotions, distract yourself, and achieve other stress management benefits. The end result will be something beautiful and personal that you can enjoy or share. Read this for more on how drawing can relieve stress, and for resources on learning to draw.

7. Painting

Painting carries similar stress management benefits as drawing, but through a different medium. For more on relieving stress through painting, see this article on painting for beginners.

8. Knitting

Aside from helping you create beautiful gifts for yourself and others, knitting provides you an opportunity to relieve stress. The repetitive motion can get you into an experience of ‘flow’, or can at least provide an outlet for nervous energy. Click here for resources on learning to knit.

9. Playing The Piano

Music has many health and stress relief benefits. While listening to music can probably be considered a hobby, creating music can be an even more powerful stress relieving hobby, as it can absorb your attention fully and become a vehicle for creative expression as well. Learning to play an instrument such as the piano can be a stress reliever for you as well as for those around you, as you share your creation. See this resource for online piano lessons to get started.

10. Writing

Many people have found journaling to be a great stress reliever, and the practice comes with proven stress management and health benefits as well! Writing, whether in a personal journal, as an amateur author, or even as a professional, is a hobby that can cathartic and relaxing, and provides something great to share with others. See this article on ways to find story ideas if you’d like to get into writing as a hobby.
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