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How to find a hobby you love

By Scott Houston
In 2020, the medical journal, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that engaging with a hobby had a positive effect on adults with self-reported depression, helping them to feel more relaxed, energized, and inspired. There are countless other studies that prove having hobbies leads to a more fulfilling, stress-free life. Great, but what counts as a hobby? And how do you find one you love as an adult? In this blog post, I’ll explore different hobby types, their benefits, and give you tips on how to find and stick with one you’re passionate about.

What counts as a hobby?

The truth is, it’s a bit of a spectrum, but simply put, a hobby is a pastime that you actively pursue for the purpose of fun! Hobbies are activities that require a little bit of work and allow you to develop new skills and knowledge. 

Hobbies can fall into different categories depending on your interests and aspirations. Physical hobbies like yoga or biking are great for people who can’t sit still and want to blow off steam. Mental hobbies like crossword puzzles or creative writing work well for busy people to complete “on the go.” And creative hobbies like acrylic painting or playing piano are wonderful confidence-builders that often have tangible final products—like playing a full song or hanging a finished piece of art. 

No matter the activity you choose, any hobby will add an element of stress relief to your life. The process of looking for a hobby as an adult on the other hand is a different story. With countless options to choose from, it can definitely be overwhelming!

Getting to know you(rself)

Since we’re not being introduced to new topics and fields of interest as frequently as we did when we were growing up, finding a hobby you’re passionate about as an older adult can be tough. Our interests change as we gain life experience, and the extracurricular activities you once enjoyed in high school–for many, the last time they took up a new activity–may no longer fit the person you are as an adult. 

In early and mid-adulthood, the responsibilities of work and raising children prevent many people from being able to take time for themselves and grow or discover different interests. That’s why it’s extremely common for empty nesters and retirees with newly acquired time on their hands to feel a loss of direction or purpose. 

Even if you don’t fall into either of those categories, it’s human nature to just feel restless sometimes. Hobbies can help people at any age switch up their routines and feel more fulfilled. The trick is finding something you want to pursue! Use the questions below to do some self-reflecting—and don’t forget to look for patterns in your answers! Identify one or two activities or interests before moving on to the next step. 
  • What do you already enjoy? What did you enjoy as a kid? What do you enjoy watching other people do?  
  • Consider your personality: Do you need a challenge to prevent boredom? Do you need a social hobby or prefer being alone? Are you results-oriented or do you find more joy in the journey? What are you already good at? 
  • What are your limitations? Do you have physical, financial, or time constraints you need to consider? 

Just try it!

The simplest (and hardest!) step of doing something new is taking that very first action. That’s where the power of sampling comes in! By sampling different types of educational courses to kickstart your hobby, you can learn more and feel confident before really deciding to commit.You can find local and online classes to attend across different hobby options to find the best type of class or teaching style for you. It is very common for classes to offer free trials or demonstrations  so you can try them before you buy.

Here are some helpful search terms for you to use on Google or another search engine:

  • ___ lessons for adults
  • Beginner ___ class
  • Online ___ class 
If you’re still deciding between a couple different hobbies, there is absolutely no harm in exploring them both! I recommend limiting your classes to no more than once a day, though, so you don’t get burnt out too early. Once you find a class you like, stick with it! More on that below…

A tip for burnout

According to this scientific study it takes an average of two months for someone to build a habit. Now hobbies aren’t exactly the same thing as habits, but it is a useful statistic to keep in mind during the beginning stages of your pursuit. Being a “beginner” at something isn’t always fun, and depending on how big of a challenge your new hobby is, there are going to be times when you feel like giving up. Only you will be able to tell if your selected activity isn’t the right one for you, and I recommend you try to keep learning for at least a couple of months before moving on—so you can know for sure!

Tips for pursuing piano

If you think you might want to learn to play an instrument for your fun new hobby, the piano is an excellent choice because it is one of the physically easiest musical instruments to play! Not only that—if you want to play modern, popular songs rather than classical ones, you only need to learn to read sheet music with one line of notation. Playing piano for fun has been proven to lead to improved memory, hearing, blood pressure, hand-eye coordination, and so much more for adults. Plus, there are actually some benefits to learning to play piano as an adult rather than as a child.

If you’re ready to start exploring some classes for your piano journey, I’d love for you to try a lesson on me. In just 45 minutes, I’ll demonstrate how my method helps adults learn to play without complicated sheet music while teaching you to play your first tune. Simply fill out the form below to get started in your first online piano lesson.

If you’d like to try out a piano teacher who’s experienced in teaching adults–even those with arthritis–how to play piano, I’d love for you to try a class on me. My 45 minute lesson will show you how I teach and get you playing your first song. Simply click the button below to sign up and get started in your first online piano lesson.