Last updated: September 6, 2023
Relaxing hobbies differ from other, less comforting, hobbies by providing tranquility, stress relief, and a sense of calmness. A relaxing hobby, by its very nature, prioritizes mental and emotional well-being. You can practically feel your tissues melting just thinking about it.
Unlike the rest of life, this kind of hobby involves minimal pressure to achieve specific goals or benchmarks, emphasizing the process rather than the outcome. The main objective is to unwind, disconnect from daily stressors, and cultivate a peaceful state of mind.
Zen, at your beck and call.
Everyone needs at least one relaxing hobby. Because of life and feelings. Do you have a relaxing hobby?
I have several quiet hobbies and choose between them and other more demanding activities depending on my mood. They bring peace of mind and give me the space to recharge when needed most.
Here are 55 relaxing hobbies for stress reduction, hobbies to relax you, or hobbies to engage your most inner calm. So that you can bring peace into your life on a more regular basis.
Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of books and escape reality for as long as you want. Or at least as long as there are pages to turn.
Reading is an adventure into the imagination and frees you from the stresses of every day life. There are so many different genres that there’s something for everyone. All books are not created equally however, so keep looking until you find one that calls to you.
Disconnect from the rest of the world and create art that soothes the soul. Your soul. You don’t have to be good. You just have to enjoy it.
Dare to express yourself, unwind, and focus your attention on creating something beautiful or meaningful. The process of mixing colors, applying brushstrokes, and watching a blank canvas transform into a work of art can be meditative and soothing.
Do you remember playing in the dirt or mud when you were younger? Endless hours passing with nothing but the moment you’re in, fresh air, and sunshine. The simple act of getting your hands dirty and working in the garden can be a great way to relieve stress.
Connect with nature by tending to plants and watching them flourish. This can be a highly meditative way to spend your time and a nutritious one as well.
Craft coziness while letting your mind unwind with repetitive motion. The easiest place to start is with a scarf, as it’s simple, straightforward, and relaxing for your mind. It’s also rather useful, depending on where you live, and makes a great gift too.
But you don’t need to make something if you don’t want to. You can let go of all expectations and simply keep knitting just for the sake of the motion. And when you’re done setting a world record for the longest scarf in the world, you can unravel it all and roll it back up into a ball for the next time.
Calm your mind and find tranquility in the present moment. This takes a little effort to achieve for some people. At least at first. But it does get easier. If you’re doing it right, you can almost fall asleep because it’s just that relaxing. Throw in a nap for balance and call yourself good.
Capture the beauty in everyday life and explore your creative side. When you start working on your photography skills, you start looking at everything differently. You see things you’ve never noticed before. You appreciate things you never thought about before.
I look for the beauty in everything, and it brings a peaceful perspective to an otherwise crazy lifestyle. It’s made me slow down and see the world around me more. Or maybe that’s just my age!
Collecting rocks and searching for them in the dirt or on the shore can be a great way to unwind and appreciate the moment you’re in. You can choose to hunt for specific kinds or simply look for ones that catch your eye. You are never too old to experience the serenity and joy of searching for rocks.
Let your imagination flow onto paper and embrace the joy of creation. No skill is required! Patience, perhaps, and maybe a good sense of humor is all you really need.
Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner, the act of putting pencil to paper and creating something from scratch can provide a sense of calm and pleasure.
9. Playing a Musical Instrument
Playing a musical instrument can be a highly relaxing and rewarding hobby. Music has an amazing ability to evoke emotions, memories, and feelings, both good and bad.
Playing an instrument allows you to connect with the joy of creating sound and expressing yourself in a creative way. Jam out those tunes to uplift your spirit. This can be very relaxing for you and those around you as well, depending on how well you play.
Experiment with flavors, creating dishes that nourish both body and soul. This can be highly addictive, depending on what you make, but it is a wonderful exercise in staying grounded.
Share your creations with the hungry humans in your life, and know the satisfaction and joy that comes from connecting through good food.
Reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a private space. This can be a meditative practice or a motivating practice, depending on you. The beauty of it is that it can be anything you want it to be.
12. Candle Making
Feeling creative? Candle making is a wonderfully relaxing, sensory-filled and fulfilling hobby with many therapeutic benefits.
The process of creating candles demands a high level of mindfulness, requiring your focused attention as you choose scents, colors, and molds, and then carefully melt and pour the wax.
Candle making also provides a unique outlet for creativity. Designing and customizing candles with different fragrances, colors, and decorative elements lets you express your artistic side and experience a genuine feeling of accomplishment.
Transform paper into intricate art pieces with patience and precision. Have you ever tried it? It’s surprisingly satisfying, nearly magical, something so simple as turning paper into something beautiful or fun.
The beautiful thing about origami is that nearly every one can do it, and nearly everyone appreciates it too!
14. Crossword Puzzles
Challenge your mind while keeping it relaxed and focused. Is such a thing even possible? If you choose the right level it is. Don’t try to over-achieve here, start easy and work your way to more advanced puzzles. The goal is enjoyment, not frustration.
Bonus: This hobby also helps your aging brain stay young and enhances focus.
15. Listening to Music
Music has a remarkable ability to influence emotions, and by selecting tunes that resonate with your mood, you can effortlessly create a calming and positive ambiance that promotes relaxation.
Beyond its mood-enhancing capabilities, music also offers stress-reduction benefits. The rhythmic patterns and melodies can directly affect the nervous system, leading to decreased stress and anxiety levels.
It’s always fascinated me how certain songs have the power to evoke nostalgia and comfort, transporting me to cherished memories or simply offering a sense of familiarity. What songs speak to you?
Music soothes the soul, no matter what kind you listen to. Let the melodies wash over you, elevating your mood and reducing stress.
Observe the night sky’s beauty and contemplate the universe. There are many online resources and apps that can help you figure out what you’re looking at. Or grab a friend in the know to get yourself started. Just be sure to dress warmly and do so in a safe place!
17. Coloring Books
Like drawing, only with considerably less skill. Effortlessly rediscover the joy of coloring and unleash your inner artist. No pressure, only peace. And maybe something beautiful as an end result.
Calligraphy is widely regarded as a relaxing and contemplative hobby that offers a unique blend of artistic expression and mindfulness.
The intricate strokes and deliberate hand movements required in calligraphy engage your focus and attention, creating a meditative experience that encourages you to be fully present in the moment.
The precise nature of calligraphy promotes a slower pace, letting you detach from the rapid pace of everyday life and find comfort in the deliberate art of writing with every stroke.
While it’s true that it takes some practice to acquire the skill, the results are more beautiful than regular handwriting any day.
19. Model Building
Assemble intricate models to sharpen focus and patience. It’s also good for your aging brain.
The greatest thing about model building is that you can build anything you set your mind toward. From cars, boats, miniatures or airplanes. Only the sky is the limit!
20. Rock Painting
Paint and hide rocks in your community, spreading smiles and positivity. Just be sure to place them only in areas that people will appreciate them.
Note: This is considerably harder than it looks, and you are often your own worst critic. Engage with humor for best results!
One of the most relaxing ways to spend time with nature while practicing patience and mindfulness. Catch your own dinner, catch and release, catch some Zs. Yes, it’s that relaxing.
22. Jigsaw Puzzles
Piece together puzzles, engaging your mind in a soothing way. Puzzles come in a huge range of difficulties and sizes, so you can suit your puzzle to your mood, whatever your mood.
Writing poetry can be a relaxing and fulfilling hobby. Engaging in the creative process of writing lets you express your thoughts, emotions, and imagination in a unique and artistic way.
The rhythmic and melodic aspects of poetry often create a soothing cadence, providing a sense of flow and harmony that can be calming to the mind.
This process also encourages introspection, as you contemplate your feelings and experiences while carefully choosing words to convey a message.
The absence of strict rules in poetry provides a liberating space for personal expression, making it an enjoyable and therapeutic way to unwind and find solace in the beauty of words.
24. Bird Watching
Observe and appreciate the beauty of feathered friends. This is a fantastic and relatively inexpensive hobby you can enjoy wherever you go and whatever the weather.
Shape clay into functional art, finding a little zen in the tactile process. It’s like playing in the mud, in a more sophisticated way and with something to show for your effort.
I’ve never tried this one myself, though I would like to. I’ve known a few beekeepers, however, and every single one of them is passionate about their hobby.
While it requires a certain level of commitment, knowledge, and responsibility, the act of tending to beehives and caring for bees can offer a unique sense of connection with nature and a calming routine.
Observing the behavior of bees, their interactions, and their diligent work can be quite fascinating and soothing. The rhythmic hum of the bees can create a tranquil environment that allows you to disconnect from the demands of modern life and be present in the moment.
Additionally, the honey harvesting process is not only rewarding in terms of the delicious end product but can also be a meditative practice. The careful handling of frames and the extraction of honey require a certain level of focus and attention, which can help you relax and feel satisfied.
27. Woodworking or Whittling
Sculpt wood into intricate designs, finding comfort in craftsmanship. There’s something so satisfying in working with wood. The smell of it, the feel of it, the beauty of it.
Working with wood lets you engage in a hands-on, creative process that can be both absorbing and meditative. In addition, the act of transforming raw wood into finished pieces through cutting, shaping, and assembling can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
28. Feng Shui
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophical and spiritual system that seeks to harmonize people with their environment.
It’s based on the belief that the arrangement and orientation of objects, buildings, and spaces can influence the energy or “qi” that flows through them, ultimately affecting the well-being, health, and fortune of the people occupying those spaces.
Rearrange and organize your living space for optimal energy flow. There’s something so peaceful about this, the process and the end result. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should just once. Let me know how it works for you!
29. Writing Letters
How long has it been since you hand-wrote a letter to someone? Have you ever? Slow down and connect with loved ones through handwritten letters, and I promise you will both benefit from the exchange.
30. Collecting Seashells
The gentle act of combing beaches for unique and beautiful shells offers a tranquil connection with nature. The rhythmic sound of waves, the sensation of sand underfoot, the feel of the wind, the salt in the air, and the thrill of discovering intricate shells evoke a sense of peace.
Sorting and admiring collected shells can be a meditative process as well, promoting mindfulness and reducing stress. This hobby encourages a deeper appreciation for the coastal environment and its diverse marine life.
Whether solitary or shared with loved ones, the simplicity and beauty of seashell collecting create a lovely escape from daily routines.
Pro Tip: Go at low tide to find the most treasure.
31. Indoor Bonsai Gardening
Bonsai gardening is a traditional form of horticulture that involves cultivating and shaping miniature trees or shrubs in containers. The term “bonsai” is derived from the Japanese words “bon,” meaning tray or pot, and “sai,” meaning plant.
Bonsai gardening is rightly considered an art form because it involves careful cultivation, pruning, wiring, and training to create a small tree that resembles the shape and proportions of a full-sized tree in nature.
Through the hobby of cultivating miniature trees, you learn patience and care. One of the more meditative hobbies out there, bonsai gardening, brings peace during the process and enjoyment afterward as well.
32. Writing in a Gratitude Journal
Reflect on the positives in life for a calming perspective. It helps you find peace at the moment and helps you find peace throughout your day. It’s also one of the easiest things you can do to find peace of mind.
33. Night Photography
The stillness of the night provides a unique canvas where cityscapes, landscapes, and even celestial wonders take on an entirely different character.
The process of setting up equipment, adjusting settings, and composing shots encourages a focused and mindful engagement with the surroundings.
The slower pace of nighttime allows you to escape the hustle of the day, fostering a sense of serenity as you wait for the perfect moment to capture their desired image.
The act of taking long exposures or experimenting with light trails becomes a creative and almost meditative endeavor, providing an opportunity to express your artistic vision while also finding a sense of calm and balance in the process.
34. Forest Bathing
Immerse yourself in nature, another beautiful art form we’ve borrowed from Japan, and benefit from its healing qualities. You don’t have to hike through it or even walk very far if you don’t want to.
The point is to spend time in a single place, noticing and appreciating as much of that place as possible.
35. Indoor Plant Care
Possibly easier than bonsai gardening, taking care of plants is a beautiful and fulfilling way to pass your time. The act of watering, pruning, and ensuring the right amount of light becomes a mindful practice that encourages a deep connection with nature.
Observing new leaves unfurl and flowers bloom over time instills a sense of accomplishment and wonder. Caring for plants is often accompanied by a sense of responsibility and joy, as you learn to respond to the needs of their leafy charges.
36. Playing Solitaire
Enjoy a single-player card game that engages your focus and concentration. Not competing with anyone, just enjoying your own company.
There are over 500 different kinds of solitaire when it comes to cards. You’re almost guaranteed to find one that speaks to you, if you just keep looking and playing.
Solve number puzzles to stimulate your brain in a leisurely manner. This was a hugely popular trend several years ago and still has many followers because it’s slightly addictive. And also extremely relaxing.
Scrapbooking involves creating personalized albums to preserve and showcase photos, memorabilia, and other mementos.
It’s a way to tell stories, capture memories, and express your creativity through the arrangement of photographs, decorative papers, embellishments, and other elements.
You are the creator, the curator, and the consumer, so you can do whatever calls to you.
39. Cloud Watching
It is a unique way to pass the time and get lost in the moment. Gaze at the sky and imagine shapes in the clouds as they drift on by. Draw them if you wish. This hobby is easier to do in some areas than in others.
40. Glass Painting
Painting on glass is a delightful way to express yourself and create beauty that can last forever.
As you guide the brush across the glass, your worries and daily stresses can fade into the background. The tactile experience of mixing paints, selecting colors, and applying them to the smooth surface engages your senses in a soothing manner.
Completing each stroke and seeing the design take shape can be incredibly satisfying, giving you a sense of accomplishment that eases tension and lifts your spirits.
The best beauty of glass painting, however, lies in its low-pressure nature – there are no rigid rules or standards to adhere to, only the joy of creating.
Disconnect from modern life and immerse yourself in the simplicity of nature, finding peace in the great outdoors. Camp in your backyard, with a group or on a tour. If you haven’t tried it yet, consider camping with someone who has done so before.
Embroidery is a decorative art form that involves embellishing fabric or other materials with needle and thread or other forms of yarn. It’s a technique that has been practiced for centuries across various cultures.
The process of embroidery usually involves creating intricate designs, patterns, or images by stitching threads onto a base fabric using a needle. It’s a relaxing practice that’s a bit easier to learn than crocheting, in my opinion.
43. Zen gardening
Japanese rock gardening, or dry landscape gardening, is a traditional Japanese form of garden design that emphasizes simplicity, minimalism, and a deep connection with nature.
Zen gardens are often associated with Zen Buddhism and are designed to facilitate meditation, contemplation, and a sense of tranquility. They typically consist of carefully arranged elements such as rocks, gravel, sand, and sometimes plants.
You can do this in your backyard, or have a miniature handheld garden indoors. Rake soulful patterns in sand or arrange rocks mindfully to create a calming, meditative space.
And of course, some hobbies related to fitness.
While all sports can be considered hobbies, some are more likely to bring you peace of mind. Some from the physical exertion, some from the slowness of it, and some from the peacefulness of it.
As a general rule, all fitness hobbies are also stress relief hobbies if you approach them the right way.
Lace-up your sneakers and hit the pavement to improve cardiovascular health and endurance. Get in the zone, and you’ll see why this is such a popular and invigorating sport.
Hop on your bike for a fun and effective way to build leg strength and improve overall fitness. Cycling also offers a unique and immersive way to find relaxation in the midst of today’s fast-paced world.
The rhythmic motion of cycling becomes a form of mindfulness, anchoring you in the present moment as you focus on the gentle whir of the wheels and the path ahead.
The physical exertion triggers the release of endorphins, casting a soothing blanket of calmness over your mind. Stress dissipates with each turn of the pedals, replaced by a sense of accomplishment and freedom.
Dive into the pool to work your entire body while enjoying a low-impact cardiovascular workout. The sounds you hear are heavily muted, and it’s easy to escape into your own peaceful world when you’re swimming laps.
Explore trails and nature while improving your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength. Stop to smell the flowers, to enjoy the view, or even if you just need to breathe. You will feel more relaxed from your experience if don’t go alone, have the proper gear, you listen to your body.
Enhance flexibility, balance, and mindfulness through a series of poses and breathing exercises. This is one of the most relaxing ways to get exercise, simply because you’re so in tune with your own body.
Focus on core strength and stability through controlled movements and mindful breathing. It’s very similar to yoga, but it’s a little easier to get a really great stretch from it.
Pilates is a holistic exercise system that focuses on strengthening the body’s core muscles, enhancing flexibility, improving posture, and promoting overall body awareness.
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, this method emphasizes controlled movements, conscious breathing, and precision.
Blend elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates to enhance strength, flexibility, and balance. It’s low-impact and slow-paced, letting you appreciate what your body can do.
Get a full-body workout by rowing on a machine or in a boat on water. Spending time outside will give you the most rewarding experience unless, of course, the weather isn’t appropriate.
Qigong, often spelled as “chi kung” or “qi gong,” is a holistic practice that originates from China and is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy.
The term “qigong” combines “qi,” which refers to life force or energy, and “gong,” which means skill or practice. Qigong is essentially a practice of cultivating and balancing the body’s vital energy.
Qigong involves a combination of gentle physical movements, breathing techniques, meditation, and mental focus.
The primary goal of qigong is to enhance the flow of qi throughout the body’s energy pathways, known as meridians, to promote physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual well-being.
It’s based on the belief that when qi flows harmoniously, it supports overall health and vitality, while blockages or imbalances can lead to illness.
54. Labyrinth Walking
Walk a labyrinth path in a mindful and meditative manner. This also lets you see parts of your environment you might not normally see just because you’re looking for one.
Labyrinth walking is a form of walking meditation that involves navigating a labyrinth, a geometric pattern often etched or created on the ground.
Labyrinths have been used for centuries across different cultures and spiritual traditions as a tool for contemplation, mindfulness, and self-reflection.
Unlike mazes, labyrinths have a single path that leads to the center and then back out, making them simpler to navigate.
55. Nature Walks
The rhythmic cadence of walking promotes a meditative state, calming the mind and reducing stress. Immersed in nature’s beauty, your senses engage with the environment, grounding you in the present moment.
This gentle physical activity releases endorphins, inducing a sense of tranquility. Whether through a forest, by the water’s edge, or along a mountain trail, nature walking fosters rejuvenation, connection with the earth, and a peaceful escape from urban pressures.
Reconnect with the outdoors, observing the world’s natural wonders. Get some low-key exercise while you’re at it.
What is a relaxing hobby?
A relaxing hobby is characterized by its ability to promote a sense of calm, peace, and contentment. Several factors contribute to making a hobby relaxing.
Engagement without Pressure
Relaxing hobbies typically involve activities that you can participate in without feeling pressured to achieve specific goals or outcomes. There’s a lack of performance pressure, allowing you to focus on the process rather than the results.
Many relaxing hobbies encourage mindfulness, a state of being fully present in the moment. This mindfulness helps divert your attention away from stressors and worries, creating a mental space for relaxation.
Low Stress and Stimulation
Relaxing hobbies usually have a gentle pace and don’t involve high levels of stress or physical exertion. They offer a break from the fast-paced and demanding nature of daily life.
Engaging your senses can enhance relaxation. Hobbies that involve tactile sensations (like knitting or gardening), pleasing visuals (like painting or stargazing), soothing sounds (like playing musical instruments or listening to ambient music), or calming scents (like aromatherapy) contribute to the relaxing experience.
Engaging in a relaxing hobby can often lead to a flow state, where you become fully immersed in the activity. This state of deep concentration can be meditative and enhance feelings of relaxation.
Positive Emotional Impact
Relaxing hobbies tend to evoke positive emotions such as joy, contentment, and tranquility. These emotional responses help counteract stress and anxiety.
Many relaxing hobbies offer an opportunity to escape from the demands and pressures of daily life. Engaging in a hobby allows you to momentarily step away from stressors. We all need that from time to time, right?
Relaxing hobbies often have a simple and straightforward nature. This simplicity makes them accessible and easier to engage with, contributing to the overall sense of relaxation.
The most crucial aspect of a relaxing hobby is personal enjoyment. Engaging in activities you genuinely like and find pleasurable enhances the relaxing effect.
Participating in hobbies that align with your interests and passions can lead to an improved mood, as engaging in enjoyable activities releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter.
Time for Reflection
Many relaxing hobbies provide an opportunity for introspection and self-reflection. This can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and your thoughts, contributing to relaxation.
Overall, the relaxation provided by a hobby comes from the combination of engaging activities that promote mindfulness, positive emotions, and a break from the stresses of daily life.
The specific activities that induce relaxation may vary from person to person based on their preferences and individual needs. Do what works for you.
FAQs on Relaxing Activities
Yes, engaging in hobbies can be beneficial for anxiety. Immersing yourself in enjoyable activities can divert focus from stressors, promote relaxation, and boost your mood.
Photography is a cool hobby to have. It lets you explore your creativity, capture moments, and appreciate the beauty in everyday life. Whether with a smartphone or a camera, you can explore different styles and techniques, making it both enjoyable and rewarding.
Meditative hobbies are activities that induce a state of mindfulness and inner calm. Examples include yoga, meditation, painting, gardening, and knitting. These activities promote relaxation, stress reduction, and mental clarity, fostering a sense of presence and well-being.
Coloring is a good mindless hobby. It’s simple, requiring little concentration, making it ideal for relaxation and stress relief. Engaging with coloring books and supplies allows your mind to unwind while still enjoying a creative outlet.
Yes, meditation can be considered a hobby. While often associated with mindfulness and stress reduction, regular meditation practice requires dedication and can provide similar benefits to traditional hobbies, such as improved well-being and personal growth.
Final Thoughts on Relaxing Hobbies
The hallmark of a relaxing hobby lies in its ability to provide a refuge of tranquility and mental reprieve. Unlike hobbies that demand rigorous effort or competition, these activities prioritize a sense of calm and inner peace.
Whether it’s through the gentle art of gardening, the serene strokes of painting, or the immersive world of reading, engaging in a relaxing hobby offers a unique opportunity to detach from life’s pressures and find solace in the serenity of the present moment.