5 Simple Hobbies You Can Start Right Away

Are you thinking about starting up a new hobby? Countless fulfilling, fun, and educating activities are easy to begin anytime. Plus, the mental health benefits associated with having a hobby you enjoy make the effort even more worthwhile. Research shows that people who regularly engage in their hobbies have lower stress and cortisol levels and are less likely to suffer from depression, per Utah State University. So, there's truly no need to ever feel guilty for doing the things you enjoy because it's actually a form of self-care.


But, when you think of starting a new hobby, spending money often comes to mind. Take, for instance, activities like traveling, skiing, or golf, where you need to dish out hundreds of dollars just to get started. Even crafts like knitting take some investment. But not all hobbies need to cost money. Several activities you can begin have little to no impact on your wallet.

Here are five simple hobbies you can start right away.


Picking up reading as a hobby may sound obvious. However, once you find the right author or genre to suit your tastes, it will be an activity you look forward to every day. Reading can also be a great way to connect with friends and family by finding out what books they recommend or trading your favorite reads. Or, you can always start with best sellers if you don't know where to begin.


If you don't have a book on your shelf at home, get yourself a library card at your local library. Having a library card has a plethora of other benefits other than just checking out books, as Apartment Therapy reported. There are also tons of reading apps available that offer a wide variety of options for you to read (via Oprah). 

If reading a book isn't your thing, a lot of libraries now have the option to check a book out in audio form so you can listen in your car, on walks, or any time you get a free moment, according to CNBC.


Cooking may be necessary — if you don't order in for every meal — but it can also become your next hobby. After all, who doesn't love food? Not only can you create yummy meals that nourish you and your family, but you can achieve that sense of fulfillment that comes with making something on your own. Plus, after a long day, focusing on following a recipe can calm stress and take your mind off things, per Southern Living.


Cooking at home could be the best hobby for your wallet too. According to this study, eating out is five times more expensive than cooking at home. Whether you love baking or cooking healthy dinners is more your thing, find a new recipe to try out at least once a week. Not sure where to start? Try recreating meals from your favorite restaurants, or start with a simple ingredient list featuring protein, vegetables, and starch.

And if you have kids in your life, they might love baking, so have them join in on the fun.


We've all heard about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, such as better mood, overall health, and energy (per Mayo Clinic). There are hundreds of ways to work out, including barre, CrossFit, or weight training — but you don't need to do much to reap the benefits of exercise. Simply walking one mile a day improves brain function, digestion, and mood.


Why not combine hobbies while you're out moving your body? Tune into your favorite podcast or listen to an audiobook while you're out hiking or biking. Saving the next chapter for your daily exercise can be your little reward for physical activity and sticking to your new hobby.

Exercise can also be fantastic for building community and strengthening relationships (via NBC News). Sign up for weekly classes at a local fitness studio to feel a sense of belonging and extra motivation. You can also take up walking or biking with your family or friends as a fun activity to do together.

DIY around your home

With being a homeowner comes the built-in hobby of DIY projects. Spending time making little improvements to your home and yard can be incredibly fulfilling and even give you a return on investment. And you don't need to knock down walls or rip up floors either. You can do dozens of renovation projects on the weekend, like painting your front door, wallpapering a small space, or planting flowers. Or if decorating is more your thing, you can DIY pillows, art, or seasonal adornments to brighten up your space.


Other than the perks of improving your home, several mental health benefits come alongside the creativity and productivity of DIY projects. Along with the feeling of "flourishing," Tamlin Connor, a psychologist with the University of Otago in New Zealand, told The Telegraph, "There is growing recognition in psychology research that creativity is associated with emotional functioning."


Volunteering is an amazing way to combine the things you love doing with giving back. Do you love the outdoors? Find an organization that works towards nature conservancy. Or maybe you love animals. Humane societies and rescues always need help with volunteers or fostering dogs and cats.


Volunteering at an organization is also a great way to make friends and connect with people who have similar interests. And it goes without saying that volunteering makes a real difference in the lives of those in need, animals, and our environment, which is incredibly fulfilling.

Clearly, the real motivation to volunteer is to help others. Still, it doesn't hurt that it also boosts your self-esteem, life satisfaction, and sense of accomplishment (via Western Connecticut State University). Participating in a cause you are passionate about provides pride and a purpose in life that many people are missing in their day jobs.