5 Creative Hobbies for Adults That’ll Make You a Happier Person

Shianne Edelmayer Updated 15-05-2020

In today’s productivity-driven culture, many of us suffer from stress. Too many people are stressed at work, at home, or when we’re running errands. And if this stress seeps into our personal lives, we can become depressed.


Research has shown that creative hobbies have the power to improve your mental health. There are also plenty of creative pastimes that can help fight off stress. So, in this article, we list a handful of creative hobbies that will make you happy.

1. Learn Photography

Best Creative Hobbies Photography

Photography is one of many artistic hobbies that you can pick up. Instead of creating something out of nothing, photography is all about capturing the beauty that already exists around us, either in nature, at home, or on the streets.

One of the most important reasons why you should learn photography is that it can change the way you see the world, often for the better. Not only does it train you to see things from multiple perspectives, it helps you see things that you would normally overlook.

More relevantly, photography can also invoke happiness. According to a 2016 study by the American Psychological Association, taking photographs can make you more mentally engaged.


That said, like all creative hobbies, there is a learning curve to it. So don’t expect yourself to be an expert photographer right away. Once you get a handle on the basics, however, it’s one of the most satisfying and fulfilling skills you’ll ever learn.

To get started, we recommend thee online photography courses for beginners The Best Online Photography Courses for Beginners Are you searching for online photography classes to join? Then take your pick from these excellent lessons. Read More .

2. Learn How to Garden

Creative Hobbies Gardening

After 8-10 hours stuck in an office or otherwise trapped indoors, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have much connection with the earth. However, what if we told you that gardening has been scientifically proven to lift your mood?


Would that make you more likely to step outside and get down in the dirt?

Consider this Preventive Medicine Reports study from 2016, where researchers reported that the correlated mental health effects of gardening are overwhelmingly positive.

Additionally, an article by the BBC goes on to explain how gardening can assist you in achieving a longer, healthier life.

Speaking from personal experience, I can definitely say that gardening has improved my mood, allowed me to get more exercise, and be creative, too.


Additionally, by planting a vegetable garden, it has eased my anxiety over food security. Nothing makes you feel better than knowing that you can grow everything at home.

Overall, gardening is one of the best creative hobbies that can make you happy. Learning how to garden can be a scary prospect, but there are applications designed to make it easier. Here are some helpful gardening apps 7 Helpful Gardening Apps for Android and iPhone Need some help making your garden even better? Have a look at these mobile apps that give anyone a green thumb. Read More to help you get started.

3. Start a Journal

Artistic Hobbies Start a Journal

Learning how to write is often associated with creative blocks. It’s not unheard of for famous authors to be so tormented by their psyches that they end up depressed.


However, many people actually write for fun. In fact, certain kinds of writing are incredibly therapeutic. An article by Ian Sample of The Guardian explains that “writing about your feelings can help the brain overcome emotions and leave you feeling happier.”

Overall, this expressive writing could mean the difference between you being stressed out and feeling relaxed. Fortunately, expressive writing is one of the easiest creative hobbies to get into. All you need is a word processing program, or some paper and a pen or pencil.

From there, you can begin writing about anything you want. And we recommend just letting it flow from your brain to the page and seeing what happens.

4. Learn How to Draw and Paint

Artistic Hobbies Drawing and Painting

Are you looking for more artsy creative hobbies? Drawing and painting can be used as an expressive tool to help you cope with stress and trauma.

The term “art therapy” was coined in 1942, and in simple terms it’s the use of visual mediums to help you ease anxious feelings by expressing yourself with lines, shapes, and colors. Since its emergence in the 1940s, art therapy has been one of the many tools that therapists use to treat psychological distress.

In an article on Psychology Today, Dr. Cathy Malchiodi explains that “art expression helped them to put their emotions and non-verbal experiences into words,” in reference to a study’s participants.

Even if you don’t attend official art therapy sessions, you can still reap the benefits by drawing or painting your own. These days, most art is done digitally, and because it’s digital you can learn how to draw online, too.

We recommend starting with these websites that will teach you how to draw 10 Sites That Will Teach You How to Draw Well We all want to draw well. But, drawing skills can only come through daily practice. Go to these ten websites and their fantastic tutorials to begin your journey. Read More , to learn the basics. Once again, arty hobbies can make you happy, too.

5. Learn How to Cook and/or Bake

Hobbies That Make You Happy Cooking and Baking

One of the most reliable hobbies to make you happy is cooking and baking. Time spent in the kitchen might be a nightmare for some, but once you get past your kitchen fears you’ll realize it’s a wonderful skill to have.

According to a comprehensive, well-researched article by The Huffington Post, the creative aspects of cooking and baking can help us express our innermost thoughts during a stressful time when words do not seem to be enough.

“When baking for other people, baking can also be a helpful way to communicate one’s feelings. Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychology and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts, points to the cultural norm of bringing food to someone when a loved one has passed.”

Cooking can wash away your stress, and it does this by allowing you to channel undesirable or unhealthy energy into something productive or beautiful. This is also evidenced by people using baking as a way to cure manic depression, according to a fascinating article by the BBC.

Essentially, like art therapy, cooking and baking are happy hobbies that can have a positive effect on the brain.

Plus, cooking your own meals from scratch is often healthier than eating out, and can help slash your household expenses. These two things can help reduce stress, and thus improve your mental wellbeing.

To get started, check out the best online cooking guides for beginners The 7 Best Online Cooking Guides for the Beginner Cook You can learn how to be a great cook. These cooking guides for the beginner cook are few of the best places to start. Read More .

Creative Hobbies Can Make You Happy

Being able to explore your creative potential can make you a happier person. And there are millions of people out there who can attest to this.

While these creative hobbies are fun, they aren’t just for fun. Creativity can have real, positive benefits on your mental wellbeing, and we think it’s important that this distinction should be made.

If you want to live a happier life, here’s how to check your stress levels and relax your mind 5 Ways to Check Your Stress and Relax the Mind to Happiness Stress is a modern day reality. Here are some of the best remedies online for anyone who wants to beat back the mental pressures. Read More .

Image Credits: Andrei Mayatnik/Shutterstock, Miski/Shutterstock

Related topics: Cooking, Creativity, Hobbies, Journaling, Photography.

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  1. Anonymous
    November 16, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Writing CAN help you relax but if you write something embarrassing and many people see it it can cause a great deal of stress

  2. Laura
    April 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I make cards as a hobby and love it, I find that it really helps me de-stress and love the end result too.

  3. Art
    November 15, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I found happiness in training dogs and showing them in obedience and herding trials. It's a cliche, but nothing loves you like a dog. When I'm working with them, I'm totally relaxed and get great satisfaction when we're working together as a team. Even after 30 years, I'm always learning something new. I got started in it when I was a computer programmer and got my first dog. I found I really enjoyed working with something that's alive in my spare time after working with machines at work.

  4. Robert South
    August 20, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I see model railroading is missing. I am not surprised. Most news stories say it is a dying hobby.
    A movie titled "Model Citizen", was made in 2015 by a woman who happened to stumble upon the hobby.
    The movie does a great job of pointing out the many ways the hobby can be and is enjoyed by many of all ages and sex. Yes, there are women model railroaders.

  5. Anonymous
    December 18, 2015 at 7:51 am

    very nice article.

    • Joel Lee
      December 23, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks Kashif! Hope you found it helpful. :)

  6. Anonymous
    November 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Flower pressing is a perfect hobby that is both creative and relaxing. And you don't have to be unduly creative either because the flowers do everything for you. Easy to learn too!

  7. Anonymous
    October 13, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Hiking, fly tying, astronomy, any hobby that helps me to forget the daily grind for a while, makes me happy and recharges the batteries.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2015 at 12:41 am

      What is fly tying? That sounds interesting. I can definitely see how astronomy would be relaxing. Stellar objects are simply beautiful.

      • Anonymous
        October 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

        "What is fly tying?"
        Something like calf roping, except with flies. :P

        Seriously, fly tying is making small fishing lures that imitate the look of flies and other insects. Google 'fly tying' for a more in depth explanation because my short, few word explanation will not do the activity justice.

        • Joel Lee
          October 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

          Ohhh, flies as in fly fishing. That's awesome! I've only been fishing a few times in my life but I loved it every single time. I'd go more often if I wasn't so dang busy. Fly tying sounds like something I could do, though. Thanks for mentioning it! Never would've thought of that one.

        • Anonymous
          October 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

          Fishing - a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other end.

          It is called 'fishing', not 'catching'

  8. Saikat Basu
    October 13, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I think one of the tricks is to spend time with a hobby "without even realizing that you are spending time". To explain simply, take a hobby and make it a normal part of our everyday existence instead of scheduling it in a calendar. Those micro-moments can definitely add to our happiness.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2015 at 12:40 am

      Right on, Saikat. Those are definitely the best kinds of hobbies to have. What do you do without even realize you're spending time on it? For me, it used to be programming. Nowadays I don't know...

  9. Anonymous
    October 13, 2015 at 1:31 am

    My hobby is genealogy. It is challenging, involves lots of different aspects and never ends. I would consider it as more varied than any other hobbies I can think of.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Hmm, interesting. How exactly does that work as a hobby? Do you try to trace the family histories of your friends? Or do you dig back hundreds and hundreds of years in your own family tree?

      • Anonymous
        October 17, 2015 at 12:52 am

        I research my family lines back hundreds of years and all of the affiliated lines, like my father and mother's grandparents and their parents and grandparents. It gets to be a wide range of people, though which you can find cousins that are living now. There is getting to be more information online now so it is somewhat easier to find records.

        • Joel Lee
          October 17, 2015 at 2:14 am

          Awesome! The Internet must be such a boon for a hobby like that. Can you imagine what it'd be like without it? Lol. I'd go mad!

  10. Anonymous
    October 13, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Metal Detecting is one of my hobbies that is fun, rewarding and good exercise. It is fun to get outside and enjoy to weather while not knowing what I might dig up. The looks on people's faces are the rewards when I find rings or jewelry that they thought would forever be lost. The exercise of getting up and down every few minutes will cause sore muscle to scream the next day.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2015 at 12:38 am

      Oh wow, that's cool. Thanks for sharing Gary. I would love to try metal detecting one day, but I'm not sure how to start or if it would even be possible in an urban setting.

  11. Anonymous
    October 12, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    My hobbies are all of the above. Should that make me the happiest person on the planet?

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2015 at 12:38 am

      Lol, if only that were true! Creative hobbies can lend towards a happier life, but hobbies alone aren't sufficient for happiness.