Having a hobby makes you happier, but not everyone has found their calling. Or you know your interest, but you can’t seem to stick to it. If a healthy hobby isn’t part of your routine, these sites and apps can help.
The science is pretty clear. People who actively pursue their hobbies have a healthier work-life balance, score higher on happiness tests, and show fewer signs of stress. With these tools, you could find the right strategy to stick with a hobby, a buddy to enjoy together, or finally find the best hobby for you.
1. Hobbitual (Web): Free Video Tutorials to Learn Any Hobby
If you’re still deciding which hobby to take up, Hobbitual can help you get started. It’s a boredom-killing repository of ideas for different types of hobbies and what you’ll need to learn to do it.
Hobbitual supports a range of hobby categories like programming, arts and crafts, fashion, sports, music, health, gaming and strategy, writing, food, technology and others. Each has several skills, such as learning beatbox or calligraphy. Whichever 30 skills or hobby topics you choose, you’ll see an estimated time below.
This is the number of minutes of online videos you need to watch to master this craft. These are all free YouTube videos whose mission is to shorten your learning curve. And you can suggest other hobbies if they’re not already covered on Hobbitual.
2. Hobby Finder (Web): Find the Right Hobby for You
Hobby Finder boasts of giving you all the knowledge you need about any hobby. For example, if you decide to get into metal detecting, you’ll find some videos for beginners in metal detecting, as well as a well-written guide on what to expect. Hobby Finder also includes articles on the best gear for the hobby and some fun facts.
There are several ways to use Hobby Finder to find the right hobby for you. You can browse the four main categories (Sports, Crafts, Adventure, Spirit) and browse the main options like hiking, learning a language, pottery, etc.
Or you can use the HobbyFinda calculator. It’s a short quiz that asks you a few questions about your personality, then gives you a list of different hobbies that might best suit your mindset.
Finally, scroll down the page for a few categories that you won’t see in the menu. You’ll find options for women’s hobbies, men’s hobbies, over-60s, kids’ hobbies, indoor hobbies, and outdoor hobbies.
3. The Curiously Creative (Web): Beginner’s Guides to Creative Hobbies
Considering the overwhelming amount of information one gets when researching a new interest on the internet, Curiously Creative tries to simplify it by being a place where beginners can get a concise guide to starting any new creative hobby.
For each hobby or activity, you’ll get an article that includes a how-to guide, resources and tools, recommended products, and other relevant information for creative pursuits. The Curiously Creative also sometimes includes weekly exercises to learn a hobby and improve it.
You can sign up for the newsletter to access a free PDF booklet titled 101+ Creative Hobby Ideas. It’s an easy-to-read list of different creative hobbies, essential tools for everyone, and recommended products and resources. Categories include paper crafts, printing hobbies, stationary hobbies, miniature arts and crafts, fashion and beauty, needlework and weaving, and more.
4. HobbyTwin (Android, iOS): Find a friend near you for all hobbies
Some hobbies are best done in groups or with friends, whether it’s board games or hiking. That’s why HobbyTwin wants to help you find hobby buddies near you.
Once registered, the app first asks you to add all of your hobbies and choose your current skill level from five stages: Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Ninja. Then the app displays your hobby “twins”, i.e. people with similar interests and skills, ranked by their geographical proximity to you (HobbyTwin needs your location data for this ).
You can “follow” matches like a social network. HobbyTwin also has a newsfeed to post updates on your hobby. You can also start private chats and group chats if you have found multiple hobby buddies on the app.
If you have a higher skill level, HobbyTwin will make you a “mentor” for beginners and beginners, allowing you to help newcomers to a hobby. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, you might be matched with a mentor to make things easier for you.
Although it has all the features you want, HobbyTwin still has a small user base so far. So even if you correspond with someone, you might find inactive accounts. That’s why, even today, MeetUp is probably the best tool for finding people with common interests.
To download: Hobby Twin for Android | iOS (Free)
5. Essential Reading (Web): Expert Guides to Finding a New Hobby
Although websites and apps give you the information you need to start any hobby, there are a few general rules you should know. There are things to look out for and practical advice to help you on your journey, like developing any good habit.
The New York Times has written an in-depth guide on how to find a hobby and keep it. The article cites scientific studies and speaks to experts on how to choose the right hobby and, more importantly, how to spend time on it. Do not miss the section on the difference between interests and hobbies.
Bustle’s “11 Surefire Ways to Find a Hobby” is also for experts for practical advice on determining the right hobby for you. Whether it’s finding a childhood bond or trying something that will make you forget about your day, your personality should fit into one of these different strategies.
Over at Real Simple, writer Liz Lashway wrote about trying new hobbies for 365 days, from baking to riding a OneWheel, and what she learned from the experience. If you haven’t yet found a hobby that’s right for you, this article is a great read on what to expect as you experiment with different options.
Organize your hobby
Hopefully it won’t take you long to find a hobby you enjoy doing. But the key to sticking with it is to organize it. The most common reason people don’t stick to their hobby isn’t that they’re lazy, but because there are too many obstacles.
So organize your hobby in an accessible, reproducible and enjoyable way. That might mean planning a time in your calendar or neatly organizing the tools you need so you can get started quickly whenever you feel like it. Figure out what’s stopping you from spending time on your hobby and work to eliminate it.
Learning new hobbies is great for work-life balance. If you’re short on space, these geeky DIY hobbies are perfect!
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