Some people see hobbies as a waste of time. They believe that their time, money, and effort could be better spent elsewhere. But is this really the case?
If you have spent your whole day busy at work, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to do anything except low-effort activities like watching TV, playing video games, or listening to music.
Therefore, in this article, I will make the case for why you may want to sacrifice your time and money to pursue a useful hobby.
I will explore how hobbies could impact your health, intelligence, self-esteem, creativity, and mood among many other things.
I will also give examples of hobbies that best leverage the benefits that I will mention.
So, let’s dive in.
Here Are the Top Benefits of Hobbies
1. Hobbies Keep Boredom at Bay
Avoiding boredom is perhaps the main reason why people get into hobbies.
Boredom and idleness come with their own set of challenges. If you are not careful, you could find yourself getting into unhealthy activities and relationships just to avoid boredom.
It is especially important to have something to occupy you if you are a retiree, stay-at-home parent, or have been laid off from work.
Hobbies help us to keep boredom at bay by:
- Giving us something to do when we have idle time.
- Getting us into a state of flow where we lose the sense of time because we are so engrossed in what we are doing.
- Injecting variety into our lives.
- Introducing adventure and excitement into our lives.
- Enabling us to have fun with our friends.
Some of the hobbies that can help keep boredom at bay include Adventure hobbies (such as paintball), creative hobbies (such as painting), and entertaining hobbies (such as concerts and circuses).
2. Hobbies Can Help You To Make Friends
Making friends as an adult is not that easy. Most people tend to make friends at work and that is it.
But you tend to lose your work friends when you change jobs because the only thing that is holding you together is your place of work.
To forge strong friendships, you need to share similar interests and values. It also helps if you share a common goal or vision.
Hobbies can help with that because they help you to find your tribe- people with whom you are most likely to get along with.
To maximize your chances of making friends through your hobbies, you can:
- Attend meetups and conferences.
- Join a club.
- Attend In-person classes.
- Join online forums and Facebook groups.
3. Hobbies Help You To Learn Valuable Skills
Depending on the hobby you choose to pick up, you can learn skills that will help you in your career or your business.
Note that not all hobbies will help you to learn valuable skills. If your hobbies are comprised of mainly consumption hobbies like watching movies, watching sports, or eating out, then the benefits are limited.
Pick hobbies that will challenge you to learn something new or acquire a new beneficial trait.
Some of the skills you learn by engaging in hobbies include:
- Hard skills such as coding, graphic design, landscaping, and interior décor.
- Life skills such as self-discipline, communication skills, time management, dealing with failure, and perseverance.
If stack skills that can help you to produce useful products and services, then you will be unbeatable.
4. Hobbies Help You To Be More Creative
Creativity is one of those skills that we take for granted but is incredibly important to have in our lives.
The things that make our lives convenient, enjoyable, and interesting; all come from the creativity of others. That is why money, power, and influence flow from those who consume to those who create.
Creativity is an important skill to cultivate because:
- It helps us to come up with new solutions to complex problems.
- It helps us to create products and services that help to serve others.
- It helps us to express ourselves and bring our ideas to life.
Creativity increases the more you practice it, so pick one creative activity and work hard on it. Ten years from now, you will be grateful that you put in the effort.
Some great hobbies for cultivating creativity include writing, playing music, songwriting, painting, and sculpting.
5. Hobbies Can Help You to Make Money
Although most people don’t get into hobbies for the sake of money, hobbies can bring in a healthy side income or even a full-time income.
A 2021 survey of Americans who took up a hobby during the pandemic showed that 48% of them were able to make some money from their hobby. 
There is nothing better than earning an income doing something that you enjoy. Besides, if you are going to spend hours doing something, you might as well make a bit of money from it.
The advantage of this is that you have some extra money to cushion yourself. You also learn the skills that help you to make money on your own.
Common ways that you can make money from your hobbies include:
- Starting a blog around your hobby and monetizing it with ads.
- Starting a YouTube channel around your hobby.
- Selling your services on places like Fiverr and Freelancer.
- Selling products on places like Etsy.
6. Hobbies Can Help To Bring the Family Together
Modern life is so fast-paced and expensive that you are often caught between spending more time with your family or spending more time at work so that you can meet your family’s needs.
Often, work tends to win but this can have consequences on your family especially if you have kids. Kids can end up feeling isolated and lonely often turning to social media for comfort.
However, with some good planning and creativity, you can spend time together with your family cheaply and still have tons of fun.
Sparing time for hobbies is crucial for families because:
- You get to learn each other better.
- You share the ups and downs in each other’s lives.
- You get to shape the values of your kids.
- You create memories that you will treasure in the future.
7. Hobbies Can Be Great for Your Career
Hobbies can help you to get a job especially if they are related to your career.
For example, if you are applying for a job at NASA and you have been building model rockets since you were a teenager, you are more likely to be recruited compared to someone else without your background.
Hobbies can play an important role in helping you get a job because:
- They show that you have skills that are relevant to your area of interest.
- They demonstrate to recruiters that you have a passion for a particular field.
- They help you to network with people in your field.
For your hobbies to have an impact, you have to find a way of marketing yourself. For example, you can have a blog or YouTube channel where you show your work.
Examples of hobbies that can boost your career include public speaking, coding, coaching, writing, and sports.
Further reading: If you are interested in learning more about how hobbies can help you in your career, check out the following articles.
8. Hobbies Can Help You To Stay Fit and Healthy
Many diseases, aches, and ailments that plague us can be solved by adopting a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Good health is something we take for granted until we lose it. But by incorporating healthy hobbies into your lifestyle, you can significantly increase the quality of your life.
Health-boosting hobbies have many benefits, for example:
- You have more energy and wake up feeling refreshed.
- You keep many chronic diseases at bay.
- You save money because you significantly cut your visits to the doctor.
Several studies show that incorporating exercise into your life will help you to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers. You will also improve musculoskeletal fitness and help to fight osteoporosis. 
Some great health-boosting hobbies you can easily start include Yoga, running, meditation, and healthy cooking.
9. Hobbies Can Help You To Become More Productive
Learning how to be more productive can be a game-changer in your life.
Some of the advantages of being more productive include:
- You can do more work with less effort.
- You can work faster so that you can free up your time for other things.
- You can achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.
Hobbies can help you become more productive in many ways. For example:
- By adopting healthy hobbies such as exercising and healthy eating, you have more energy which means you can work faster and better.
- By learning a hobby like coding, you can write scripts that can automate many mundane and repetitive tasks like sending emails, posting on social media, or getting data from the web.
- By picking up a hobby like psychology, you learn how to hack your brain so that you beat bad habits like procrastination.
There are many more examples of productive hobbies. See my article on Hobbies That Will Make You Insanely Productive.
10. Hobbies Can Help You To Become Smarter
We tend to think that we are born with a certain level of intelligence that we cannot change. This is a belief that can hold us back in many ways.
But there is a lot of research that shows that intelligence is not a fixed trait. See the work of Carol Dweck. Her work is summarized in her best-selling book Mindsets.
So, if intelligence is malleable, it makes sense that we should spare time for hobbies that can make us smarter.
Hobbies can make us smarter by improving our problem-solving abilities, memory, critical thinking skills, and communication skills.
For example, a 2014 fMRI study of programmers’ brains found that coding exercises parts of the brain associated with language processing, memory, and attention. 
Here are examples of hobbies that can make you smarter.
- Reading. It is one of the most efficient ways of taking in information and it is cheap. All you need to get started is a library card.
- Chess. Chess and other strategy games are great for learning how to think two or three moves ahead of your competitors.
- Coding. Coding requires that you learn how to organize your thoughts in a systematic and orderly way.
Such hobbies may be difficult to adopt at first, but you should consider them as a gym for your brain. Visualize your brain expanding every time you encounter new challenges.
11. Hobbies Help You To Relax and Be Calm
Hobbies can do wonders for your mental health. If you are perennially stressed, consider taking up a hobby that will help you deal with your stress.
Hobbies can help you to relax and be calm by:
- Changing your environment. Hobbies like hiking and camping take you to peaceful natural environments.
- Changing your mood. A hobby like listening to music can soothe you when you are feeling stressed or uplift you when you are feeling sad.
- Making you more self-aware. Hobbies like journaling help you to analyze your problems from a new perspective.
- Changing your beliefs and reactions. For example, studying philosophy (such as stoicism) can help you to change the way you deal with challenges and stressful situations.
Many studies have demonstrated the psychological benefits of hobbies. For example, a 2007 study found that journaling and expressive writing helped reduce depressive symptoms. 
Also, a 2018 study found that art therapy was effective in dealing with trauma and other psychological symptoms. 
Good examples of hobbies that will help you relax include journaling, hiking, forest bathing, adult coloring, philosophy, and music.
12. Hobbies Help You To Make an Impact on Society
A big reason why we are unable to make a meaningful impact on the people around us is that we lack the necessary skills to do so.
For example, if people in your area are dying of preventable diseases, becoming a doctor will help you to save many lives.
Hobbies can give you the skills that will enable you to give back to society or help those around you.
Here is how hobbies can help you to make an impact.
- By tapping your creative skills, you can bring joy to people through writing, music, acting, or art.
- If you have DIY skills, you can help do repairs for vulnerable people who are not able to afford such services.
- If you have psychology skills, you can help to counsel and mentor people who are going through tough times.
Examples of hobbies that can help you make a difference in society include DIY hobbies, creative arts, psychology, nutrition, fitness, comedy, and philosophy.
13. Hobbies Help You To Become More Self-Sufficient
A lot of problems and conflicts that we face in life come from the fact that we are unable to be self-sufficient.
We get disappointed when people short-change us or are not there for us when we need them the most. By adopting a self-sufficiency mindset, you can save yourself a lot of this anguish.
Hobbies can provide you with skills that will help you to be self-sufficient.
For example, if you learn DIY skills, you will:
- Save money by working on things yourself.
- Do things exactly the way you want them done.
- Avoid being taken advantage of by shady contractors who do a shoddy job.
- Trade your skills for money or in-kind services.
Some good hobbies for self-sufficiency include homesteading, carpentry, plumbing, canning, vehicle repair, and crafting.
14. Hobbies Help You To Improve Yourself
The real value of any activity that you habitually do comes from what it makes of you.
Therefore, you should examine every activity that takes the majority of your time and try to figure out where it will lead you to.
For example, if binge-watching TV is your thing, where will you be after ten years of that? What kind of person will you be?
By choosing your hobbies carefully, you can shape the direction of your growth.
Hobbies can aid your personal growth by:
- Forcing you to face your fears and move beyond your comfort zone.
- Helping you to be more self-aware and understand yourself at a deeper level.
- Helping you to be a more interesting and unique person.
- Enabling you to learn difficult skills or undertake tough challenges.
- Boosting your sense of self-worth.
- Helping you to discover your gifts, strengths, and weaknesses.
Some good hobbies for self-improvement include studying philosophy, journaling, meditation, martial arts, team sports, creative arts, and entrepreneurship.
15. Hobbies Help You To Expand Your Horizons
If you stayed in your house the whole day, every day for years, your world would start to shrink. Each day would start to look exactly like another, kind of like Groundhog Day.
If this is you and you feel like you need to break out of the monotony, try getting a hobby that will force you out of your shell.
A carefully thought out hobby will help you expand your horizons by:
- Creating opportunities to meet new and interesting people every day.
- Creating opportunities for serendipity or lucky breaks. Someone you meet or something you do by accident could change your life.
- Learning from people who are different from you even if you don’t agree with them.
- Enabling you to experience new ideas, new cultures, and new ways of doing things.
Some great hobbies for expanding your horizons include travel, learning new languages, volunteering, in-person classes, and YouTube.
Sparing time out of your busy schedule to engage in hobbies may require sacrifice. But hopefully, I have been able to show you that hobbies come with significant benefits that are worth the sacrifice.
What to read next
If you are struggling to find a hobby, the following articles will point you in the right direction.