Yes, you should find a hobby in recovery. It’s ok to look for help as well. After all, you spent most of your time before recovery using. Now you have free time and small sense of dread. All your treatment plans talk about recreational therapy and your counselors are probably asking you about your hobbies.

So, now you’re here and you need to find a hobby in recovery.

Benefits of Having a Hobby in Recovery

Do we really need to talk about this? Hobbies and extracurricular activities are an essential part of all effective addiction treatment programs and that’s because a hobby is a great way to fight addiction. There are so many reasons to find a hobby in recovery but if you really are a non-believer, we’ll talk about the scientific benefits here.

  • Lack of Hobbies Can Lead to Relapse

Huh, are you serious? Yes. See, a lack of hobbies can lead to a passive and ultimately boring lifestyle. People who simply go to treatment and come home, or go to work and come home get into ruts easily.1 And anyone who has spent any time in a sober house for men can tell you that boredom is a trigger for relapse.2

  • Finding Purpose & Meaning

Isn’t this the oldest question in human history? There were probably hairy cavemen staring into fire or up at the stars and asking, “what am I supposed to do?”

Well, it turns out that no one can answer that question but you and the only way you are going to have any chance of actually answering that question is by TRYING NEW THINGS. We’re not saying you have to find a hobby in recovery that will change the world, we’re not even saying that you have to look for a hobby that will change your world. What we are saying is this: try something. And really try it, for at least 3 months and see what happens.

Finding a purpose can have lasting effects on your mood, your addiction recovery and your life.3

  • Hobbies Impact Your Real Life

Even if you don’t believe that hobbies help addiction recovery, then you can at least agree that hobbies can change you real life. For example, an active hobby will likely increase your physical health. Or, if you excel at a hobby, that could flourish into a new career. The point is that there is really no downside to finding a hobby for recovery.

How to Find a Hobby

  • Don’t Judge Yourself

Yes, reading is a hobby, so is practicing magic tricks, so is hiking. Don’t immediately remove potential hobbies from the list just because you don’t think they count as hobbies. Do whatever you want and give yourself some room to explore the big, bold, beautiful world.

  • Try Challenging Yourself

Be careful not to get stuck playing video games or watching movies. Instead, make sure that your hobby challenges you a little bit. If you are just watching movies, why not start a blog and write reviews? Rather than just playing video games all night, why don’t you think about designing one yourself? Push your own envelope a little! Think about your weaknesses as well!

  • What Do You Already Enjoy Doing?

Well, do more of it then! Think of the last time you forgot to eat, or when you were so engrossed in something that you looked up and it was night time. What was that?

  • What Did You Want to Be When You Were 11?

Think about what your aspirations were when you were just a young boy. Well, now would be a great time to work towards those old aspirations. Even if it turns out you don’t like those activities or hobbies, you can at least tick those off the list.

  • Mindless or Mindful?

Do you want a hobby that is meditative, simple, and requires no thought? Or are you looking for a hobby that requires you to use your brainpower? Yes, you could think about yoga, meditation or exercise, but there are lots of other activities that allow you to zone out. How about knitting?



[1]: Eschleman – Benefiting from creative activity: The positive relationships between creative activity, recovery experiences, and performance-related outcomes (PDF)

[2]: Psychology Today – Boredom – a very real road to addiction

[3]: Psychology Today – The Importance of Purpose

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