Feeling bogged down, disinterested, or in a mid-life malaise? Here are 50+ activities to make life a little bit more interesting.
So, you need a new hobby.
Maybe it’s because your old one started to bore you.
Maybe it’s because your job is boring enough that you need to have something that sparks your interest.
Either way, the idea is the same: Finding something that lights that fire in you again, gives you something to look forward to every day, and becomes something that you can deeply appreciate about your life.
I’ve been picking up hobbies for as long back as I can remember, from the mainstream (still learning how to play guitar) to the unusual (collecting signed editions of old sci-fi illustrations) to the downright obscure (studying an ancient Daoist meditation tradition).
Rather than give you a scattershot list of hobbies for guys, I’m going to go ahead and arrange them into broad categories, with examples of each type, because once you find a category that you really enjoy, it’s easy to find all sorts of side hobbies from there.
Making and Tinkering
I’ve yet to meet a guy who, given the right set of circumstances, doesn’t just love building things.
From my earliest experiences with LEGOs to modern infatuations with coding and 3D printing, making and tinkering have always been a standby:
Learning to cook is one of the finest hobbies you can pick up because it offers incredible variation and it’s eminently practical. You can use it to entertain yourself, keep yourself in good health, and impress the heck out of your next date.
2. 3-D Printing
Another blend of fun and practical, 3D printing has a much lower startup cost these days than when the hobby was in its infancy. It’s especially cool to be able to make the exact tool you might need for other crafting jobs, or perhaps a model of your favorite film or television character.
One of the oldest hobbies on this list, leatherworking is surprisingly easy to get into. A couple of hundred bucks will set you up with all the tools and materials you need to start making your own belts, wallets, and accessories to refine your unique style.
Sports and Athletics
Getting fit and active while having fun is the real deal.
Sports and athletics hobbies for guys can be undertaken solo, or in a group, making them an ideal way to make new friends as an adult man:
1. Lifting Weights
In addition to its whole list of health benefits, hitting the gym regularly is a great confidence booster for most guys. You don’t have to be the best at it — you just need to put in the work and learn that your efforts will accumulate over time into something truly great.
2. Martial Arts
From modern mixed martial arts to traditional karate and beyond, martial arts offer another way to get in shape and build self-confidence while having a great time. Jiu-jitsu is a great choice for brainier types too, as it’s often described as a sort of “physical chess match”.
Harkening back to our ancient hunter-gatherer genes, archery is a surprisingly deep and complex hobby. And there are few things more satisfying than the focused, direct thwack of your first arrow hitting the bullseye.
4. Distance Running
Distance running is one of the cheapest hobbies out there. While you can certainly spend hundreds of dollars on running watches, the latest shoes, clothing, and other gear, you can also technically run barefoot.
Join a running group or brave the trails alone for an introspective experience.
Art for Art’s Sake
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
Merton’s right — art is one of the most direct means of self-expression and a perfect way for any guy to learn more about his unique self:
Whether playing it or listening to and appreciating it, music as a hobby can be a lifelong pursuit. Consider taking classes if you’ve never picked up an instrument before; there are plenty of good ones online, or you can opt for the personal touch and go to an in-person tutor.
2. Drawing and Painting
Digital and physical painting and drawing alike can be intimidating — they are, after all, “fine arts”. But even keeping a notebook to doodle in throughout your workday can be a great way to engage with the hobby.
Our lives are made up of and surrounded by, stories. If you’ve ever felt the desire to tell some of your own, writing can be an amazing gateway to self-expression.
Games and Entertainment
Looking for something a little more passive to enjoy after a long day of hard work?
Games and entertainment hobbies are the way to go.
1. Card Games
Standard 52-card deck card games are great to play with friends, from casual games of poker to high-stakes Texas hold ‘em. But if you’re a fan of more complex and intricate games, collectible card games offer a level of involvement that may keep you interested for years.
2. Video Games
Not much needs to be said about the appeal of video games; they’re incredibly popular for a reason. But if you’ve never found them particularly interesting, perhaps you just haven’t found the right genre of game for you.
For example, role-playing games are deeply involved and require a lot of decision-making, while fighting games can be played for just a few minutes at a time and still be great fun.
Just about everyone knows the empty feeling of binging another Netflix series (that’s probably going to be canceled after one season, anyway).
But, if you dig beneath the modern preoccupation with streaming services, classic cinema has a ton to offer. Start with Citizen Kane, and you’ll no doubt find yourself in deep as a cinephile.
“Behold! My stuff.”
That’s the primal urge behind collecting hobbies, and it’s a strong one.
But beyond the very human urge to collect and consume and hoard, there’s a deeper vein of appreciation that runs through the collecting hobbies — one that can make you feel like you’re part of a secret world that few people have access to.
Equal parts collecting and appreciating, taking up a hobby in vinyl records is quite the rabbit hole. Don’t be surprised if your monthly discretionary budget starts to go towards more arcane audio interfaces and eclectic records from hole-in-the-wall record stores.
Tattoos are the collection that stays with you everywhere you go, and they’re a great way to show off something of your own personal style and experience. If you don’t have one already, be careful: A lot of guys report getting almost addicted to the experience after their first original piece of art.
Guys who are nostalgic for a world they may have never lived in will gravitate towards collecting everything vintage. Once you find a style you really enjoy, start researching other pieces from that same era. Eventually, you’ll have the raddest era-specific apartment in town.
Conclusion: The Wider World of Hobbies
The categories listed above do a great job of capturing the basic concepts of hobbies. However, if the specific examples listed didn’t really grab your attention, no worries — I have a whole bunch more here that might catch your eye.
|More Hobbies for Men
|Grilling and Barbecuing
|Guns and Marksmanship
|Hiking, Camping, and Backpacking
|Cigars and Pipes
|Coffee Brewing and Roasting
|Beer, Wine, and Spirits Tasting and Appreciation
|Foreign Language Learning
|Brewing Beer and Wine
|Sewing and Clothes Making
|Programming and Coding
|Skiing and Snowboarding
|One Bag Traveling
|Improv and Theater
|Hunting and Trapping
|Working on Cars
Got any other hobby ideas to add to this list? Leave them in the comments section below!