Do You Have a Hobby?

Hobbies are having a moment. I keep seeing articles shared on Facebook, Tweets talking about it, and Instagrams dedicated to them. From what I’m gathering, the common thread is that people are realizing you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) work all the time and hobbies are a great way to get some relief from that pressure. The best article I saw shared was this one from Vice, if you’re interested.

I think it goes beyond just having something to do outside of work though. I think hobbies are also a fantastic way to meet people and engage with a community that you may not otherwise cross paths with. I could go on for ever about this, but I think society is having a crisis right now regarding community and a sense of belonging. While the internet can facilitate community, it can also be a trojan horse of sorts for community. You feel connected, but it can be superficial or even exasperate the feeling of isolation.

It’s just a working theory of mine, haha, but I think that desire for community mixed with the craving of wanting to disconnect more for work has left people looking for hobbies.


What even qualifies as a hobby? It has to be something done for fun, in your leisure time, and not for pay.

There’s another layer you have to consider for this… that there’s this overwhelming sense of encouragement to turn hobbies into hustles! My blog, when I first started, was absolutely a hobby… and then I turned it into my career. And while I LOVE it, at the end of the day it’s still work. My mom loves baking and was always whipping things up for us in the kitchen and then turned it into a business herself… so now baking is her work.

There’s nothing wrong with that. BUT I think we have to be okay with keeping hobbies, hobbies.

Even though I blog about what I read, I’d still consider reading a hobby. I’d definitely consider “crafting” a hobby too (with needlepoint, sewing, embroidering, and Cricut-ing falling under that umbrella). Sounds so incredibly dorky but I also would say playing board games is a hobby?!? (We really love Catan and Scrabble hahaha.) And I’m not sure if it “counts” because it’s also for my physical health, but I really love working out.

I’m interested in dabbling in a few more, trying new things and seeing if I like them. Maybe I’ll take up gardening this spring? Or learning how to bake bread?

I’m curious if you have hobbies…. if you’re trying to find a hobby… What you’ve tried, what you’ve liked, if you’ve turned any into a business and regretted it?

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That link isn’t to a Vice article. Would love to read it, but takes you to an Instagram page


Hello Carly!
For my part, I like to play the piano and do some cross-stitch during my free time. I also like to work-out, run and ski in the winter time. Whatever the hobby, one of the most important thing for me is to have FUN doing it. I am not the best in any of my hobbies (clearly not a piano maestro, my cross-stitching works are full of defects, I run slower than a turtle and never more than 30min) but they allow me to free my mind after my full-time job. I do not want to turn them into a business – it would ruin most of the fun and I am not good enough for that. I’d rather stay here at home, playing only for myself and cross-stitching some gifts for my nephews without having any pressure.
It is always fun to try something new – gardening is great because it leads you outside (I used to help my parents a lot while I lived with them). Maybe you can also consider singing? Dancing? Painting? Theater? I would say everything is good as long as you have fun with it. I hope you will keep us posted 😉
Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Oh, yes — I feel like painting would be a wonderful, soothing hobby, even if it’s just picking up a brush and running it across a canvas with random colors! This is inspiring me to pick it back up!


I completely agree! I’ve always been an artist on the side, but my full-time job is in the corporate world. It helps to keep my art for me (mostly). I’m always looking for more hobbies, so please share more! I’ve done standup and comedy improv classes – they can be fun (or stressful…), but you should try 🙂



I’ve been knitting since I was 12 and it’s my favorite way to unwind and keep my hands busy while I watch TV. I love that you can do it anywhere–in the car, on a plane–I even did it in a movie theater in college and then when I left the theater, the ball of yarn got stuck on a seat and I left a yarn trail while leaving! I haven’t taken it to a theater since haha. So embarrassing. If there are any fellow Chicago knitters, I’d love to connect!


My most recent hobby is completing jigsaw puzzles. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t done it since I was a kid, but now I’m back in it and I love it! I like that it can be completed while sitting down since I broke two bones in my lower body last year. It also helps that Barnes and Noble carries some really adorable puzzles!

supal // @supaldesai_

Blogging is my hobby. I love the process of creating content, developing new skills, and exploring places–I find it relaxing. I’ve heard lots of full-time bloggers complain that doing it as a job is incredibly isolating and now with more people going freelance/working for themselves, it’s a great way to “self-care.” So I think you hit the nail on the head!

chevrons & éclairs

Ali Koch

I know it sounds like a grandma move, but i LOVE doing puzzles. I’m seriously obsessed with it *heart eye emoji*


So… you inspired me to get into embroidery. I’m in a house surrounded by men and boys and I often don’t have enough things that I like to do while they participate and watch sports. The embroidery has been so much fun for me! Around Christmas, I picked up a beginner’s kit off of Etsy and learned some basic stitches. I never thought of myself as being good at crafts, but now, I am totally into designing my own canvases. I find a cute picture or illustration and trace it onto the fabric. The possibilities are endless and I’ve already got some cute gifts for people. Thank you, Carly! Also, I find the embroidery to be less expensive than needlepoint. The fabric and hoops are cheap, and you don’t need finishing. Tie a pretty ribbon at the top or put some washi tape around the hoop and you’ve got a really cute piece.


I am a knitter. I began knitting because of a health issues. I got the health issue under control but the knitting is what I like to do to relax. I have a project bag with me most of the time–if I don’t my husband usually asks if I am OK. :).
I have done needlepoint and crochet and some other projects. I also bake–to a degree.


i love weaving, my dad built me a huge loom so i can make wall hangings & such of all sizes. it’s so relaxing but also a creative outlet that helps get me through my 9-5. i’ve tried selling on etsy because i can only hang so many but its really competitive! also, reading has always been a hobby! love to read before bed or while my boyfriend has a game on.


Such a great post and I do love your point about how we are encouraged to turn hobbies into hustles. I’m an enneagram 3 so I feel like it’s in my nature to do that! Some of my hobbies include reading, making music, baking, running, and yoga. I’m really trying to keep those first 4 just as hobbies but I have gotten so obsessed with yoga lately that I’m planning to get my teacher certification within the next year or so! Thanks for sharing your hobbies with us!


I think your theory about the crisis of community (in America especially) is pretty spot on with Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone. If you have not read the book, it’s a bit repetitive/this article version sums it up nicely (

Your post also made me think about David Brook’s column during the 2016 election about Hillary Clinton and her “lack” of hobbies. It was the first time that I thought about hobbies being gendered. Matt Yglesias makes the argument that men get to have hobbies (mostly sports) but hobbies traditionally associated with women (like HRC’s speed walking, gardening, crossword puzzles) are not coded as “fun” (article based on a tweet thread here: It wasn’t until this article that I could articulate that my main hobbies are reading, consuming media (TV shows and movies), and walking. Unfortunately, these are solitary/semi-solitary activities most of the time.

Just another area of life about which to be intentional! Friendships, connections, and community take effort.


I consider learning spanish a hobby…don’t you consider learning/practicing French a hobby too?

Related, would love to know if you’re still doing duolingo or have moved on. I’ve starting using Memrise, plus reading Harry Potter in Spanish (I’m ~100 days into it (thanks to duo’s streak feature for keeping track!) and when I finish my duolingo tree (probably around 6-9 months in) I plan on making the investment in a tutor to speak with regularly!


Mindy Gray

I think you hit the nail on the head about the value of a community made up of people you would not ordinarily know. I grew up dancing and loved my dance family, but there is something incredibly sweet about my “adult ballet” community – most of the women are not my age, and we have very little in common except for a love of dance. But that is enough and I feel a bind with them that is different than I feel with my other friends.


I do woodworking as a hobby. I’ve built all the furniture in our house and I love that seeing a finished product once it’s been painted or stained. So much fun!


I love your insight on this topic, Carly! I have been noticing the same things since mid-2019, and could not agree more with what you have to say. I have always thought hobbies are an important part of your personality, so I made sure to keep up with a few of mine and keep them hobbies: I am a flautist, and practice regularly- I started at age 9, and even played in an ensemble all four years of college! I also always have a puzzle table with a puzzle going; this is great for a brain break without turning to a different screen for a break. A puzzle is something I can’t recommend enough because it is so easy and satisfying! I have not turned either into a business, but I was *almost* a music major in college, but I realized that getting a degree in flute and vocal performance would take the fun out of my hobby 🙂

xx Libby


Does vineyard hopping count as a hobby? 😉 That’s definitely my favorite weekend pastime, but the most cathartic thing for me is to bake. I have said many times that I don’t ever want to do it for pay, even though I’m good at it, because it would take the fun out.


I often say I have too many hobbies for my own good. Haha. But I’m a BIG believer in them…especially because I have a stressful advertising job. Hobbies keep me sane. Here are my top three:

– Playing piano. I learned the basics when I was little but could never read sheet music easily. I could only play basic chords to accompany myself singing, but I was tired of not being able to play piano-only pieces. Two years ago I committed to really learning and taught myself again. It’s the best thing I ever did. I play every day – sometimes before AND after work – and can now play 25 pieces. It’s so relaxing and also the best party trick. I recently hosted a Soup & Song night with friends… I made three soups and played a mini concert. So fun.

– Paint by numbers. There are some great ones on Amazon. (Ones that I wouldn’t mind hanging up in my house.) It’s so relaxing to do at the end of the day! I just listen to music or a podcast. Like piano, it’s nice having a hobby that doesn’t involve a screen. And it doesn’t matter your skill level. I am the worst artist in the world, but this is just following directions. 😉

– Writing. I write short-story fiction. I noticed my writing skills were lacking (after drafting emails all day) and it’s exciting to let my imagination run wild and just write.


I read and organize-lol! I used to ski until a bad knee surgery stopped me.
Btw, I love your new haircut. The length suits you. You do resemble Anne Hathaway with the new cut.


My grandma taught me to knit when I was a kid (more than once), but it never really *stuck*. I took it up again two (two-and-a-half?) years ago by way of classes at my LYS (local yarn store) and I love it. I’ve made cowls (so many cowls), hats, socks, and a sweater. I don’t spend much time with other knitters outside of classes, but I have two cousins who also knit, so it’s been really great to share that with them.


My favorite hobbies are reading and traveling. I’d like to get into cross-stitching again, which I enjoyed doing as a kid. It would be nice to make things, just for fun.

Lucy ♥

My hobby is crosswords (both doing them and making them), and I LOVE it. We have a Slack channel at work where we discuss the NYT crossword every day, and it’s such a treat to do in the mornings. Since I’ve started making them, I find myself noticing details in my life so much more, and thinking “That’d be a great word for a crossword”.


I absolutely love to read! I am currently student teaching at an all-boys school and feel like a new challenge of mine is finding books teenage boys will enjoy reading as well!


I love photography! I love the way it allows you to capture a moment in time or a memory in a photograph. It’s so much fun for me!

Valencia Gower

you’ve encouraged me to get back to cross-stitching. I’ve already started making something for Aja and James for 2020 Christmas. thanks, Carly.


I love to paint, cross-stitch, read, do puzzles, and I’m starting to love exercise as an actual hobby! I’m finishing up grad school while working full-time so I’m on the countdown to May when I graduate so I can actually ENJOY my hobbies again without the guilt of actual work that needs to be done looming over me! Agreed though, the world needs more hobbies!!


My favorite hobby is horseback riding. I didn’t start until last year when I was 26. I am so glad I took the plunge and am doing something out of my comfort zone.

Brigid Devney-Rye

Hobbies are awesome and DO provide a sense of community! It’s such a nice alternative to going to a restaurant with a friend. I have met such nice people through my needlepoint group, knitting group (both are weekly) and am now getting back into scrapbooking. I recommend you get into scrapbooking. I think you would really like it and now with digital scrapbooking you can do it from everywhere. Hobbies provide balance and we all need that. Love this post!!!!


I took a sewing class last year, I still have to buy my own sewing machine but I found it quite relaxing and challenging at the same time and I loved learning a skill that helps me repurpose old clothes or lets me help friends/family with mending clothes, getting cheap and fun curtains, etc.
About half a year ago I also took up bouldering in an attempt to do something fun+active and for the most part it has been a blast and a great way to socialize (if I am not getting frustrated with certain routes that is).
I love trying out something new every now and then, and just seeing what sticks 🙂

Rebecca Newstead

I love this post. I sew and quilt! Started one summer and it became a saviour for my mental health whilst at university. During my first year I struggled to stop working/reading/revising. Over the summer I bought a sewing machine and then I had every reason to stop so I could sew! Now I love quilting and it is my real pleasure! I am loving the crafty posts and instas as you share your hobby!


Love this! I’ve recently been teaching myself quilting and embroidery as a hobby. It’s awesome to do something that keeps your brain engaged but it also a but ‘mindless’ as well, a great break from the daily things that stress you out or work!


You inspired me to try some of my new favorite hobbies! I am in grad school and was feeling very overworked and in a constant cycle of school, work, homework, sleep, repeat. I have always loved reading, so I started purposefully setting time aside for that. You inspired me to try needlepoint and embroidery, and I LOVE it! I have made gifts for people and for myself. And I am also starting to pick up my flute again! I also totally consider working out a hobby. While it is for physical and mental health for me, I also love it!


This resonates with me so much, Carly! Thank you for sharing!

I turned my hobby-turned-side-huddle into my full-time job two and a half years ago, and I realized the need to fill that void of it being hobby after it did become my work. I got into film photography, which I currently keep for myself as a hobby and love! Also finding what I consistently love doing regularly to add to the list. Oh, and my husband, family, and I are fellow Catan-ers! Have you played the “Seafarers” version? If not, and you guys loving Catan, you must give it a try!

Also, I consider working out a hobby, too, especially if it’s something you enjoy and look forward to (for the most part, haha)!


I started baking & cooking when I was about 6 with my grandmother. I still do that with a healthier twist now. I started making my own recipes after I finished my nutrition degree. It has been fun since I can figure out what makes items taste off. I am also starting to get back in to handlettering & photographer again. I like things that I can visually see the end result.

Lauren G

I love experimenting with cooking and baking (despite hating the dishes that result from it lol) as well as painting, reading a ton, etc. I really wanted to get into tennis a few months ago, but then it got so chilly I figured I’d wait until spring- so that’s my next hobby project!

Libby Liu

I reconnected with my passion for sewing. Sewing is the meditation to me. In the meantime, I am teaching my daughter to sew and trying to turn it into a small business.