Finding a hobby you love when you’re in your 30s is a great way to add some variety and joy to your life.
After all, the 30-something decade comes with a slew of new challenges, from career hurdles to raising young kids. The right hobby can be exactly what you need for some much-needed self-care, and it might even serve as an additional income stream.
Best hobbies for women in their 30s
Plant and grow a cut flower garden
Fruit and vegetable gardens are popular (not to mention functional!) but a cut flower garden can add so much beauty and happiness to your life. By planting, growing, and eventually cutting corful, seasonal flowers, you can always have a fresh bouquet for your home. Have more flowers than you can handle and want to monetize this hobby? Visit your local farmer’s market and see if you can sell them there.
In our digital age, we tend to forget about the unique power of putting pen to paper. That’s where calligraphy comes in: By investing in a calligraphy pen, some high-quality paper and maybe a class (or at least a YouTube tutorial), you can get lost in the art of crafting those gorgeous letters. If you want to use your calligraphy skills to earn some extra cash, invitations (especially wedding invitations) often use calligraphy.
Learn to code
If you’re great with logic and tech in general, coding is an incredibly valuable skill worth pursuing. Not only is it great to have in 2021 for just about everything, but this is one of the easiest hobbies to monetize, because people are constantly in need of someone who knows how to code, whether because they want help building a website or something else. You can take classes through Udemy or Codecademy, or even take a bootcamp if you have the time.
Become a DJ
Do you have an ear for picking out great music and compiling playlists? Great, become a DJ. Whether you put together a playlist for a dinner party at home or offer to DJ an event for a friend, everyone needs a friend who knows exactly what type of music each occasion calls for. And if you’re looking for another income stream, people are more than willing to pay DJs for events — and usually, they’re paid quite well.
Refine your cooking skills
When you think of the word “cooking,” do you think of cracking an egg into a pan or tossing frozen waffles into a toaster? Hey, it happens to the best of us—especially in our 30s, when life gets crazy busy. But in addition to being a helpful skill if you have a family or like to entertain friends, getting lost in the art of cooking can be therapeutic. So buy a few cookbooks or taking a cooking class and get started.
Learn to bake
If you think cooking is therapeutic, have you tried baking? Something about the scientific nature of baking and measuring out all those ingredients in such an exact manner can be very soothing for some people. As a nice bonus, everyone loves that person who brings them delicious baked goods.
It’s no secret that we’re fans of journaling at Silk + Sonder. But journaling has some really awesome health benefits, too, from improved mental health to stronger immunity. If you’re looking for a truly therapeutic hobby, this is a great one.
Learn to dance
If you have “two left feet” and think you can’t dance, worry not: Dancing as a hobby means no one ever has to actually see you dance. The act of dancing can be very freeing, and it’s great exercise, too. Whether it’s a dance cardio class at your local gym, taking dance classes to learn a specific kind of dance or simply putting on your favorite music and dancing around your living room, dancing is an excellent form of self-care.
If you’re looking for another way to move your body that isn’t dance-related, try yoga. In addition to helping to improve flexibility and mobility overall, yoga is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Check out your local yoga studio, or try one of the many free yoga classes available on YouTube.
Learn to paint
Similar to dance, you don’t have to have amazing artistic skills to paint as a hobby. So invest in watercolors or any other types of paint, a canvas, and some really high-quality paper, and get to work. If you want to really refine your painting skills, there are tons of painting classes available, both in person and online.
As far as hobbies go, meditation is one of the most intimidating ones out there. After all, the idea of sitting alone with our thoughts and attempting to clear our heads can feel really scary, not to mention nearly impossible. At the same time, there are some incredible benefits to meditation—especially when it comes to stress and anxiety—so taking the time to invest in a meditation practice can be really helpful. If you need help getting started, try downloading an app like Headspace or Calm—these can be excellent tools on your journey.
Take up photography
Similar to painting, you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy photography as a hobby. Whether you want to invest in a great camera and really learn how different lenses work or you want to try your hand at iPhone photography, photography can be a great hobby for anyone with an artistic eye. Take a photography class in your city or town, or see if you can find an online class that sparks your interest.
This can be an especially fun hobby for anyone who has a cut flower garden. But even if you don’t, purchasing different flower stems and arranging them into a beautiful bouquet can be a fun, relaxing activity that will make it so that you always have fresh blooms in your home.
Learn to horseback ride
It’s never too late to learn to ride a horse! Even if you live in a city, there are usually horseback riding classes available a short drive away. Horseback riding can be a very calming activity, and also gives you the opportunity to bond with a horse, which can be such a valuable experience.
When was the last time you sat down and got lost in a good book? If the answer is “way too long ago,” there’s no time like the present to change that. Reading fiction can be such a great mental break, and research has shown that novel reading improves empathy. If fiction isn’t your thing, try delving into the world of personal growth, or even try reading a few history books. Trust us, learning about the past isn’t nearly as boring in your 30s as it was in high school.
Read or write poetry
While it’s not for everyone, poetry can be a beautiful art form. You can sit down to read it, taking in the careful construction of each and every word, or actually write it. Writing poetry can be such a therapeutic, joyful activity that’s pretty much guaranteed to help you get into a flow state. Don’t think too much about how “good” your poetry is—just enjoy it.
Become a wine expert
Do you love the subtle notes that come with the different wines available? Your sampling of wines doesn’t have to be limited to wine tasting that you do with friends here and there—you can become a member of a wine club (which can be a great opportunity for socializing), or take a virtual wine tasting class.
Take up pottery
Is there anything more beautiful than a handmade bowl, dish, or mug? We certainly don’t think so. In addition to making a great gift for someone, the act of making pottery can be so calming and rewarding. To get started, see if there’s a local pottery studio you can take advantage of—whether you take a class or simply use their pottery wheel and kiln, you can get a lot done there.
Do you have a knack for mixing up the perfect cocktail? Take your skills to the next level by becoming a mixologist, even if you’re just an amateur one. There are plenty of virtual mixology classes available, or you can take on in person. You’ll be the most popular person at happy hour from now on!
Social media as a hobby
If you currently view social media as a procrastination tool, you can change that. Social media is a great space to grow a presence, whether you’re looking for a side hustle you can monetize or you simply want to find a great community. You can share photos from your cut flower garden, post photos and recipes from cocktails you’re whipping up as a mixologist (see above hobby), or share your favorite books with thoughtful captions about what you loved about them.
Learn to knit
Knitting isn’t just for your grandma! While it takes concentration, the act of knitting can put you right into a flow state. Another great thing about knitting is that once you get the hang of it, you can do it while indulging in something else you enjoy, like a great audiobook or podcast or your favorite song. Plus, hand-knit items make great gifts!
Make a bucket list and travel
While the last 18 months haven’t exactly been travel-friendly, travel is one of the best, most fulfilling hobbies out there. Whether it’s taking day trips to local attractions or jetting off to a brand new city or country, there’s so much of the world to see—so make a bucket list and start planning.
Learn to play an instrument
Do you have an old piano or saxophone that’s collecting dust in your parents’ basement? If so, get it out and start playing again. Or if you’ve never played an instrument and you want to start, now’s the time. You can take lessons virtually or in person, or even teach yourself.
To be clear, we’re not suggesting you lace up your sneakers and run a marathon. But running is tied to a slew of health benefits, from improved bone density and mental health to a stronger heart. Plus, have you heard of the power of the runner’s high? Start with a simple walk-run (run for one minute, walk for two) or a light jog.
Take an improv or acting class
Were you a theater kid in high school who left her love of acting behind when she realized she wasn’t the next Meryl Streep? Well, it’s time to pick that hobby back up again, because it might still be a lot of fun for you. Try taking an improv class or more general acting class, or even audition for a play at your local community theater. You might be surprised by how much you still enjoy acting!
Volunteering is one of the best hobbies out there. The simple act of helping others will actually lead to health benefits for you, from increasing self-confidence to combatting depression and helping to keep you physically healthy. Sites like Volunteermatch can help you find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you.
Start lifting weights
If you don’t exactly think of yourself as the weightlifting type, hear us out: You don’t have to sign up for classes at your local crossfit gym to be a successful weight lifter. Weight lifting has incredible health benefits for women, including increased bone density (which tends to decline as we age) and weight loss. Plus, it feels really good to lift something heavy once in a while!
Start playing a sport
Believe it or not, there are so many intramural sports teams available in most towns and cities, from soccer and kickball to softball and basketball. In addition to helping you stay physically active, joining a sports team can be a great way to meet new people.
Learn a new language
Knowing more than one language isn’t just useful for traveling to other countries, it can also be a way to help people who live in the U.S. and don’t speak English, and it can even present new job opportunities. If you want to learn a new language (or brush up on that high school Spanish), try taking a course through a platform like Babbel or Duolingo.
Try kayaking, rock climbing, or another extreme activity
It’s time to get outside! Enjoy an adrenaline rush with an extreme sports activity like kayaking, rock climbing, or skiing. If that doesn’t sound like you, try hiking—you’ll get so many benefits from immersing yourself in nature.
Why a the right hobby in your 30s can be so meaningful
Whether you’re doing it to earn extra money or you’re looking for a new self-care outlet, finding a new hobby in your 30s can be a meaningful experience. In addition to helping to carve out so much needed time yourself, a hobby can be a great way to ignite (or reignite!) your interest in something outside of your day job or caring for kids.
It can also help you get into a flow state, or a state where you’re fully immersed in the activity you’re doing and not thinking about or doing anything else, which is great for mental health.
Regardless of which hobby you choose, the one that truly feeds your soul and spirit is the right one for you. Enjoy!