When the hustle and bustle of work winds down, you want to find hobbies that spark your interest while still relaxing you. Of all the hobbies out there, we’ve narrowed down the list to see what will interest women.
Top Hobbies for Women
Yoga seems to be the hottest new fitness craze — and with good reason. Yoga has been linked with longevity, reduced stress, and increased agility. It’s a hobby that’s been improving the lives of practitioners for around 5,000 years.
There are six different types of yogas commonly performed today. They each have their own set of guidelines and preferred outcomes for those practicing its form. They are:
- Hatha yoga. This is what you typically think about when you hear the term “yoga.” Hatha yoga combines movements with a focus on your breath.
- Vinyasa yoga. Each pose flows smoothly into another pose. There’s still a focus on your breath, but the movement is designed to be continuous, never stagnant.
- Power yoga. Somewhat like Vinyasa yoga, but with more intensive movements. You use your bodyweight along with more robust yoga poses to build muscle and tone the body. This type of yoga would be suitable for those seeking to get their heart rate up, rather than find the meditative tranquility of yoga.
- Ashtanga yoga. Softer and less intensive than power yoga. Ashtanga focuses on certain poses aligned with special breathing techniques.
- Bikram yoga. Also known as “hot yoga,” this style is 26 intermediate poses all done in a room warmed to high temperatures. If you don’t mind getting sweaty, this is the yoga for you.
- Iyengar yoga. This yoga uses straps, chairs, and blocks to aid your alignment. Moderate intensity to get your heart beating faster, but not too strenuous.
Yoga is a low-intensity form of exercise depending on which type you choose. No matter how old you are, you can get into yoga and feel younger, more agile, and healthier. And if you take a yoga class, you can find a social group around such an ancient yet efficient exercise.
If yoga’s not your thing, ballroom dancing can be as much of a workout. Ballroom dancing is more formal, so you most likely can’t show up to practices in yoga pants and a tank top.
However, you might enjoy the social aspect of dancing with people than you would if you did yoga with them. The basic steps behind ballroom dancing are simple, as seen in this video. Once you get the hang of them, you can dance with anyone in the room.
More advanced learners can move onto learning other moves, like the Foxtrot and Jive. There are variations of ballroom dancing over the decades and depending on geographic locations, so there’s always something to learn when you think you’ve mastered one style of dance.
Salsa is another beautiful dance to learn if you want more vigor with your moves. Like ballroom dancing, Salsa also has basic core dances that build off each other. You can see those basic moves here.
Salsa would also be an excellent skill to have if you’re traveling or frequent Latin dance clubs, as that will be the main style of dance there. You open yourself up to dancing and connecting with people you otherwise wouldn’t have if you only know ballroom dancing or yoga.
For a moderate-intensity workout in a fun and vibrant environment, salsa dancing is a low-stakes way to get great enjoyment out of a night.
Now, don’t laugh. Pole dancing is stereotypically seen as an erotic dance done in sleazy strip clubs, but it can be so much more than that. Watch this video of a woman dancing on a pole. Her moves seem to defy gravity — without a hint of overt sexuality.
Notice the way she has complete control over her body and speed as she twirls around the pole. She can climb high up, drop, and catch herself with only her legs. The mastery and control that goes behind pole dancing as a sport are incredible, and it’s not what you’d see at a seedy bar somewhere.
Pole dancing is a way to gain control over your weight as well as get a total body workout. If you want to practice a hobby that barely any of your friends will be doing — but will surely be an excellent party trick to bust out — pole dancing is the way to go.
If you’re less inclined to dance, reading is a less intensive but just as enjoyable hobby to have.
Studies time and again have shown the amazing benefits reading has on a person’s mind and overall health. Reading has been shown to stimulate the brain, which can reduce Alzheimer’s when done over time.
Reading also reduces stress, since you’re not focusing on the pressing matters occurring in your life. While you may be tempted to, reading forces you off your email, homework, and work projects. If you read fiction, you can escape into a world of someone else’s problems and escape your own.
Reading also builds empathy, which has been shown to reduce anger and help you connect with people. When you understand why a difficult or annoying situation occurred, you’re less likely to jump to an angry emotional state.
Crying over a character’s struggles is the purest form of empathy. If fiction, this person doesn’t exist, yet the author has written that person and communicated their situation in a way that you can relate too. When a work of fiction pulls on your heartstrings, you know you’re improving your empathy, which allows you to connect better to humans in the real world.
You can get books for free from your local library. There are simple ways to introduce reading into your life, such as if you have ten minutes to spare while waiting for coffee. You could also read before bed to relax your brain and improve your sleep hygiene.
If you don’t have the patience to read, watching movies is another fantastic way to train your brain while relaxing you.
Film culture is huge. There are the Hollywood blockbusters that are made to turn a profit, sure, but there are thousands of intelligent and beautifully produced films that can pique your interest. These films have masterful dialogue, acting, directing, and cinematography. If you pay attention, you can observe the smart ways each contributor to the film facilitates the overall story.
If you want help getting into film critique and fostering your love of movies, there are plenty of expertly done video essays on YouTube analyzing films. For example, Nerdwriter1 provides excellent commentary on Pan’s Labyrinth, and the channel Lessons from the Screenplay gives high-quality lessons on the genius that goes into critically-acclaimed movies.
What’s better than consuming a piece of media than writing it? Writing is cathartic — you can impose the struggles you face onto fictional characters. It’s nice to have control over people’s lives and how their story goes, which is why many therapists use writing as a healthy way for their clients to cope with and discuss trauma.
You can write short stories, poems, non-fiction, essays, movie scripts, plays, whatever you want. All you have to do is use textual language to tell a story, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. When you can create a world from only your words, you feel a rush of excitement at the potential you and your keyboard can do.
As Larry King says, though, “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” Writing is a lot of work. It feels like your brain is undergoing manual labor, as to feel accomplished with your work, you have to edit it over and over and over again. You’ll also have to read copiously to feel more accustomed with language.
Writing can be an excellent hobby for self-expression and getting words onto the page. It can also lead to more advanced, technical, and masterful skills if you truly fall in love with the act of writing.
Forget using language altogether. Sometimes, you can say something best without any words at all. Art can mean anything you want it to. Whether it’s drawing with a pen and paper, painting a landscape or more impressionist pieces, creating a sculpture or carving soap, you can express yourself with whatever color, medium, or style you prefer.
There is no limit to your art. You can create for the sake of creating, without any pressure to show it to someone. Art is a means for you to tell a story or tell no story at all — it all depends on what you want to do and how you want to create the piece to your tastes.
Learn an Instrument
No matter how old you are, you can always enjoy the pleasure of playing an instrument. Some will be harder to learn than others, such as the ukelele over the guitar, but there’s an option for everyone depending on your tastes and devotion to learning.
Evidence shows that playing an instrument makes you smarter. Musicians have an easier time consolidating information from sight, touch, and hearing. Playing an instrument also helps with learning, as those who primarily practice musical improv rely less on working memory and improve the connections within the brain.
You can’t forget the social aspects of music either. If you break out the guitar with a bunch of other musicians, you can play the night away with song and dance, creating a good time for everyone involved. Beyond the mental and social aspects of music, it’s a great way to feel connected with yourself and express emotions.
Learning an instrument should be done every day. Diligence is the best way to master the instrument. Imagine the freedom you could feel if you improvise on the piano or play a song entirely from memory.
While some people can get crazy good at portrait drawing, a camera can capture images better than a human hand can. And when you get good with the technology, you can create excellent, artful shots that people would pay lots of money for.
There’s always something exciting to take a photo of. Whether it’s a macro shot of a budding flower or the shadows caused by a sunset, photography is a superb way not only to practice a flourishing art form but learn how to creatively and artistically capture moments.
These moments would have otherwise slipped into the ether of the past, but you can preserve them forever in the bits and bytes of your SD cards. Whether you want to post your photos on Instagram, start up your own blog, or even become a freelance photographer, photography is an excellent hobby.
No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to make a video. YouTube is a democratic way in which anyone with a filming device and an internet connection can populate their channel with videos.
You can make them over whatever you want. Your videos can be humorous or serious, tell a story or share your thoughts about an issue in your life. While the comments section of YouTube can be biting, you’re also bound to find people who can offer support over harsh words.
You don’t even need a fancy camera to get started on YouTube. Your smartphone is enough. Have a couple of ideas for what you want to do and have the courage to hit upload. Who knows — you might find you have a deep passion for videography.
If you have a free Saturday, there are sure to be dozens of organizations that could greatly use your time. Volunteering is an excellent way not only to meet others in your community but help improve it.
Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or offering to help care for the animals in a shelter, you can do good where you live without having to open your wallet.
If you want to use your time in the most utilitarian way, volunteer at a local organization is a low-stakes way to provide high results for your community.
Perhaps you’ve seen dog walkers walking along the street. They have about eight leashes attached to their belt with eight energetic dogs bounding forward.
People who work long hours need someone to ensure their pooch is exercised and not cooped up all day. Therefore, dog walking — even if it’s not eight dogs at a time — is a way to play with a dog while making sure it’s cared for while the owner is away.
Dog owners love their pets and are willing to pay a surprising amount of money to make sure their dog is in good hands. Dog walking, then, is a great way to get some extra cash while hanging out with man’s best friend.
If dogs are too rambunctious for you, cat sitting is a less intensive way to get paid to hang out with someone’s cat — a dream for cat lovers everywhere. Cat sitting usually means making sure the cat has enough food and water to last them the day, along with making sure the litter box is clean.
But if the cat is social and playful, you can enjoy time with a lovely cat without the responsibility of actually owning one. Cat sitting can not only bring in some extra income but give you your cat-fix if you’re unable to own one yourself.
Most towns have a pool you can join for a limited cost — if not for free. Swimming for one hour can burn just as many calories as running without stressing your joints and bones as much as running does.
Swimming works out your whole body, not just your legs. And its cardiovascular exercise that can keep you cool while you workout since the pool will be wicking your sweat away as you move.
If you have asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, or other medical conditions that would make running challenging for you, swimming is another excellent exercise for women. Swimming is perfect for women hoping to stay healthy while reducing damage to their body.
Perhaps you don’t have the space to start up a garden, but you have access to beautiful, green space for you to explore. Hiking is an excellent way to get away from the pressure of modern life and escape to a simpler place.
With your hiking boots and a backpack full of supplies, you can traverse through any natural environment. You can see birds in their natural surroundings, see the blue sky broken up over the canopy of trees, and infinite other beautiful sights you can’t see from a city.
You learn self-reliance and confidence when you go hiking. Unless you have a guide or a more knowledgeable person to accompany you, hiking is just you and the path. Getting pack, staying fed, and exploring the terrain is all on you.
If you have a green space and the time, you should go hiking. If not to be humbled by the beauty of nature than to reduce stress while getting a workout too.
If you want to get outside more, nothing is more relaxing than gardening. Gardening is physically low-impact, though it requires squatting and bending over frequently. However, it has been shown to improve hand dexterity because of the hand tools you have to use to care for the plants.
Gardeners also show higher levels of self-esteem and reduced stress. Gardening takes your mind away from the tasks of work and other human activities. But when you’re out in your garden, you can forget about those worries and lose yourself in the world of plants for a bit.
Few things feel better than knowing that bountiful harvest took months of care and attention to grow, but you did that. It’s because of your green thumb — along with a plant’s natural abilities to create itself from the air, water, sun, and soil that you now have the beautiful garden before you.
As silly as it might seem to say, you can learn a lot from plants. The self-sufficiency alone that comes from photosynthesis is something to marvel at, and so gardening is not only a great hobby to learn about nature but yourself as well.
If you set up a bountiful garden, you can use your homegrown ingredients to make delicious meals — all from scratch. Cooking at home is not only an excellent way to eat well while saving money from take-out, but it’s a unique way to foster creativity.
You have a bunch of random items in the fridge. Can you make a delicious meal with the mayo, apples, and saltine crackers you have? Maybe not right now, but you can learn to improvise in the kitchen just like a musician can learn to improvise from the piano.
Besides, cooking can be an excellent and healthy form of self-therapy. Cooking is usually done alone in the kitchen, where you have time alone to think. The monotony of cutting vegetables and preparing the meal can be meditative, putting you back in your body while you notice the crunch of the carrot, the snip from the garlic.
Not only that but cooking with friends can be even more fun. There’s often a lot of downtime to cooking while you wait for the water to boil or the oven to heat up. In that time, you can share a drink and talk to each other about each other’s days or what’s been bothering both of you.
And finally, once the cooking is done, you have an excellent meal to share with everyone. The (perhaps literal) fruits of your labor can nourish another person’s body. That in itself is a metaphor for the healthiness behind cooking, and so learning to cook is an excellent hobby to foster if you’re accustomed to instant meals and ordering take-out.
Board and Card Games
Another social activity is board games. The 2010s have seen a sort of board game renaissance. Monopoly no longer monopolizes the field. There are thousands of games to pique your interest, whether to conquer, strategize, or have a relaxed time.
Purchasing one board game is an investment for a lifetime. You can continually play that game with friends, family, or a partner indefinitely, so board games are an excellent hobby if you want to keep costs low while maximizing the fun you get out of it.
Of course, you can’t talk about board games without mentioning the social aspects of it. If you want to deepen friendships with those around you, forgo games designed to benefit the ruthless among you, such as Monopoly. Cards Against Humanity has been one of the most popular card games in the decade because of its endless appeasement for dark humor and guilty laughs.
If you want to get better at strategizing and learning to read another person’s behavior, board and card games are a way to go. You can bust them out and pack them back up in one night, with no commitment to continuing the game if you get bored with it. There’s always a new game getting made that will create many nights of merriment.
If you’re more of an introvert, video games can give you days of entertainment all by yourself. If you choose adventure or platforming games over first-person shooters, you can destress yourself while losing yourself into an imaginary, fictional world.
Some studies even show the benefits of video games. For example, video games have been shown to improve lazy eyes, as the rapid eye movements from video games force your eyes to move constantly and keep up.
Video games may also help those with dyslexia. Dyslexia has been thought to be linked to decreased attention spans. But video games force you to pay attention for hours and read dialogue and text boxes. The combination of the two has been rewarding in dyslexic players.
Video games also test your creativity and problem-solving chops. Most video games start out easy and then progressively get harder as you continue playing. While becoming acclimated to the game’s mechanics, you have to test your brain to see if you can solve the puzzles without relying on a walkthrough. Video games can make you smarter and apply to real life!
If you have a stressful job and want a way to unwind, playing a video game can be an excellent way to do that. You can choose multiplayer options to have social ties with other players, or you can use video games as a way to have alone time.
There Are Dozens of Hobbies for Women
Explore what’s available to you and go from there. You’re bound to find something that resonates with you, whether it’s cooking, learning an instrument, or gardening.
Find hobbies that challenge you and cause you to think. A hobby you can do with other people, such as board games, is an excellent way to deepen social bonds with others. You have only one life, so fill it with activities that bring you joy.