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4 Hobbies to Replace Addiction

When you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, the addiction takes over your life. Seeking and using become your primary focus, and the things you once enjoyed become less important and often fade away completely. An important focus in any high quality treatment program is finding hobbies to replace addiction. Having hobbies fills your time with productive and enjoyable pursuits and helps to keep your mind off using. It also gives purpose and meaning to your life. 

4 Minute Read | Published Sep 10 2023 | Updated Mar 08 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
David Levin
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
David Levin
Reviewed by

Having hobbies to replace addiction is crucial for successful recovery. Here are some ideas for fun things to do in recovery.

Having a roster of fun things to do in recovery is extremely important for long-term success. That’s because when you’re having fun, your mood is good and you’re relaxed, and these are paramount for preventing a relapse. Healthy hobbies in recovery also improves your quality of life and can lead to authentic happiness, and they can open the door to new healthy relationships with other enthusiasts.

Here, then, are some ideas for having a good time without drugs or alcohol.

   Make Art

Even if you’re not an “artist,” you can do art. Making art can help reduce stress, which is a potent trigger for relapse, and it can improve your level of self-awareness, another important aspect of successful recovery.

There are endless art forms you can choose from, including:

  • Sculpture.
  • Ceramics.
  • Painting.
  • Collage.
  • Papier mache.
  • Printmaking.
  • Drawing.
  • Origami.
  • Graffiti art.
  • Sewing.
  • Jewelry-making.
  • Stained glass.
  • Calligraphy.

If you don’t know how to do the kind of art that interests you, consider looking for a class at your local university or community college. Arts organizations in your city may be able to point you in the direction of workshops and classes that will get you started. Once you’ve got a body of art you’ve created, consider showing your art in a coffee shop or gallery, sell it online through a marketplace like Etsy, or give it away as gifts. Or fill your home with it to enjoy every day.

  Make Music

As with art, you don’t have to be naturally inclined or even particularly good at music in order to enjoy it. Even if you don’t have any musical experience, you can learn to sing or play an instrument if you’re interested enough in learning. Like art, making music reduces stress and improves self-awareness.

Consider taking lessons to learn the guitar, piano, ukulele, trumpet, oboe, or drums, or find tutorials on YouTube and teach yourself. Play around with writing songs, or get with a group of other people who play, and enjoy epic jam sessions. If singing is your thing, consider joining a community or church choir or chorus, or assemble a band and play the role of lead singer.

  Play Sports

If you’re athletic, getting engaged in a sport you like will not only bring enjoyment, but it’ll provide exercise, which is essential for successful recovery. Exercise improves your mood, reduces stress, and promotes good overall health. Whether you like doing solo activities like running races or you prefer team sports, you can find an activity you’ll enjoy.

Consider joining a baseball, basketball, hockey, or volleyball league, or sign up to run a 5k or a long group bike ride across your city or state. Take dance lessons or start a martial arts practice, or take up golf or bowling.

 Try New Things

Trying new things is a fun way to spend your time if you’re an adventurous soul. What have you always wanted to do or learn? Chances are, there’s a class or a group you can join, or you can dabble in new things on your own. From trying new foods to visiting new places and from learning a new language to learning to fly, the possibilities of new things to try are endless.

Healthy hobbies in recovery keep you engaged and enjoying life. Pick up a new hobby, and you’ll improve your quality of life and success in recovery by leaps and bounds.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2019).
"TIP 46: Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2020)
"Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2020).
"Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018
bullet U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019).
"Substance Use Disorders: Treatment for Veterans."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018
bullet Mayo Clinic. (2021).
"Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018
bullet National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). (n.d.).
"Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018
bullet American Psychiatric Association. (2013).
"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing."
Retrieved on January 11, 2018

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