These are the hobbies that make you happiest – and you can do them all at home

Regardless of your individual circumstances, it’s now a given that we’re all going to be spending a lot more time at home over the coming weeks. It is, of course, hugely important to listen to official advice about social distancing and quarantine in light of the coronavirus outbreak, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re also quite likely to get… well, a bit bored in the process.

However, if you’re in search of an activity you can do in your house or flat, a timely new survey has revealed the hobbies that make you happiest, and, supplies depending, they can all be done without going out.

The research, which was conducted by, quizzed 5,000 adults about the mood boosts they gained from popular hobbies, and whittled it down to the top 10 happiest hobbies.

Unsurprisingly, mindful tasks such as painting, gardening and knitting came very high in the rankings, but the activity that topped them all might just surprise you. Here’s the list in full – we hope it gives you some inspiration as we all adjust to this new normal.

The top 10 hobbies that make you happiest

1. Baking

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With supermarkets struggling to meet demand at the moment, baking isn’t as straightforward  as it once was, but if you do have butter, flour and eggs to hand, mixing up a treat for your family to enjoy could be a day brightener for you all. Simple recipes that don’t require too many ingredients, like scones, are a good place to start.

2. Knitting

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Proficient knitters could use this time to take on a bigger, more ambitious project than ever before, but even beginners can get stuck in. If you’ve got needles and wool, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to get you casting on and creating rows in no time.

3. Photography

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No fancy cameras or lenses required – today’s phones are just as good as some high-end equipment, and can produce amazing results. Those who are serious about photography might like to invest some time in learning different techniques that can make pictures pop, but simply capturing some moments from your household as they happen can bring just as much joy.

4. Painting

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Canvases and palettes are all well and good, but whether it’s raiding the kids’ poster paints or using leftover tins from painting the house, a little creativity can be found in any corner. No canvas? No problem. Big sheets of paper or cardboard are ideal – even the back of an old cereal box can become a masterpiece.

5. Playing a musical instrument

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This one is a little trickier to pull off because you do need an instrument to get going, so if there’s an old keyboard or recorder in the house, now’s the time to dust it off. If not, remember, we all have a built-in instrument – living room karaoke, anyone?

6. Gardening

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Gardens are the perfect place to get a little extra fresh air if you can’t go far, so make the most of yours by sorting out the weeds and making sure everything is watered. Even a windowsill can become home to fresh herbs or indoor plants like succulents, especially as you now probably have a little more time to nurture them.

7. Reading

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If there was ever a time to curl up indoors with a good novel, it’s now. These books that are being adapted for the screen in 2020 will keep you busy for a while – and then you can watch the films or TV show versions too.

8. Cross-stitch

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A proper set-up for cross stitch typically involves a hoop and specific fabric, but you can try a few techniques on any scrap just for fun. Try to keep the tension in your piece to avoid any pesky puckering.

9. Upcycling

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There are few things more satisfying than taking something that’s a bit old and worn and making it look brand new. While it sounds like a big job at first, upcycling doesn’t have to be a major undertaking – Pinterest is full of ingenious ideas, like repurposing items in your recycling box, or giving a piece of basic furniture a quick lick of paint.

10. Clothes-making

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If you can make your own clothes from scratch, amazing, but even us amateurs can make a few adjustments to our wardrobes here and there. Debobble an old jumper, shorten a strap or take up a hem to a more comfortable height – even the tiniest tweaks can make all the difference.