Top Hobbies for Mental Health

Engaging in hobbies is not only a way to pass time creatively but also offers substantial mental health benefits. From stained glass making to gardening, hobbies can be therapeutic, helping to reduce stress, improve mood, and even combat depression. Here’s a look at how various hobbies, including stained glass making, ceramics, quilting, jewelry making, and gardening, support mental wellness.

Stained Glass Making

Stained glass making requires concentration and precision, which can significantly shift focus from daily stressors to the task at hand. This focus is similar to mindfulness meditation, where the practice of being present with your activity can decrease anxiety and stress levels. Additionally, the creative process involved in designing and completing a piece can boost self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment. According to a study by the Journal of Health Psychology, engaging in creative activities like stained glass making can lead to lower stress levels and positive emotions.


Working with clay in ceramics is a sensory experience that can be immensely soothing and grounding. The tactile nature of molding clay requires both attention and creativity, which helps distract the mind from intrusive thoughts and allows for a therapeutic release of emotions. Psychologists suggest that activities involving hand manipulation may increase the release of neurotransmitters that promote joy and well-being. Furthermore, the act of creating something from scratch can enhance a sense of control and self-efficacy, improving overall mental health.


Quilting is a visually and cognitively engaging hobby that involves choosing fabrics, following patterns, and precise sewing, all of which can help enhance cognitive function through problem-solving and creativity. The repetitive motion of sewing can also be meditative, promoting a calming effect on the brain and reducing symptoms of anxiety. Quilting in groups can additionally provide social support, which is crucial for mental health. A study by the American Journal of Public Health noted that crafts like quilting could improve cognitive function and emotional well-being in older adults.

Jewelry Making

The detailed focus required in jewelry making can serve as a form of mindfulness, which is beneficial for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Selecting materials and designing pieces can also offer a creative outlet for expressing emotions, which might be difficult to articulate otherwise. The sense of achievement from creating something beautiful can boost self-esteem and contribute to a more positive self-image. Jewelry making can also provide an opportunity to engage in social interactions, whether through classes or clubs, further enhancing emotional support networks.


Gardening is increasingly recognized for its mental health benefits. The physical activity involved in gardening can release endorphins, the body’s natural stress relievers. Being outdoors and interacting with nature can further reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve mood. Gardening offers a sense of responsibility and can be incredibly rewarding, as nurturing plants and watching them grow can lead to increased feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. A meta-analysis published in Preventive Medicine Reports highlights that gardening can reduce depression, anxiety, and body mass index, along with increasing life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community.

“Crafting activities, including quilting, offer significant mental health benefits by engaging the mind in a focused, meditative task. This focus can reduce stress levels by redirecting attention away from stressors and toward the task of creating something. The repetitive actions involved in quilting, such as cutting, piecing, and stitching, can serve as a form of mindfulness practice, helping to calm the mind and reduce anxiety,” shares Master Quilter and VP of Customer Success Corey Pearson.

Crafting and other hobbies are proven to improve mental wellbeing, lower stress and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

“Crafting stimulates the brain, improving cognitive functions like concentration and problem-solving. Completing a quilting project provides a tangible sense of accomplishment, boosting self-esteem and promoting a positive mood. These benefits are universal, making quilting and similar crafts valuable hobbies for people of all genders and ages, contributing to overall mental well-being.”

Each of these hobbies offers unique benefits that can help individuals manage stress, improve mood, and enhance their overall mental health. Whether through the meditative repetition of quilting or the creative challenges of stained glass making, these activities provide valuable opportunities for mental and emotional growth.