… Seriously, I Want to Know!

A few weeks ago I heard someone say, “Millennials don’t have hobbies anymore, they turn everything into a business” (I can’t for the life of me remember who said it). I think they were quoting a Slate article from last year, or National Post & New York Times articles from two years ago. It instantly struck a cord with me and I stopped to read both articles right then and there. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Then just a few days later while Ryan and I were grabbing coffee at one of our favorite spots in town, we ran into an old friend that we hadn’t seen in years. We were catching up on his life with his wife and two sweet baby girls, his job, and his new hobby… pottery. I was like WAIT. HOLD ON. Tell me everything.

Millennials don’t have hobbies anymore, they turn everything into a business

He went on to tell us that he really wanted a hobby he could learn just for fun and just for himself, something that would bring him joy at the end of a long day. A creative outlet. So he bought a pottery wheel and was looking into investing in a kiln. It was something he remembered enjoying in high school art class and he wanted to pick it up again. No strings attached, no visions of grandeur. I. WAS. RIVETED.

I of course immediately told him about the articles I had just read days earlier and how he was bucking the trend. I was hooked. OMG I wanted to do the same.

On our way home from the coffee shop Ryan and I were so convicted. As soon as we buckled our seat belts we both turned to each other and simultaneously said, “we need hobbies!” ha!

Any-who, this got me thinking, because we’ve quite literally turned ALL of our hobbies into jobs… almost hilariously so! Ryan loves photography? Great, now you are our full-time photographer for the blog. I love to read? Perfect, we’ll start a book club. Ryan loves to DIY? Amazing! Our readers will love following along! I love skincare? Spectacular, you’ll try all the beauty products and report back!

I mean, it’s funny when you think about it and, truth be told, I’m SO glad it’s worked out this way. I absolutely L-O-V-E my job and am so grateful that I have the privilege of blogging day in and day out, but wow. I need a hobby ASAP.

I may be wrong, but I think the rise of Etsy was the fall of the hobby. It’s now so easy to sell your creations with just a few clicks of a button. And why wouldn’t you?! It’s not wrong, heck, I’ve been doing it for the past 10 years. I just think it’s thought provoking.

When was the last time you picked up a hobby that was just for you?

P.S. Currently taking all hobby ideas… needlepointing is the front runner after learning last weekend in Palm Beach. But guys, clearly I need some advice! 😉


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  1. I’ve read that pickle ball is back with intramural teams in Az. I’m in Texas and would love to learn it for a hobby.
    I’m so not creative so I do word search puzzles timed to exercise my brain. I also recently tried to do sticker by number but it gets frustrating with such tiny pieces– I did not even know this would require tweezers! HA! I think I may stick with exercise rather than trying to be creative. I do enjoy other people’s artwork and have bought pieces off of etsy.

  2. I think my exercise routine has often been my hobby: tennis lessons, yoga in college, tae kwon do during my master’s program to get me through thesis writing, and my most recent pursuit, krav maga. It’s not necessarily creative, but it has been a great outlet and stress reliever for me. My other hobbies have often been less consistent. I read for fun occasionally when there’s a book that’s exciting to me. I knit from time to time because I also find it stress relieving and helpful with my constant need to fidget or do something with my hands. In high school I took salsa dancing lessons (growing up in Miami meant almost everyone had quinceaneras), and I’m hoping to pick this one back up again. In college I got into baking, which was maybe not the best for my waistline, but my friends and coworkers during summer internships appreciated it!

    My boyfriend, though… he is the *master* of hobbies. He brews beer for fun with his dad, he fixes cars, he runs, he cooks (and has gotten me more into this hobby too!), he plays games… and the list goes on! Hopefully I can get his next hobby to be salsa dancing!

  3. Love this discussion! I am always thinking of a new hobby, or what I call a “creative outlet”! I just signed up for a calligraphy class and over the winter I picked up on cross stitching cocktail napkins! Both inexpensive and fun to do.

  4. I accidentally fell into the hobby of baking. A couple of years ago I cut gluten from my diet. With that transition I realized a lot of the treats I loved to eat I couldn’t have anymore so I was determined to make them myself. Once I got going I realized not only could I make a lot of things for myself but I could bake for others which I think has been the most fulfilling part of it. I love baking for people’s birthdays and bringing in new recipes I’ve made for my coworkers to sample!

  5. Just like you I recently felt the urge to pick up a hobby, so I started needlepointing in January and I am hooked! I love it, and I look forward to making special gifts for friends & family in the future.

  6. I love cross stitch and quilting! It’s so much fun after a long day of digital work to just sit down with a cozy blanket and stitch! And it’s so satisfying to make handmade gifts for your loved ones and they mean so much! If you look up modern quilting or modern cross stitch it’s not old fashioned like you’d think, the colors and motifs are bright and fun!

  7. Ashley I loved this post! I am a knitter and have been since I was 12–it’s my favorite way to keep my hands busy while watching tv rather than looking at my phone which I am so guilty of scrolling Insta while watching tv! Now that all of my friends and family are pregnant I love making blankets and sweaters for their babies and it always makes me smile when my boyfriend wears a hat I knit to work everyday in the cold Chicago winters!
    I also love running, yoga, and cooking from new and old cookbooks!

  8. This is so true – although I do find myself trying to justify the cost of my hobbie which then makes we think again and again how I could monetise it.
    But I absolutely love making paper flowers. And not just simple card stock paper flowers – Italian crepe paper flowers. My on going goal is to get the flowers looking so real no one thinks otherwise. So that makes it a fun – skill building hobbie for me.
    Love that you’re doing needlework too Ashley – there is definitely a lot of joy in doing that as well x

  9. Needlepoint! I’m a nurse and obviously have a stressful job so needlepoint has allowed me to get back to being creative and has also proven to be therapeutic and getting rid of some of my stress! I love it! I’m also trying to get back into reading for pleasure!

  10. I have been watercolor painting for a few years! I started on one of my husband’s deployments. I recommend Let’s Make Art subscription boxes for beginners. Its very relaxing and something I can do with my 4 year old. It’s also fun because I make everyone’s holiday and birthday gifts now!

  11. I love all the hobbies! Reading, crochet, needlepoint, volleyball, etc. But what you said about turning hobbies into businesses is so true, and I also love that that’s a viable option for millennials. I make hand-made greeting cards, but in addition to doing that for myself (because I never want to spend $8 on a greeting card!), I also sell class kits each month so that people who want to make greeting cards can just order a kit and get everything they need shipped to their house. I love being able to share my hobby with other people!

  12. If you arranged the beautiful flowers in the picture above … then that’s one to add to the list of possible contenders!

  13. I have also been thinking about this a lot, and am happy to report that I did not turn my favorite hobby into a career. It starting when I was deciding on a college to attend. I knew I want to study some kind of science, but my family was urging to also look at music because I am a flautist and singer. I took this into consideration, but in the end, decided to just stick with a science because I did not want to learn to loathe my hobby my studying it, and making it a possible career. During college, and graduate school, I was so grateful that I had music as my hobby because it was such a great form of self care/stress relief! I would not feel the same way if I would have majored in flute and vocal performance! I do have other hobbies including puzzles, needlepoint, and a blog!! Having a lot of outlets has been such a great space for me to retreat to!

    xx Libby

  14. With Spring on its way my husband and I are starting a garden! We just planted our vegetables, herbs, and flowers in small pots inside and will transfer them outside in the next month. I’m excited to have that to look forward to this summer because I too, NEED A HOBBY that’s not binging Netflix and gets me outside

  15. My BFF and I turn old cowboy boots into purses!! We are Hospice Nurses and also use the deceased family member’s boots and make them into a purse for the spouse, dtr, etc. We call them “CARRY”. We have sold some as well.
    Myself I love to read! I love 1000 pulse pieces crossword puzzles. I also hand knit big chunky yarns into blankets, pillows, etc.

  16. Absolutely love this post! I come from a very creative background and now I work in an industry that is NOT creative at all. I find myself looking at a computer screen for hours a day and to be completely honest it gets depressing! I had to have a creative outlet, so I started an online vintage shop and it fulfills me in ways I can’t describe! I get so excited creating content, searching for new treasures and sharing those treasures with people who appreciate them as much as I do. It absolutely thrills me to see these pieces styled in their homes! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ashley!

    PS — needlepoint sounds like a great hobby. I may pick this hobby up as well


  17. I just posted something I read about this because I also thought it was so interesting! Pre kiddo the hubby and I would try new things just for the fun of it (like tennis lessons or training for a run together or visiting wineries to learn about wine) and we love fishing! Since I don’t get to do a ton of that these days I’d say reading is my main hobby. We also really like game nights and are trying to incorporate those again since our son is getting to an age where he can also participate. We also have always talked about joining a couples bowling league and one day need to make that happen haha!

  18. My hobbies are reading, going to Disney and practicing yoga. I started 3 weeks ago doing yoga everyday. I absolutely love it. It helps me stay calm and stress free.

    I read every morning after journaling! It’s the only way to do it. I get up and hour before I need to get ready so I make the time to do it.

    Disney…..ahhhh it’s my happy place. I’ve been going to Disney as long as I can remember. I can go with my friends and family but I’m just as happy going alone:)

    Another hobby I have is bow hunting, which I’m sure there are people who don’t agree with that. But I absolutely love doing it. What we kill we process and eat. This year we dabbled into making new flavors of smoked sausage and snack sticks and I really love the process and it’s so healthy and delicious! I also love that it is something my Husband and I do together. But I only hunt 3 months out of the year. So reading, going to Disney and yoga are my jam!

    Oh and when I have the extra money going to the spa is where it’s at. Before having a child I think I was at the Spa at Saratoga Springs every other week:)

  19. Thank you so much for bringing this up! I really haven’t put much thought into hobbies. I suppose mine would be running, making photo books of places I’ve been, and going to coffee shops. Such a far cry from my days of painting, beading, and scrapbooking. Maybe if we all didn’t waste as much time on technology we’d have time for more hobbies? Just a thought..

  20. I’m a millennial and it drives me crazy this need people have for hobbies, like I like doing new things for fun here and there but nothing that I do constantly. I’m so tired from school and work that honestly all I want to do on my free time is sleep, watch tv and sometimes read a book, but if I tell someone sleep and watching tv are my hobbies I feel like I’d be terribly criticized.

  21. Our hobby is going to the movies and trying out different homemade variations of popcorn to smuggle in. We’ve become moviegoers everywhere and have all the movie cards that save us bucks. We love it! And we go instead of watching at home bc there’s no chores staring at us while we watch…

  22. I think collecting hobbies is my hobby . Handmade cards, knitting, painting, baking, needlepoint, necklace making, and I’m looking into felting.

    I just made the sweetest mobile for my friend’s baby shower. I make cards for friend’s birthdays. I knit a blanket for my daughter. I painted the heartbeat of my friend’s daughter for a shower gift. I love making things for my friends and family.

  23. Blogging was my hobby and I still consider it one, although I do make a little money! I’ve never thought about reading as a hobby but I guess it counts? I love to bake, also, but would never turn it into a business. So maybe I do still have some hobbies! This post was a great reminder to stop and enjoy things, not just worry about the hustle!

  24. Right now, as a busy working mom, I would say fitness is my main hobby. I do it for me, and only for me. I also like to quilt and cook. The cooking is mostly necessity these days, and not so much trying new recipes….and the quilting hasn’t happened in years. I actually just bought new fabric to start a new quilt, though, so I’m trying to change that!

  25. I’ve recently thought about this, as well! Staying home wth 2 littles and not working currently, I decided I needed something just for me that would be easy to accomplish and not time-consuming. I bought a crossword puzzle book and have loved completing puzzles in little bits of spare time! Makes me feel like I’m using my brain for more than just remembering schedules and to-do lists. I’d also love to get back into yoga!

  26. I love knitting, reading, and puzzles! Knitting is great for “dead time” while watching tv, and it keeps my hands busy. I’ve had people ask me if I’d accept payment to teach them and it’s like, no girl! I’ll teach you to do this for free because it’s so fun and productive! Not every second of my life needs to be generating revenue.

  27. Crafting! I am crazy and decided to make my immediate family all Christmas stockings. I found these felt stocking kits by Bucilla (you can buy them on Amazon) and got hooked. I’ve discovered that it has to be a very specific type of crafting that isn’t mindless, or I lose interest. These stocking kits are super intricate and take quite a bit of time, so I get sucked in and can work on them for hours.

  28. I feel like I don’t have hobbies. But I might just be turning my hobbies into a career. I’m currently in college for marketing and graphic design, so being creative and making crafts is my hobby turned profession. But I need to find a hobby that lets my stress out (business school is hard). I’ve been thinking about hiking, just need to find “cool” places to go.

    Also I must have read that same article or someone told me about it because I think the same thing. We make businesses out of everything! I know a lot of friends in college who have a side business that they made out of a hobby. I’m very jealous that they get to start something they love doing so soon in life, like they’re not even out of college and they have a successful business.

  29. I love to bullet journal. It’s my creative outlet that lets me zone out after a long day at work. I also love to bake, and read. Mainly anything that I can zone out and escape reality.

  30. Oh my goodness – I so relate to this! I have an Etsy shop and my hobbies have certainly have become my business. While I absolutely love that I get to do something that I love it does make the question “What do you do for fun?” kind of a difficult to answer. Everything I would normally count as a hobby – sewing, photography, and even reading has all kinda rolled into what I do work work now. Yet, I’m totally living out a dream I’ve had for years upon years so I couldn’t be happier!

    I do really enjoy a good puzzle though just for fun. I just bought a bulletin board to use for working on puzzles so that I can store it under the bed when I’m not working on it since I don’t have a designated puzzle table. It totally works great! Somethings I would really love to learn just for the fun of it would be knitting or flower arranging!

  31. I am starting a little cut flower and veggie garden this year just because I want a hobby! I want to do something with my hands, be outside and teach my little boy that good things come from patience!

  32. I do have hobbies and I’m only 29! Haha. I decorate my planner. I share my spreads on Instagram for inspiration to others, but I also follow lots of other people who decorate and do fun things with theirs as well. The online planner community has grown to what scrapbooking was back in the early 2000s. There are in-person, large-scale conventions and everything. I also love reading and I consider that a hobby as well.

    I think millennials can sometimes fall into the trap of feeling like they need to monetize their hobby instead of just enjoying it (probably Recession PTSD, tbh), but I don’t agree that millennials don’t have hobbies. I find very much the opposite to be true.

    Side note: I work for the public library and millennials have been found to be the generation that’s using their local library the most. To serve that audience, we offer a lot of creative and crafting activities and they’re well-attended by millennials. It’s been everything from cooking classes to coloring to podcasting meetups.

    • Cynthia! I LOVE hearing this! So fun. And you are probably right about the trap of Recession PTSD!
      Also I too just read something about the public library having a boom (I can’t remember where!) and thought that wow, I need to get more involved in our local library!

      Thanks for weighing in friend!


  33. Does reading count as a hobby? If so, then that’s my biggest one! But I’m also writing a novel in my free time that I don’t really have any plans to publish or do anything with other than just enjoy the process. Movies are another one, i.e. seeing every Best Picture nominee. Thinking about getting into indoor rock climbing soon with a new friend. Hobbies are so underrated!

  34. Millennials may not have a lot of hobbies at the moment for various reasons, HELLO..we are all at that age where we are taking care of kids (especially younger at the moment), working full time, and sometimes taking care of aging parents. Our parents didn’t have a lot of time for hobbies at this time in their lives either. I also feel the advances in technology and the connection/accessibility to the whole world from your phone/computer that has led to hobbies easily turning into businesses. If this was available to our parents I am sure similar outcomes would happen. Therefore I feel it is a very generalized statement, however, I like the thought provoking discussion you started…

    things that I enjoy are working out, reading (I participate in two book clubs), and I LOVE to organize…so whenever a messy corner of my house or office gives me an itch for a new project I enjoy the satisfaction of making the space more attractive and useful. My husband and I love to participate in Fantasy Football every fall. It gives us a chance to discuss starting line ups and who to draft/trade. Super bonus is when I beat him in a head to head match up. Since all of these activities require me to find time to do between being a wife, mom, and help manage my husband’s used car lot I consider them hobbies. As my children get older I would like to take horseback riding lessons with my daughter. My guilty pleasure however is definitely SHOPPING!!

    • Ashley! Oh my gosh, yes. I totally agree with everything you said! Definitely a generalized statement, but an interesting one! But you are right, this is the busiest time in our lives which takes priority over everything else.

      I love that you enjoy reading (me too!!) and Fantasy Football… how fun! You’ll have to let me know how those horseback riding lessons go, I love that idea! 😉

  35. I started knitting when I had a serious health issue that hit me shortly after I got married and well I could not do much. I was able to get myself to a knitting class and I went from there. I knit the requisite scarves but then afghans and sweaters and shawls and hats and even a dress for my sister for her to wear to a wedding and she wore later to her daughter’s baptism.
    It seems that knitting goes up and down with popularity.
    I will say it is a great way to use your time when you are waiting for an appt.
    I have gifts at the ready and the items that I have left over I have brought to the senior center or to a church to give as prayer or comfort shawls.

    When I am not doing that I do bake some. I also like to do yoga. I also walk a lot too. These are not hobbies but help me .

  36. Last summer I set a goal to learn something new and I started baking bread from scratch. This isn’t a hobby that I do every week but once or twice a month and it’s been so much fun. It forces me to slow down and be patient while it rises. Sometimes enjoying a book and coffee in the downtime. Then when I make an extra loaf it’s a good excuse to bring it to a friend.

  37. Love this post! I totally agree. We millennials try to turn everything into a business. Honestly I think we just see it as an opportunity to make a little side hustle cash. I’ve been blogging as my hobby for the last 6 years but I may throw the towel in with the birth of our first child coming in June. I figure I may take up my camera again and play around once he is here.

  38. I consider reading to be my top hobby (but I sometimes struggle calling it a hobby??) but I also love to cook and trying new things in the kitchen. I started contributing to a young professional blog because I love writing and I also do Sudoku’s every night while I watch TV or listen to an audiobook. It’s a great way to keep your brain occupied and off your phone! I find it really relaxing.

  39. You’re kinda right! I thought I had plenty of hobbies, but when I really think about it they all have a motive beyond “just for fun”. I’m learning Spanish and French because I work for an international company, and I garden because our home had ZERO landscaping when we bought it.

    I guess I can think of two real hobbies: hiking (hello, upcoming trip to southern Utah!), and home improvement projects (again, does this really count? But I love to paint a room/hang a gallery wall/refresh a space with new linens).

  40. I’ve recently thought the same thing, I always say reading and (very limited) photography are my hobbies, but I started embroidery, ordered a cheap beginners kit on Amazon and have LOVED IT!! Hahaha!!! I would love to get into needlepoint but am a bit intimidated, and nobody I know does it!

  41. If a hobby is something I do for myself, just for the joy it gives me, I guess I would say reading and skincare are my hobbies. That includes reading about skincare haha. I genuinely enjoy reading all sorts of books ranging from biographies, “chic lit”, historical fiction, thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, YA, you name it. I work in finance and one of my favorite things to read about with this topic is the 2008 financial crisis and the lead up to and fall out from it. That probably sounds insanely lame but it is really interesting to me. As far as skincare goes, I have recently gotten into adding clinical grade skincare into my routine and have become a devoted follower of Jordan Harper for her medical knowledge of skincare. My husband is SO tired of me talking about it. He would much rather talk about the 2008 financial crisis haha. Not sure if any of this counts as a hobby or not but I sure do enjoy these things!

  42. I don’t have much time for hobbies with 3 kids and full time work and a husband who works out of town more than home. But I consider reading my hobby and recently we started doing puzzels as a family. Like 1500+ piece puzzles that are challenging and last a while. Now you may find this interesting but my husband liked to crochet. He makes different table items for me and wash clothes and hand towels. Back when I had just one kid or before I would cross stitch but it was hard to just keep putting down and picking up so often. I would lose my spot. My mom likes to bake.

    • Stacey, our family loves puzzles, too! (Our family is sticking to 500 piece ones so the kids don’t get too frustrated – I am impressed by the 1500!) It’s fun to have one sitting out, especially in the winter when we’re stuck inside (Ohio weather is not as nice as Florida this time of year!).

      I love to read, so I would consider that my #1 hobby. Is shopping a hobby? Because I crush that! LOL. I also love to cook and bake….not when I HAVE to but when I have the time/choice to do so. Our family tries to leave Sundays open so we have time to relax and do what makes us happy. I find I always cook more on Sunday than any other day because I have the time/space to do so. Finally, I like to do yoga, so I guess that could be considered a hobby, too.

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