40 Creative Things to Do When You Need to Recharge and Reset

Woman lying and take a picture with a camera

Ever feel like you need to recharge with a fun activity? A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology supports the theory that engaging in creative activities outside of the office can result in better work performance. And beyond the professional benefits of flexing our creative muscles, it's also proved to be therapeutic. So regardless of whether or not you fancy yourself the next Leonardo da Vinci, getting creative can be a productive, fun, and relaxing way to make use of your free time, especially when you're bored.

If you're looking for ideas and inspiration, our list of creative things to do will help you find the right activity. We broke it down by art form so you can easily plan your day of creativity based on your own interests. The best part is that these activities don't require you have any expertise or talent in them. From making music to writing to crafts, find your match in the list of 40 creative things to do below.

Make Some Music

jazz club karaoke
Unsplash/Jorge Flores

Did you grow up playing an instrument? If you still have it lying around and miss playing, pick it up and start brushing up on your skills. You could also invite some old friends or bandmates over for a casual reunion.

If you've been considering picking up a new instrument, or you've never learned how to play one, why not book a lesson now? It's never too late to start.

Plan a fun karaoke night with your friends or go for a long drive and sing your heart out.

See if any of your favorite bands or musicians have upcoming shows in your area and attend a concert. Can't get tickets? Watch a music documentary instead.

Discover some new music and make a few playlists for different moods so you have them ready to go on every occasion.

Move Around and Get on Stage

Woman smiling in front of graffiti
Paulette Wooten/Unsplash

If you've always wanted to try slam poetry or have been thinking of participating in an open mic night, now's the time to see what's out there and get involved. Not only will it be cathartic to actually perform, but you'll also get to tap into your creative side during the process.

Sign up for a dance-based workout class or a dance program. If you were trained as a dancer growing up, gather up some friends or co-workers and pitch in to book a studio. 

Check out an immersive theater in your area. You'll observe and get involved in the narrative by joining the actors. 

Get out of your comfort zone and sign up for an improv class. Who knows? You might be good at it, and even if you aren't, at least you'll practice taking risks and taking yourself less seriously. 

Attend a stand-up comedy show or put one on with your friends. You could also record a silly spoof video at home with friends. 

Make Some Visual Art

Round up some basic supplies and get yourself set up for a day of painting, drawing, sculpting, and collaging. If you don't have any ideas of what you want to create, keep things informal in a sketchbook.

Scour a flea market (or your own home) for furniture deserving of a makeover. Upcycle a worn dresser or bedside table using paint, new hardware, and a little elbow grease.

Use wallpaper to add color and pattern to dresser drawers and the backs of bookshelves.

Shake things up at home and paint your room another color if you've been thinking about things to do for a change. Or maybe you've been meaning to hang up some new curtains or rearrange your furniture.

When you don't feel like doing a full-blown art or redecorating project, opt for an adult coloring book instead.

Get Out

Woman beside chain link fence
 We The People

Play tourist your own city. Get some fresh air and exercise by exploring your hometown's most famous attractions.

Phone a friend to meet you for a walk, even if you have no destination in mind.

Spend the day at a new museum or exhibit. If you've seen everything in your area already, research other local art galleries to visit.

Practice your photography or videography skills. Go to your favorite part of town or find some new subjects to record.

Give the gift of self. Volunteer at an animal shelter, donate to a food pantry, or visit a senior center.

Look Inward

Meditation Pose
RunPhoto/Getty Images

Download a meditation app and dedicate a few minutes to practicing mindfulness.

Put together an online photo album or assemble an album using photos you've already printed out. As you take the trip down memory lane, pause to reflect on how the people and occasions captured in the pics have helped make you you.

Challenge yourself to a game. Download a brain-teaser app, or break out your playing cards for a round of Solitaire.

Make a time capsule using photos, mementos, and a note to your future self. Seal it shut, only to be opened five, 10, or 20 years down the road.

Create a mood board for your dream home. Even if it's just in your imagination, this will get your creative juices flowing and help you feel more inspired to achieve your goals.

Go to the movies or a restaurant by yourself. You'll feel empowered knowing that you're in total control of how your solo adventure plays out.

Experiment with new makeup or hair styles. Watch a few online tutorials and perfect the cat eye, once and for all.

Treat Your Tastebuds

How Sweet Eats Chicken Tinga Tacos
 How Sweet Eats

Try out a new recipe, even if it's ambitious and completely outside your wheelhouse. Invite your friends over to taste-test the results (just be sure to have a pizza place in mind in case it's a total fail).

Host a tasting party. Whether you'll be studying the flavor nuances of wine, tea, cookies, or something else altogether, you can expect to sip and nibble your way to a more refined palate.

Make a reservation at a new-to-you restaurant and explore new flavors and cuisines. Bonus points if you order solely based on the server's recommendation.

Channel Your Inner Author


Pick up your journal and start freewriting. You can write about an early memory, a random encounter from last week, something that's been troubling your mind, or even about nothing in particular. Pick up your pencil and don't put it down until you've been writing for five full minutes.

If you don't already have a library card to your local library, go get one. Browse the stacks and take your time compiling a must-read list.

Try writing a children's story. Getting into that mindset will be a challenging creative endeavor alone. What do you wish you could have known as a child? Write it!

Pen a letter to a friend or family member. Pick up some beautiful stationery to inspire you to practice your penmanship more often.

If you've had some ideas floating around about a great premise for a poem, short story, or even a series of novels, write them down. Then start fleshing things out with a brainstorm session.

When you have writer's block, put down the pen and take a break from whatever you're working on. Try picking up a good book instead or shift gears to a different art form. Who knows? The inspiration you've been looking for may pop up.

Get Crafty

DIY beeswax candles
Hello Glow

Take up knitting, needle pointing, or sewing. The repetitive motions can help you get rid of stress and anxiety. Plus, if you pick up sewing, you can do fun DIY projects like customizing vintage sweaters or cheap tees.

Sign up for a candle-making class, learn how to make a floral arrangement, look into Claymation and stop-motion workshops, or go to a pottery studio.

Plant a terrarium or dish garden, then enjoy the beautifying (and air-purifying) benefits of houseplants.

Shadow some online origami tutorials. The Japanese art of paper-folding will help ease your mind into a meditative state.

Make friendship bracelets. Keep a few for yourself, then gift the rest to your friends at your next get-together.

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