The Benefits of Pursuing Hobbies in Midlife
Written by: Lombe Mwansa
Published: 1 May 2023


Depression and anxiety are common mental health issues that affect men in midlife, but engaging in leisure activities, including hobbies, can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase social connections.

Can new hobbies contribute to better mental health for men in midlife? What are the benefits of hobbies to dads in their midlife?

If you are looking for healthy ways strengthen and improve your mental health pursuing a new hobby might be just the thing you are looking for. In this post, I will explore the mental health benefits of hobbies and share some suggestions to get you started. I have some stats on men’s mental health and tips you may find interesting.
Don’t miss out on discovering the key to reducing stress and improving your mood – read on.

guys walking on trail

Today we start a new month, May. It is Mental Health Awareness Month so I want to share with you the importance of pursuing a new hobby in midlife and how it can benefit our mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, depression affects over 264 million people worldwide, and it is the leading cause of disability and ill health globally. Men are not immune to depression, with studies showing that men in midlife are at a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety than other age groups.

With that being said I think pursuing a new hobby can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase social connections, all of which contribute to better mental health. A study conducted by the University of California found that engaging in leisure activities, including hobbies, reduces stress and contributes to overall life satisfaction.

Finding the right hobby for you

Finding the right hobby for you can be challenging, but it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your interests and goals. Some popular hobbies for men in midlife include gardening, cooking, photography, playing an instrument, and woodworking.

Here are some hobby suggestions along with their potential mental health benefits:

HobbyPotential Mental Health Benefits
GardeningReduces stress, increases mindfulness, fosters a sense of accomplishment
CookingProvides a creative outlet, promotes mindfulness, improves self-esteem
PhotographyIncreases mindfulness, promotes creativity, fosters a sense of accomplishment
Playing an instrumentImproves mood, reduces stress, provides a sense of achievement
WoodworkingIncreases mindfulness, fosters a sense of accomplishment, promotes relaxation

Remember, there are countless hobbies out there, and the key is to find one that aligns with your interests and goals. Whether you want to learn a new skill or simply have fun, pursuing a new hobby can help you improve your mental health and quality of life.

The impact of loneliness on men’s mental health

lonely man on park bench

Loneliness and social isolation are significant issues that affect many men as they age. According to the AARP Foundation, approximately 42.6 million adults over 45 in the United States alone suffer from chronic loneliness. A study by Age UK found that more than two million people in England over the age of 75 live alone and about one million older adults go an entire month without speaking to anyone. Furthermore, a survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that one in eight men in the UK have no close friends.

Engaging in a new hobby not only provides a fun activity to do during your free time, but it can also help combat adult loneliness. As we age, it can become increasingly difficult to meet new people and form meaningful connections. However, joining a hobby community can provide an opportunity to interact with others who share the same interests and passions, and this can lead to new friendships and social connections. Whether it’s joining a local club or connecting with others online, being a part of a community that shares your hobbies and interests can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. So, not only will pursuing a new hobby benefit your mental health, but it can also help you form new connections and relationships.

7 benefits of pursuing a new hobby in midlife:

Men gardening
  1. Improved mental health: Engaging in leisure activities has been linked to reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood, and increased happiness.
  2. Increased cognitive function: Learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby has been shown to increase cognitive function, including memory and attention span.
  3. Social connections: Joining a hobby community can provide an opportunity to interact with others who share your interests and passions, leading to new friendships and social connections.
  4. Sense of accomplishment: Setting goals and achieving them through your hobby can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem.
  5. Reduced risk of depression: Studies have shown that engaging in leisure activities can reduce the risk of depression, especially in men in midlife.
  6. Stress relief: Hobbies can be a great way to disconnect from work and everyday stresses, providing a much-needed break and reducing stress levels.
  7. Increased creativity: Pursuing a new hobby can unlock your creativity and inspire you to think outside the box, leading to new ideas and perspectives in other areas of your life.


As dads it is up to us to prioritise our mental health and take steps to combat loneliness and social isolation. Pursuing a new hobby is an excellent way to achieve this goal. So take the first step today and find a hobby to try. I would also like to encourage anyone reading this to share your own hobby suggestions in the comments section below.

We all have unique interests and passions, and it would be great to hear about hobbies that have worked for you, especially if they have contributed to your mental health and overall well-being.

By sharing our experiences, we can create a community of support and encouragement that will inspire others to try out new things and take care of our mental health.

Thank you for reading, and let’s make May a month of prioritising our mental health and pursuing new hobbies!

If you found value in it, please share it with others. 


Share this post


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *