Too many of us, hobbies are seen as something to pass the time between work and bed. In the eyes of many there is little point to them – by their very nature they’re done purely for enjoyment. But what if that wasn’t the case? What if we could have hobbies that had a secondary benefit? A benefit such as an income, a problem solved, a health improvement or money saved? Perhaps we could and should look at hobbies with unusual benefits..

Successful technologies often begin as hobbies. Jacques Cousteau invented scuba diving because he enjoyed exploring caves. The Wright brothers invented flying as a relief from the monotony of their normal business of selling and repairing bicycles.

Freeman Dyson

Many hobbies are dying out. Other hobbies are resurgent – these things are often cyclical. With the advent of technologies such as online shopping, many people are making a full-time living out of things that were previously hobbies. With websites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy, people are selling their handmade crafts online and giving their hobbies a whole new level of importance along the way!

There are benefits to hobbies beyond just enjoyment. Here are a list of common hobbies and their potential side benefits….


In years gone by, cycling was purely a method of transport. It was means of transport and nothing else. With the invention of cycle racing, it gained popularity as a leisure tool as well, but the explosion of affordable cars fewer and fewer people were left cycling as their primary commuting tool.

hobbies with unusual benefits

Over the last 10 years or so, cycling as a hobby has seen a huge resurgence, with 4.2 million people cycling 3+ times per week in 2016.

As a hobby, it has all kinds of benefits…

Growing Your Own Vegetables/Gardening

Once the preserve of the older generation, more and more young people are turning towards growing their own vegetables at home. There are a few reasons that have been touted for this including saving money on vegetables, an interest in mindfulness, the stress relief of gardening and finally the desire to make use of empty spaces.

hobbies with unusual benefits

With the gardening product market responding to the call of apartment gardeners, people who don’t even have a garden are now able to grow small amounts at home in wall-mounted planters and apartment-specific gardening pots.

Growing Your Own has benefits such as…

Landscape/Outdoor Photography

With camera technology and editing software more accessible than ever before, photography is a great option as a hobby. The days of professional standard camera equipment being available to a select few are over, with even phone cameras outperforming the very best cameras of yesteryear.

hobby benefits

Landscape photography is a great way to explore the countryside (or cityscape) around you, taking nothing but your camera and basic supplies out in search of the perfect shot.

Even better, when you do get that perfect shot you can use it as wall art in your house and sell copies of your pictures on websites such as eBay and Etsy. Share your work and make a little money in the process!

Benefits of photography as a hobby…

Woodwork and Carpentry

For the creative and practical among us, woodwork is a way to learn a skill that can both save and earn money whilst improving our practical know-how. Basic hand tools don’t cost a great deal of money and even a decent power-tool set up needn’t break the bank.

hobbies with unexpected benefits

With YouTube showing thousands of how-to guides, you can get started on projects quickly and easily, turning an afternoon into a really productive bit of time spent.

With basic woodwork and carpentry skills you can perform a lot of DIY and restoration jobs at home yourself, plus make some really impressive handmade gifts for friends and family at Christmas time!

Benefits of a woodwork hobby…

Hobbies With Unusual Benefits

They’re everywhere, really! Whether it’s making money, saving money, improving health, helping you deal with stress or all of the above, a good set of hobbies can be a fantastic boost to our quality of life. We hope this little list has inspired you to revisit an old hobby or start a new one!

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