5 Frugal Hobbies to Help You Stress Less

girls coloring with mother
Getty ImagesColoring is one way to relieve stress.
By Jon Lal

There's plenty to do in these waning summer days to melt away stress and anxiety. Heading to the beach or the pool on the weekend with a good book works well, and you can even take your lunch outside on the workday if it's not too hot. Fresh air and sunshine can work wonders on your mental health.

With the busy school season and cooler temperature headed our way, you may want to think about how you can continue to make time for yourself during fall and winter. You might have to be indoors more often, but that doesn't mean you can't find your inner bliss.

Here are a few suggestions for new, relaxing hobbies you can adopt without shelling out a lot of cash:


Who would have thought one of your favorite childhood pastimes is now a new hot trend for those looking to relieve stress? Many adults claim that coloring is a mindless activity that can help them relax and find quiet time for themselves. There are now many adult coloring books on the market, with intricate, beautiful designs and themes. Luckily, this hobby won't cost you too much to start -- many adult coloring books go for less than $10 on Amazon. You can take your hobby a step further and get together with coworkers or friends for group coloring.


What better time to take up hiking than during the autumn foliage season? Even if you don't live near mountainous terrain, you can find walking trails or nature preserves in almost every community. Hiking can keep you active even as it gets colder, and when the snow starts to fall you can continue your adventures with a good pair of hiking boots or snowshoes. Just search the sales and look for coupons to make sure you get a discount on a good brand of shoes -- you shouldn't skimp and buy a cheap version that might fall apart quickly or hurt your feet. Boots are one place it can make sense to spend a little more, especially if you're wearing them to engage in an activity as thrifty as hiking. You can even pack your lunch and have a picnic, too.

Learning a Language

You might think learning a language requires expensive software or signing up for a pricy course. Thanks to the Internet, you can now learn languages for free. Websites like Duolingo and Memrise have countless hours of free resources and courses to help you learn whatever language you want, at no cost to you. You can even compete with others and earn points to stay motivated. If you start now, you might be able to impress your relatives in time for your annual holiday party!

Listening to Podcasts

There is an abundance of free podcasts available right on your mobile device. You can find stations and series on current events, happiness and well-being, sports, health, money, comedy -- you name it and it's there. It's an incredible free resource and it already exists in your pocket or on your computer. Take some time to browse around different options or ask friends for their recommendations. It's also a great way to pass time when you're sitting in traffic or commuting to and from work.

Exploring Genealogy

A fun winter hobby to pursue is discovering your own genealogy. Assembling your family tree can be challenging as you get to the far-reaching limbs, but it can also be a fun journey of discovery. Use the project as an opportunity to reach out to relatives that you haven't spoken with in a while. Get together with these relatives and hear stories from their childhood. If you need help piecing things together, there are also resources available to use. Online family history websites typically come at a price for a subscription, but if you subscribe on a month-by-month basis and put a time limit on your project, you can keep the cost under budget.

Hobbies don't have to require expensive equipment, classes or supplies. Hopefully these ideas can improve your mental health and help keep the stress at bay as your work or family life becomes busy over the next few months!

Jon Lal is the founder and CEO of coupons and cash back website BeFrugal.com, which saves shoppers an average of $27 an order thanks to coupons plus an average of 7 percent cash back at more than 4,000 stores.
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