“Energizing Hobbies” Are TikTok’s Latest Wellness Hack

Bed rot days are great, but this is better.

Mid adult woman drawing/painting on a notepad at home

Nothing beats a good bed rot day. The peak of relaxation can be found amongst your blankets, on a couch, in front of a show you’ve watched at least 20 times. More chill vibes are waiting for you on social media, which everyone knows is easy to scroll for hours and hours at a stretch.

Bed rotting is a go-to guaranteed way to restore yourself, but there’s an issue: It isn’t always energizing in the long run. Too much bed rotting can be a bummer, and it might even explain why you always feel like you’re repeating the same, slow, tiresome day over and over again.

According to TikTok, the remedy for this malaise is to find an “energizing hobby,” aka something you enjoy, different from your usual social media scroll. In a viral video posted March 20, creator and therapist @israajnasir posted about the benefits of energizing hobbies, calling them a “neuroscience-based happiness hack” — and she isn’t the only one talking about it.

The phrase “energizing hobby” has over 22 million search results on TikTok, so it’s clear that people are looking for a different way to spend their day, but many just aren’t sure where to start. Here’s everything you need to know about energizing hobbies, including how to find one of your own.

What Are Energizing Hobbies?

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One of the great banes of adulthood is the never-ending search for a hobby. It sounds so nice to do something besides working or scrolling social media, but it’s also hard to find something that sticks, especially if you’re profoundly tired or burnt out.

This is why so many people have a knitting phase, a pottery phase, or a pickleball phase but eventually shove all their craft supplies in a box, or their sports gear in a closet before heading back to bed.

It sounds simple, but according to Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear, an energizing hobby is simply one that boosts your mood and fills you up — instead of one that seems like a total drag.

“Energizing hobbies invite us to engage the body, mind, and spirit in creating a delicious sense of flow that leaves no room for stress or worry,” Manly says. If you feel fully and totally immersed in your hobby, then you know you’ve struck gold.

The Benefits Of An Energizing Hobby

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In her video, Nasir also talked about how energizing hobbies help activate a “flow” state in your brain, which is when you’re fully immersed in the present moment. You aren’t thinking about the past, worried about the future, or completely checked out. Instead, you’re engaged and enjoying what you’re doing.

Flow is also said to boost dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with happiness. When you’re in a sustained flow state, and your brain is pumping full of dopamine, it can help you feel better mentally and physically.

According to Manly, this feel-good neurochemicals can stick with you for hours after your hobby is done. They’re amazing mood-boosters, she tells Bustle, and they also promote your overall well-being.

Energizing hobbies improve your mood and help you break out of a bed rot rut, and according to Nasir, they can even help you de-center work. This is great news if you feel like your whole life revolves around getting up, going to work, coming home, eating, and going to bed again.

“[This lifestyle] makes us very flat and one-dimensional,” the creator said in her video. “By having engaging hobbies, we add more depth and dimension into our life.”

How To Find Your Energizing Hobby

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To literally boost your energy, Manly recommends active hobbies like hiking, swimming, or walking, or something adventurous, like paddle boarding, mountain biking, or dancing. A gym workout class also counts, as does a jog.

That said, an energizing hobby doesn’t have to be active, if you don’t want it to be. Under Nasir’s video, one person wrote, “I think people are getting confused thinking an ‘energizing hobby’ has to be super active. Reading is my main hobby and I absolutely find it revitalizing.”

If you’re also looking for something more low-key, you could try Pilates, gardening, studying a subject, sewing, bird watching, or simply walking your dog around a new neighborhood. According to Manly, creative hobbies are a good choice if you want to feel extra engaged — and they might even chase away Sunday Scaries.

If you’re still at a loss, Nasir recommended thinking about what you liked to do as a kid. In her comments, one person said, “I liked being nosey. Now I love thrifting.” Another wrote, “I loved dancing in my basement to Britney Spears” while someone else said, “Riding my bike was my ultimate source of freedom.” Everything can be used as inspiration for the new, adult version of your hobby — or you can bring back the same activity.

It’s also totally OK to test things out and give up on them. “When we take the time to experiment with new activities — playing around with various hobbies in a very child-like, no-pressure way — we bring life to parts of the body and mind that we never knew we had,” says Manly.

Finding The Time

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Another reason finding a hobby is hard and bed rotting is easy? It can be tough to find the time to do something more fulfilling — or at least that’s what people say. Under Nasir’s video, loads of commenters complained about not having enough hours in the day, but she pointed out that often all it takes is halving your relaxation time.

Take a look at your phone and see how many hours you spend on TikTok, Instagram, or Pinterest. “Even if you cut that in half,” she said, “you can make time for energizing hobbies.” Often all you have to do is spend an hour reading, or an hour on your bike, and just like that you can feel better.

One person said, “DJing is my hobby. Makes me forget about work and I’m very present,” while another chimed in saying, “Crochet! It’s easy to learn, cheap to do, and you feel sooooo good after creating something with your own hands!”

While there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and doing nothing, it seems like it’s also worth it to add an energizing hobby to your week, especially if you’ve been bored, tired, or blah.


Gold, J. (2020). A Review on the Role of the Neuroscience of Flow States in the Modern World. Behav Sci (Basel). doi: 10.3390/bs10090137.


Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist, author of Joy from Fear