Wondering What to Do When You’re Bored? Here Are 105 Fun Things to Do for Any Mood

From smart to delightfully self-indulgent

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Boredom happens to the best of us, and usually it’s just a passing feeling. However, it's not a condition to be trifled with—for example, a 2015 study showed that boredom can be so uncomfortable that humans will do everything from self-administer electric shocks to eat more M&Ms than usual, just to break up the monotony. Our advice: if the ennui has become unbearable, step away from the shocks and sweets and consider more positive actions instead. We came up with a diverse list of things to do when you’re bored at home that includes playing games and vacation planning just for fun, house cleaning (because you know you can't watch Netflix on the couch forever), creative endeavors for your inner Bob Ross, plus some outdoor activities that will get your blood pumping. Read on to find a boredom buster that speaks to you, and you’ll get your joie de vivre back, stat.

52 Seriously Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

Fun and Leisurely Indoor Activities

things-to-do-when-you're-bored: A young white woman with brown hair wears glasses and a headset while smiling at her computer screen.

1. Order Takeout

When your own company isn’t cutting it, it’s time to make friends with a Chinese restaurant menu.

2. Shop Online

There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy—just be sure to spend your hard-earned dollar wisely by checking out the latest sales.

3. Play Online Blackjack

Head to the Washington Post for a totally free and highly addictive card game that won’t actually make you go broke.

4. Talk to a Psychic

Because you’re dying to know if more excitement is in your future.

5. Make a Time Capsule

First, collect some memorabilia of all the good times you’ve had; then, hide it away so you can rediscover it next time you’re bored and languishing.

6. Binge a TV series

Press play on one of these binge-worthy options and let the marathon begin—just be sure to have snacks within arm’s reach. (Cocktail, optional.)

7. Learn a Magic Trick

Magic isn't just for kids, friends. Learn a few sleights of hand from an online video or virtual class and you’ll be the most entertaining guest at any party.

8. Play Video Games

Treat yourself to a couch potato kind of day with some gaming. Best of all, you can easily make it a social affair by inviting your S.O. or friends to join in the fun.

9. Make a Wish List

Satisfy your urge to shop online without going broke by writing a list of all the good you’re currently coveting.

10. Take a Personality Test

You can find a whole host of fun personality quizzes here—just remember to take the results with a grain of salt.

11. Read Your Horoscope

You already know the basics of your zodiac sign, but maybe your current horoscope has some nuggets of inspiration to help you leave the doldrums behind.

12. Send a Care Package

Whether you curate the care package yourself or send a ready-made gift basket instead, the thoughtful gesture is sure to make someone’s day.

13. Pleasure Yourself

There’s nothing boring about the big O (and if you want help getting there, we know some highly effective toys for that).

14. Start a Festive Text Chain

Share this story and suggest your friends join you in planning a party you’ll all enjoy for your next birthday. If you elicit good ideas or annoyance, it’s all fun in its way.

15. Pull Tarot Cards

Use your own deck or have a free online reading.

16. Apply At-Home Eyelash Extensions

Go from reptile eye to fluttery lashes in 10 minutes.

17. Plan a Vacation

Researching and planning a vacation is almost as fun as the trip itself, so go on and indulge your wanderlust (even if there’s no travel on the horizon).

18. Watch a Movie

Here, a tried-and-true boredom buster for when you just don’t feel like reckoning with your messy closet. Bonus points if you bring a friend on board. Here's a list of our favorite new movies to watch this very minute.

19. Lowkey Post Your Relationship on Social Media

Soft launching is the stage between "it's complicated" and "please save the date for our nuptials."

20. Try a Virtual Escape Room

Your bored brain is begging for a challenge, and a virtual escape room fits the bill. Check out these six and give one a go.

21. Treat Your Furry Friend to a Massage

Rock Fido's world with a spot of doggie acupressure, according to a certified canine massage therapist.

22. Play Solitaire

Dust off that pack of bicycle cards or play online—either way this easy-to-learn and super addictive card game is sure to keep you entertained.

23. Follow a Makeup Tutorial

Youtube has every look you've been curious about.

24. Create a “Love Map” of Your Significant Other

The Gottman Institute assigns this as homework for couples, and we found it to be an interesting exercise.

25. Play Board Games

They’re not called bored games, friends. Next time you and your partner are both in the doldrums, bust out the Monopoly or test your strategic thinking with something more modern like Scythe. Bottom line: There are tons of board games out there and all of them are great when you’re in need of entertainment and bonding time with an SO.

Educational Activities

26. Watch a Documentary

Rom-coms are great—but when you’re really in need of mental stimulation, a documentary that takes a deep dive on a subject of interest can’t be beat.

27. Read a Book

The time to put down your phone and pick up a book is now. Psst: Any of these will keep you engrossed.

28. Browse the Library

Books, DVDs, video games, a pleasant change of scenery—your local library has it all.

29. Listen to an Audiobook

Feeling too lazy or distractable to read? We get it. Press play on an audiobook instead so you can enjoy a story without giving it your undivided attention.

30. Learn a New Language

If you pick one of the easiest languages to learn, you could be proficient (i.e., impressing your friends) in as little as 24 weeks.

31. Listen to a Podcast

Will you tune into something scary? Something for the parents? Or something for royally obsessed fans? When it comes to picking a passive listening experience, you’ve got plenty of options.

32. Play Chess Online

Chess is known to have many benefits for the brain, including improved memory and heightened creativity, and it’s just plain fun. Enjoy all the perks from home by playing a match online. (Gen Alpha is all about playing it, even during class.)

33. Test Your Vocabulary

AKA test your patience—with the New York Times Spelling Bee.

34. Do a Crossword Puzzle

Test your general knowledge and focus your scattered mind with a crossword puzzle, or several. And by all means, use your phone to ask a friend (not Google) when you’re stumped.

35. Check Out a Museum

…Or soak up some culture with a virtual (read: airfare-free) visit to some of the finest museums around the globe. The Musée d’Orsay in Paris and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam are just a couple of the places you can explore from the comfort of your couch.

Active and/or Outdoor Things to Do

things-to-do-when-you're-bored: A person with tqan skin wears workout clothes and uses weights on a yoga mat to work out in the living room.

36. Have a Dance Party for One

Alone and bored? It’s the perfect time to cut a rug—you know, without self-consciousness standing in your way.

37. Shoot Some Hoops

Because you just finished watching Winning Time on MAX and are ready to get off the couch and into the game.

38. Do an Online Workout

Why pay for a gym membership when you can work up a sweat in your own living room with a dance or zumba workout video for free? 

39. Trade in Old Clothes at a Thrift Shop

After you’ve cleaned out your closet, you can spend the next half of your day trading in the rejects for cold hard cash or some fresh second-hand threads.

40. Take a Drive

Take a drive (with no particular place to go) for a change of scenery that pairs well with that playlist you just made.

41. Tour Model Homes

If you’re not in the market, just pretend you are so you can critique (or appreciate) the staging. And if you don’t want to leave the couch, just take virtual tours of the coolest homes you can find on Zillow.

42. Go Bowling

This indoor sport is fun with or without a group of friends and pairs perfectly with a frosty pint and some french fries.

43. Visit a Botanical Garden or Park

Set off with or without colored pencils to sketch en plein air.

44. Take a Walk

The combination of fresh air and light exercise is our favorite feel-good way to banish boredom in the blink of an eye.

45. Test Drive a Car

If you’re curious about a new model or an electric model, there’s no time like the present.

Creative Activities

things-to-do-when-you're-bored: A young Asian woman sits in comfy clothing on a dark couch knitting or crocheting.

46. Bake

You’ve already binge-watched every episode of the Great British Baking Show. Now it’s time to don an apron and see if you’ve got what it takes to achieve star baker status.

47. Paint Your Nails

And once you’ve got your base coat, browse IG for some fun nail art ideas to experiment with next.

48. Start a DIY Project

From bandeau bathing suits to living room gallery walls, get crafty with a little help from Pinterest and your local hardware store.

49. Make Jewelry

Hit up a local bead store for some supplies and put your fine motor skills to the test with a craft project that involves turning your fine fashion sense into a wearable work of art.

50. Start a Sewing Project

If you flunked out of home-ec and take everything to the tailor, this roundup of beginner sewing projects is a good place to start developing your skills.

51. Learn Origami

The Japanese art of folding paper is a relaxing way to flex your creative muscles while honing your focus and precision. (You can find a whole host of instructive guides for every level here.)

52. Paint

Channel your inner Bob Ross (or just watch him) and give that blank canvas your very best.

53. Start a Blog

You can choose to be ambitious about it or simply treat it like an online journal—either way, there’s no writer’s cramp involved.

54. Make a Playlist

Anyone who’s ever labored over a mixtape can attest to the fact that playlist building is a form of art.

55. Do Some Coloring

In case you missed it, coloring isn’t just for kids. In fact, drawing and coloring, like other forms of art, can be quite therapeutic. Plus, now that you’ve mastered the fine motor control required to stay within the lines, you might be impressed by what you can create.

56. Knit

Word on the street is that people who knit never get bored. If you don’t know how to knit, take a virtual class and you might just discover your new favorite hobby.

57. Get Crafty

Try your hand at one of these seriously cool adult crafts for a fun activity that yields a Pinterest-worthy finished product you’ll be proud to put on display.

58. Start Scrapbooking

This perennial hobby's got a new twist.

59. Sketch

Occupy yourself with a sentimental craft that gets your creative juices flowing and produces a keepsake item you can flip through next time you’re bored.

60. Start a Grown-Up Arts and Crafts Project

Why should little kids have all the fun? Here are 50 craft projects to start this afternoon.

61. Make a Vision Board

If your current world is a tad dull, seize the opportunity to envision a more colorful future with a nifty project that might actually keep you on target when it comes to your goals. (It’s like an aspirational collage and you can learn how to make one here.)

62. Write an Essay or Short Story

Next time you’re bored, put pen to paper and let your imagination do the rest. If you’re not into journaling, do some more structured writing by penning a personal essay or get creative and hone your fiction writing skills with a short story—either way, it’s a great activity for engaging the mind and banishing boredom.

63. Play (or Learn) an Instrument

It’s been ages since you touched that dusty keyboard and even if you never managed to learn anything but chopsticks, it’s never too late to expand your repertoire. Or perhaps you went through a phase of wanting to learn guitar and gave up too soon. Whatever the case may be, learning or practicing music on an instrument is an endeavor that can occupy you for hours on end.

Productive Things to Do

64. Do Your Taxes

It’s no one’s idea of fun, but the deadline is looming. Plus, when you’re done you can reward yourself with a glass of wine for being such a good (boring) grown-up.

65. Make a Five Year Career Plan

It’s like a down-to-earth and less artsy vision board for your professional life.

66. Clean Out Your Inbox

If your inbox looks anything like ours, this activity has the potential to occupy hours…days…months of downtime.

67. Revise Your Resume with Help from AI

Kickresume uses machine learning—utilizing resumes of people who've been hired in a range of industries—to help hone your profesh one-sheeter.

68. Clean Out Your Fridge

Because you’ve let some leftovers hang around a little too long and that half-used can of tomato paste is growing new life forms. (No judgment.)

69. Write a Grocery List

Now that the rubbish has been removed from your fridge, you’ve got a perfect opportunity to take inventory and draw up a shopping list.

70. Meal Prep for the Week

A major time-saver and natural next step after having settled on a menu and written down the meal plan. And trust us, your Wednesday self will thank you.

71. Redecorate Your Home

There’s no need to break the bank—you can transform your interior by simply moving furniture (yes, even your big leather sofa) around.

72. Clean Out Your Closet

With a Kon-do attitude you can tackle the blackhole that is your wardrobe in one afternoon.

73. Try a Cool Budgeting Method

Easy and aesthetically pleasing, meet the eye-opening Japanese budgeting system Kakeibo.

74. Get a Head Start on Birthday and Holiday Gifts

It feels great to get shopping out of the way.

75. Sort Through Your Bookshelves

Donate unwanted titles to your local senior center and it's a win-win.

76. Make a Weekly Meal Plan

Not only will planning a menu for the week save time and spare you the stress of making decisions while hungry, it’s also an excellent excuse to browse a bunch of crave-worthy recipes.

77. Plan a Dream Home Reno on Pinterest

That perfect gray paint isn't going to select itself.

78. Detail Your Car

Extra points if you shampoo the upholstery.

79. Clean Your Makeup Brushes

The sudsing only takes a few moments and it’s deeply gratifying.

80. Refresh Your LinkedIn Profile

And then delight in how much more professional attention you start getting.

81. Organize Your Kitchen Cupboards

These TikTok hacks yield maximum ROI for your effort.

82. Inventory Your Kitchen Cupboards

Then go shopping for these 27 pantry staples that PureWow’s Senior Food Writer says you should always have on hand.

83. Deep Clean Your Home

Your home is in desperate need of a deep clean. Consult this guide for some handy tips and then roll up your sleeves and get started.

84. Do Some Online Networking

Haven’t you heard? LinkedIn is the place to make connections, whether you want to make some sales, interview for a new position or find out more about a company or industry. Spend some time updating your profile and clicking around the platform—who knows what it might lead to?

Stress-Relieving Activities

things-to-do-when-you're-bored: A person's legs covered in bubbles popped out of a bathtub.

85. Talk to Your Pet

Any pet can be a therapy animal when you just want someone to listen and not talk back.

86. Build Stick Bombs

No idea what we’re talking about? Check out this video from domino master Lily Hevesh; then, gather your craft sticks to create a truly awesome chain reaction that’ll make you feel like a kid again.

87. Paint the Walls

The task itself is decidedly zen—and you’ll be amazed by what a fresh coat of paint in a brand new color can do for your general outlook when you’re loafing around indoors.

88. Write a Gratitude List

Calling all malcontents: If you’re wallowing in boredom at the moment, it might be a sign that it’s time to take stock of all the positive things in your life.

89. Start a Garden

Don’t worry if you weren’t blessed with a green thumb. A hydroponic system like this one allows even the most hopeless houseplant killers to grow a bountiful indoor garden.

90. Journal

Bored at home and talking to yourself? (We see you.) Put those deep thoughts down on paper so posterity has something to poke fun at.

91. Work on a Puzzle

A jigsaw puzzle might not seem like a particularly productive way of passing the time, but science disagrees. Research—like this 2018 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience—has shown that this soothing activity can protect against cognitive decline.

92. Do Yoga

If your basic yoga routine has grown tiresome, take things up a notch by adding some advanced poses to the mix.

93. Meditate

If you’ve always wanted to try meditation, now is the time. Here are From Transcendental to Chakra, learn all about seven popular types of meditation here.

94. Phone a Friend

Texting is great and all, but when you just want to shoot the breeze, nothing beats a good old-fashioned phone call.

95. Treat Yourself to a Tan

Sorry, not the Caribbean—we're talking a self-tanner application.

96. Put on a DIY Face Mask

No purchase necessary, just raid your kitchen.

97. Look at Old Photos

It’s never a bad time to wax nostalgic over those old family photo albums and high school yearbooks.

98. Write a Letter

If you don’t feel like picking up the phone, pick up a pen instead. (Hint: It will mean so much to your grandma.)

things-to-do-when-you're-bored: A white woman takes a nap in a large cozy bed with white sheets and pillows.

99. Take a Nap

Your alone time feels like a snoozefest…and maybe you’re onto something. After all, being bored is just a harbinger of a delicious midday nap. (Right?)

100. Give Yourself an At-Home Facial

Why shell out for a fancy spa treatment when you can give yourself an at-home facial for a fraction of the cost?

101. Take a Bath

When was the last time you treated yourself to a long, relaxing soak in the tub? Break out the bath salts, pour yourself a glass of wine and feel the stress of the week melt away.

102. Check Out Your Zodiac "Hard No" Signs

We've all had toxic relationships, and astrology wants to drop a dime on people you should avoid.

103. Volunteer

Contact local soup kitchens, animal shelters and food banks, or simply take to the streets with a trash bag and clean up your town. Heck, you can even find virtual volunteer opportunities that allow you to give back to the community without even leaving home. No matter how you go about it, the reward is great.

104. Flip Through Magazines

Buy a stack of fashion and lifestyle magazines and start flipping through ‘em for style inspiration, home decor ideas, new recipes and more. There’s plenty to look at and it’s a low-key way to relax with some light reading when you aren’t in the mood to dive into a book.

105. Listen to Music

Research shows that music is a very effective tool for stress relief and relaxation, so next time you’ve been hit with the bored and anxious one-two punch, turn on your favorite tunes for an active listening experience (i.e., not just background music) and the mood shift will surely happen.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...

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Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...