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 that includes playing games and vacation planning just for fun, house cleaning (because you know you need to), creative endeavors for your inner Bob Ross and 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.
Wondering What to Do When You’re Bored? Here Are 100 Fun Things to Do for Any Mood
From smart to delightfully self-indulgent
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Fun and Leisurely Indoor Activities
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.
Because you’re dying to know if more excitement is in your future.
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.
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.)
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.
Satisfy your urge to shop online without going broke by writing a list of all the good you’re currently coveting.
You can find a whole host of fun personality quizzes here—just remember to take the results with a grain of salt.
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.
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.
There’s nothing boring about the big O (and if you want help getting there, we know some highly effective toys for that).
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.
Use your own deck or have a free online reading.
Go from reptile eye to fluttery lashes in 10 minutes.
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).
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.
Soft launching is the stage between "it's complicated" and "please save the date for our nuptials."
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.
Rock Fido's world with a spot of doggie acupressure, according to a certified canine massage therapist.
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.
Youtube has every look you've been curious about.
The Gottman Institute assigns this as homework for couples, and we found it to be an interesting exercise.
25. 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.
26. 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.
Books, DVDs, video games, a pleasant change of scenery—your local library has it all.
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.
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.
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.)
AKA test your patience—with the New York Times Spelling Bee.
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.
…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
35. 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.
36. Shoot Some Hoops
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.
Take a drive (with no particular place to go) for a change of scenery that pairs well with that playlist you just made.
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.
This indoor sport is fun with or without a group of friends and pairs perfectly with a frosty pint and some french fries.
Set off with or without colored pencils to sketch en plein air.
The combination of fresh air and light exercise is our favorite feel-good way to banish boredom in the blink of an eye.
If you’re curious about a new model or an electric model, there’s no time like the present.
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.
And once you’ve got your base coat, browse IG for some fun nail art ideas to experiment with next.
From bandeau bathing suits to living room gallery walls, get crafty with a little help from Pinterest and your local hardware store.
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.
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.
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.)
Channel your inner Bob Ross (or just watch him) and give that blank canvas your very best.
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.
Anyone who’s ever labored over a mixtape can attest to the fact that playlist building is a form of art.
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.
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.
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.
This perennial hobby's got a new twist.
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.
Why should little kids have all the fun? Here are 50 craft projects to start this afternoon.
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.)
Productive Things to Do
61. 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.
62. Make a Five Year Career Plan
It’s like a down-to-earth and less artsy vision board for your professional life.
If your inbox looks anything like ours, this activity has the potential to occupy hours…days…months of downtime.
Kickresume uses machine learning—utilizing resumes of people who've been hired in a range of industries—to help hone your profesh one-sheeter.
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.)
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.
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.
There’s no need to break the bank—you can transform your interior by simply moving furniture (yes, even your big leather sofa) around.
With a Kon-do attitude you can tackle the blackhole that is your wardrobe in one afternoon.
Easy and aesthetically pleasing, meet the eye-opening Japanese budgeting system Kakeibo.
It feels great to get shopping out of the way.
Donate unwanted titles to your local senior center and it's a win-win.
That perfect gray paint isn't going to select itself.
Extra points if you shampoo the upholstery.
The sudsing only takes a few moments and it’s deeply gratifying.
And then delight in how much more professional attention you start getting.
These TikTok hacks yield maximum ROI for your effort.
Then go shopping for these 27 pantry staples that PureWow’s Senior Food Writer says you should always have on hand.
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.
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?
82. Talk to Your Pet
Any pet can be a therapy animal when you just want someone to listen and not talk back.
83. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If your basic yoga routine has grown tiresome, take things up a notch by adding some advanced poses to the mix.
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.
Texting is great and all, but when you just want to shoot the breeze, nothing beats a good old-fashioned phone call.
Sorry, not the Caribbean—we're talking a self-tanner application.
No purchase necessary, just raid your kitchen.
It’s never a bad time to wax nostalgic over those old family photo albums and high school yearbooks.
If you don’t feel like picking up the phone, pick up a pen instead. (Hint: It will mean so much to your grandma.)
96. 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?)
Why shell out for a fancy spa treatment when you can give yourself an at-home facial for a fraction of the cost?
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.
We've all had toxic relationships, and astrology wants to drop a dime on people you should avoid.
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.