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Mental Health and Boredom (and 100 Boredom-Busters)

There are so many ways our mental health can be affected; positively or negatively.

Recently I have noticed that extended periods of boredom can have a pretty negative effect on my mental health. When I’m bored, my brain tends to default to unhelpful rumination and any upsetting or intrusive thoughts become amplified.

Of course, it’s important for me to work on the root of these intrusive thoughts, and I am doing so in therapy. Ultimately, I hope to be able to experience temporary boredom without having it spiral into distress.

However, in the meantime, it is helpful for me to have a toolbox of different boredom-busters that I can refer to when I need it.

I came up with 100 ideas and I thought I’d share them with you today.

Mental Health and Boredom (And 100 Boredom-Busters) (

Here are some of my ideas. Some of them are relatively simple whereas some may require extra resources or they may be slightly more demanding, but hopefully there is a wide enough range of activities for you to find something that sparks your interest and meets your needs.

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1. Listen (and maybe dance?) to some music.

2. Watch a film*.

3. Start a box set.

4. Listen to a podcast.

5. Paint.

6. Sew.

7. Knit.

8. Start a YouTube channel.

9. Write a story or a poem.

10. Play an online game.

11. Do a puzzle*.

12. Colour*.

13. Write a book review.

14. Do some gardening.

15. Learn a new language.

16. Start a bullet journal.

17. Play with a pet.

18. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails.

19. Take photos.

20. Declutter your wardrobe.

21. Learn to play an instrument* or practice one you already have.

22. Take an online course.

23. Write a letter* to a friend.

24. Create a vision board.

25. Take a virtual tour of an art gallery.

26. Bake a cake.

27. Research your family tree.

28. Go for a walk.

29. Tie-dye a t-shirt.

30. Do a litter-pick in a local park.

31. Organise your Pinterest boards.

32. Memorise a poem*.

33. Sign petitions about causes that are important to you.

34. Select some unopened, in-date items from your cupboards and go and donate them to a food bank.

35. Do a Life Audit.

36. Start a Little Free Library.

37. Create a new music playlist.

38. Update your bios on your social media profiles.

39. Design a tattoo.

40. Pray/meditate.

41. Plan a trip (a holiday, a weekend away, or a day out).

42. Start a podcast.

43. Build a blanket fort.

44. Video chat with a friend.

45. Take a nap.

46. Rearrange your furniture*.

47. Fly a kite*.

48. Go for a bike ride.

49. Enter competitions, prize draws or giveaways.

50. Take a personality test.

51. Make a wall-hanging for your room.

52. Try a different hairstyle.

53. Join a discussion forum.

54. Read a random Wikipedia article.

55. Take part in a virtual exercise session.

56. Strengthen your passwords to keep your details safe.

57. Try calligraphy*.

58. Create a bucket list (or an anti-bucket list!)

59. Make a DIY birdfeeder

60. Sketch a self-portrait.

61. Offer to help someone with a task or run an errand for them.

62. Make someone a birthday/holiday/greeting card.

63. Promote your friends’ art/book/music/business/blog/YouTube channel (etc) on social media.

64. Teach yourself a magic trick.

65. Teach a child (younger sibling, niece/nephew, godchild, etc) a useful skill, such as how to tie their own shoes or how to write their name.

66. Apply for a voluntary position.

67. Take something apart then put it back together.

68. Befriend a neighbour (particularly an elderly or socially-isolated neighbour).

69. Visit a location with religious or spiritual significance.

70. Choose a recipe* at random and cook whatever it is.

71. Create your own language.

72. Go foraging*.

73. Stargaze.

74. Cloud-watch.

75. Answer questions on Quora.

76. Organise a community event, such as a charity fundraiser.

77. Sign up to be a listener on 7 Cups.

78. Create a To Read list.

79. Organise your bag, purse or wallet.

80. Sign up to be a Time To Change Champion.

81. Join an environmental movement, such as or Greenpeace.

82. Review your finances and spending habits on Money Dashboard.

83. If you have received any junk mail with a return address on it, return it to sender.

84. Write to your MP about an issue that’s important to you.

85. Set up a recycling system in your home to make separating recyclable items simpler and easier.

86. Take a career quiz.

87. Do some research into a bizarre conspiracy theory (for entertainment purposes only!)

88. Hug a tree.

89. Teach yourself how to play chess.

90. Practise writing with your non-dominant hand.

91. Attempt to set or break a world record.

92. Teach yourself a form of divination*, such as tarot reading, palmistry, or scrying.

93. Set calendar reminders for the birthdays/anniversaries of your friends and family so you never miss an important date.

94. Text your friends some thoughtful compliments.

95. Discover your aesthetic by searching your name + aesthetic on Google Images or Pinterest.

96. Adopt a goldfish.

97. Adopt a panda.

98. Sign up with a life coach or mentor.

99. Discover useless websites.

100. Write your own list of boredom-busters!

If you have any more ideas to tackle boredom, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Mental Health and Boredom (

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