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What hobbies/ techniques/ lifestyle changes make you feel great?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey all. I'd like to start a nice little convo where we can talk about the things that make us happy, keep us well, soothe our emotions or that make us feel accomplished/ proud/ confident etc. It can be anything you want- a hobby you do, a type of therapy or technique, your belief system, your family or friends, a dream or goal, a song or band, sport, exercise.

Whatever it is that gets you feeling better or keeps you feeling well, lets share our joys and happiness's so that others can be inspired.

i'll start.

I love Crossfit- it keeps me fit and i'm always feeling accomplished because i see myself doing things i couldn't do before. Each week i can run further than i could the week before, or lift a heavier weight, or do more sit-ups- and I've made friends doing it! I do it in the most evenings to ease the stress of a long day, and to improve my sleep.

I love music- I find songs that match my emotions so I can express them and get them out when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I taught myself to play guitar and love to sing.

My favorite thing of all is sewing.  I've only really started last year, and soon fell in absolute love with it. It always makes me feel better, no matter how distressed. The process of cutting and sewing is so calming, and looking at my finished projects (patchwork quilts, pretty skirts, little knick-knacks like notebook covers) fills me with a feeling of accomplishment, confidence and pride. Other people compliment me on my finished projects, and ask me to make them things.

My dream is to be a kindergarten teacher and to live in the country, surrounded by nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Those are things that make me happy, confident, and enjoying life.

What are yours?

28 Replies 28

Community Member

Hi Beltane,

This is a great idea. It's important to bring positivity to the forums.

You have great hobbies. Singing and playing the guitar sounds really calming and enjoyable. Music is fantastic at improving your mood and making you feel calm, whether you play it yourself, just listen like me, or do both.

I love reading. This uni holidays I have read about 15 books, which are mostly works of fiction. I love immersing myself in a story, and reading about interesting characters. My favourite novels are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, Welcome to Your New Life by Anna Goldsworthy, Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. I recommend these non-fiction books: The Good Life by Hugh Mackay, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.

I also enjoy listening to music. I am not overly knowledgeable on this topic, however. I like music which is classified as Alternative, although it is on the popular/mainstream side of this category. I particularly like these artists: OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, Bastille, Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, and compositions from Hans Zimmer. A few of my favourite songs are, On Top of the World (Imagine Dragons); If I Lose Myself, Feel Again (OneRepublic); Sleepsong, Of The Night (Bastille); Maestro (Hans Zimmer); I Will Wait, The Cave (Mumford and Sons); and Florence and the Machine's charity concert at The Royal Albert Hall in 2012 (I found this full concert on youtube).

I enjoy watching movies too, like many of us. I like The Shawshank Redemption, The Art of Getting By, Dan In Real Life, Stuck In Love, Something's Gotta Give, The Book Thief, The Secret Garden, The Holiday, Love Actually, The Descendants, and The Spectacular Now.

I also enjoy babysitting, volunteering with young people who have intellectual disabilities, and contributing to this forum 🙂

What does everyone else love doing?



Community Member

Hi there Beltane


AWESOME – what an awesome thread and idea.


I’ve seen those hard-core people on the teev doing the Crossfit Games and just seeing what they do is almost beyond inspiration – the different exercises that they do;  I just marvel at how fit and strong they must be.  With my aching joints nowadays, I can only do so many things that are associated with crossfit, but it’s an excellent concept;  and to hear how you’re going with it is awesome.   You did mention that you do it most evenings – I’m a stickler for that kind of thing;  so how many IS most?    And for the other evenings, are you out and about doing other fitness sessions?    


I too love to sing and according to my children, that’s where the big problem begins.   Because apparently I sing like a wailing cat sitting on a fence – so not very well;  which is a shame, cause when I’m in the car and have a favourite tune on, I really pump it up and give it all I’m worth.  A bit sad to know that if others were to hear, it wouldn’t be a good experience.


My main therapy/love/stress release is the gym.  I also compete in competitions that are “Natural Bodybuilding Comps”;  natural being ‘not nude’, but natural being non-taker of steroidal type items.  So I look forward to and LOVE my gym workouts;  I go five times a week and work different body parts on each day;  I create my own programs, having had years of practice of this;   as well as once upon a time, I was also a Personal Trainer.   But I find the workouts to be a great release and with my depression, anxiety and in particular, my PTSD, I use the workouts as a kind of punishment to myself – hence I have my own motivation in my head and heart that helps me churn out brutal workouts.  And the feeling after is simply awesome.   Even during, after you’ve caught your breath, is exhilarating as well.


I do enjoy most kinds of exercise as well, so I find trying to look after my body physically is very important to me.


My kids happiness is a huge thing also – and so if anything ever happens that causes them to be sad or down;   this affects me greatly also.


There’s a lot more to write as well;  but I’ll send this off now and really will enjoy reading others responses.



Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks for joining the convo guys!

Hey SM, i too LOVE reading- i practically devour books. I love my bookshelf full of my books- i've read my favourites dozens of times. I now use a kindle as well- not the same as a real book, but when you're on a tight financial budget a kindle book is far cheaper.
My favourites are Harry Potter, the "Troy" series by David Gemmell, Jodi Picoult, Rachael Treasure (writes rural fiction). I recently read "The Fault In Our Stars" and couldn't put it down... I also love reading biographies and memoirs of people who live interesting lives- you know, like "I Am Malala" the girl who fought for education in Afghanistan and was shot (but lived, obviously).. So inspirational.
How good is "Love Actually"! I also like "Hes just not that into you" and "Pride and Prejudice".

hey Neil. I've recently switched to Crossfit from a background of regular dancing and martial arts (brazilian jui jitsu). So i'm just building up, but already I'm addicted- i miss it when i take a night off.
I go 3 nights a week currently but this is just a start- i'm awaiting sinus surgery and the meantime the sinus problems are causing me to feel unwell, so i take nights off when I'm not well. My partner goes 6 days a week and that's my ultimate goal once i;ve had the surgery and am feeling great. I'm competing in the Crossfit games this year, but of course i'm only a beginner so its really to test myself rather than compete per se. You can "scale" workouts in Crossfit- make them easier to suit your current abilities but still a challenge obviously.

On my nights off I sew, study, read... i have plenty other things to do to "keep me calm" but I wish I could be at Crossfit- i really am addicted. As you say, i can pour all my anxiety and depression into the workout- all that energy- and come out feeling.. relieved? like a weight is off my shoulder, like all that negative energy has been burned away and replaced with that exhilaration and endorphin rush of a good hard exercise session. I love it!!!

On Sundays my partner and I love finding places to go hiking- nice state forests or parks. There's some great tracks within 15 minute drive of us, which is fantastic. Being fit and healthy enables us to enjoy those tough walks which is great. Thats what going to the gym is for hey- to give us the fitness to do other things.

I also love indoor rock-climbing. Once i get a job and we've got good money coming in again, we'll be doing that most weekends.

Community Member

I love this thread, thanks Beltane 🙂 Both you and Neil have inspired me to get back into exercising, You have reminded me how amazing you feel after a great work out.  Exercise I guess is a way of taking back some control and responsibility for how you're feeling.  SM volunteering and helping others is a wonderful thing to do and it has worked for me in the past with regard to creating happiness and positive feelings.

I volunteered as a community visitor and spent time with elderly people with dementia who were not getting visitors, in our local aged care facility.  I really enjoyed it and I could the baby along which the residents loved.  However the baby is now nearly two and gets into too much mischief to take now haha.  Playing with her and laughing at the funny things she says and does makes me feel so happy and grateful to be alive.

I love music too.  I have zero talent myself but this doesn't stop me from singing loudly and often.  I even sing to the kids when I want them to do something lol so for example "Son will you please take the bins out?" will be sung as an opera haha.  It makes them laugh instead of grumble about being asked to do something.

I also love to do jigsaw puzzles because for me its like a form of meditation.  My mind is focussed on finding the next piece and no thoughts are racing around in my head.  

Lastly I love to do some stand up paddle boarding.  Its great fun.  I love the water and swimming. It makes me feel re energised and like a kid again, care free and happy.

I've really enjoyed reading your posts and hope to read some more 🙂 

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi everyone!

I agree this is another great thread.  Beltane, you have started some really good ones 🙂

I don't really have a favourite activity to take my mind off everything that is buzzing around.  However, I do enjoy very long walks, and going to gym.  The most effective, though is planning for my dream lifestyle change. In so doing, I am all the time thinking positive thoughts about the future.  

Like many others with our illness, my dream is of a lifestyle change living far away from the hustle of the city life, living simply, on a parcel of my own land, living off the land and growing my own fruits and vegetables. I guess I am 'lucky' in that I have stopped work and see the real possibility of a lifestyle change if I am happy to downgrade and prepared to forego lives little luxuries.  I am oh so ready! 🙂



Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hey thanks for joining my little thread everyone!

Hideaway, yep i'm amazed at how many of us share the dream of the little peace of land in the country, growing own food, just living the quiet life away form the hustle and bustle.

I love thinking positive thoughts about my future home. I even like thinking of it in terms of my current life... "If i pay off my loan this quickly, then i can start saving for my home in the country, maybe 2 years i'll have the deposit together".

Or even like... i do sewing, i just finished a quilt hanging, and the whole time i was sewing it i was thinking of how i would love to hang it in my future home... when i buy eggs, i always think "one day i wont need to buy eggs, i'll have my own chickens at my home in the country, and get my eggs from them".

It keeps me motivated, if every think i do now will eventually lead me to my dream country home.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Beltane - everything you have so nicely described is me in a nutshell.  For example, when going through old junk in the shed I think, hmm that might be useful at the new place.  So the pile of 'rubbish' is getting bigger by the day.  I'll need a massive trailer when the big day comes.  But for the moment, the search for my country shack has just begun.  It is really quite exciting!!  And so very positive.  Just got to keep pushing through those hurdles that appear.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Oh hideaway! I love your profile picture!!! That is exactly the kind of place i'd love to live!

Infact I might even change my profile picture to be my ideal home too! What a love picture to see everytime i log on...

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Beltane

your future home looks wonderful, nice cottage feel with lovely trees surrounding it. :)).   I imagine the chook pen is out the back and old Bessie the cow is sauntering around the front of the house - you need fresh milk to go with the eggs that the chooks have delivered 🙂

ahhh - makes me feel good just pretending a little!!