Healthy ways to feel good, feed your body and soul, and enjoy life.

Because pleasure is one of the best engines for good health.

Activities that we enjoy, that engage us, that bring us social connection or get us outdoors are more than just fun. Or maybe it’s that having fun is actually essential for good health!

What do we mean by healthy pleasures? It includes a long list of activities – basically any activity or hobby that relieves stress, exercises our bodies and minds, brings a sense of accomplishment, encourages creativity, brings joy. They can be solo or social, active or soothing, serious or silly.

Unsure about how these can impact our health? Check out this interactive  Joy Generator app from NPR, and see how it improves your mood!

Making musicplaying an instrument, singing, writing tunes or lyrics. Even just listening to music you enjoy, or moving to music, has powerful benefits!

Making art or craft  – painting and drawing; using coloring books (both kids and adults); knitting, weaving, embroidery, crochet, sewing, braiding – any of the fiber arts; working in clay; woodworking or carving; origami, paper crafts or book arts;  printmaking; or any of the hundreds of activities that can be lumped together into the DIY Craft and  Maker movements.  Creative thinking, and play brings better mental health, especially.

Laughter really is good medicine!

Physical activities – walking, hiking, running, bicycling, skateboarding, swimming, dancing, and more.

Social activities – playing games, sports, getting together with other people to make or participate in activities together. Even cooking or sharing a meal with friends and family.

Experiences that take us outside of our cares and into something grander – appreciating our environment (being in nature, travel and sightseeing), enjoying concerts, performances, or other arts.

Mindfulness practices – meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and others.

All of these healthy pleasures contribute to self care, especially in stressful times. (Curious how that works? Click on any of the links above for more details!)

The rewards of healthy pleasures – to our physical health, to our mental health, to our communities – are incalculable.