Emerging research has proven that taking up hobbies can treat depression as effectively as traditional medical therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy or medications. Hobbies, such as playing music, singing, dancing, drawing, handicrafts, photography, hiking, carpentry, yoga, tai chi, pilates, sports, as well as volunteering, enables many benefits such as teamwork, purpose, community, belonging, stimulation, distraction, relaxation and social interaction.

Taking up hobbies helps with loneliness, mental health, chronic pain, immunity and stress. Another important benefit is creating time for yourself and promoting self-care. They care spur imagination and creativity, passion and leadership, build resilience and help de-clutter our busy lives.

The evidence is compelling:

  • 4 out of 5 participants in a psychology study found hobbies or music helpful in relieving stress
  • Another study in New Zealand showed that creative behaviours improved well being up until the next day
  • Community-based recreation has been demonstrated to improve self-esteem and social connection, therefore improving mental health
  • Another study showed team sports reduce anxiety, depression and stress

Including social activities in health plans is now recognised around the world as a legitimate prescription to support chronic health conditions. 70% of Australian GPs believe in this intervention and think it is important.

Community activities are core to the Osana model – we are providing online activities currently, and as social distancing allows, will include face-to-face activities in our clinics again soon. We look forward to involving all our members in our activities, and hearing about your participation in hobbies outside of Osana.


  • https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/is-social-prescribing-a-remedy-to-chronic-health-p
  • https://chf.org.au/publications/social-prescribing-roundtable-report
  • https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/503571
  • https://headtohealth.gov.au/meaningful-life/purposeful-activity/hobbies#:~:text=Spending%20time%20on%20an%20activity,feel%20happier%20and%20more%20relaxed.
  • https://www.prevagen.com/brain-health-tips/benefits-of-hobbies-for-your-health/
  • https://www.cae.edu.au/news/five-benefits-of-having-a-hobby/
  • https://headtohealth.gov.au/meaningful-life/purposeful-activity/hobbies
  • https://www.psychology.org.au/inpsych/2013/december/npw/
  • https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2016.1257049?journalCode=rpos20
  • https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01490400.2015.1120168?scroll=top&needAccess=true
  • http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/yet-another-reason-sport-is-good-for-you-201503162219