Finding the time to devote to self-improvement can be a real struggle. Work, family and social obligations, and rest & recuperation all come before dedicating time to personal development, and so it can sometimes feel like you’ll never get the opportunity to learn anything new or broaden your horizons.

However there are certain pastimes you can take up which are not just a great way to relax and enjoy yourself, but are clinically proven to make you smarter!

We’ve put together a list of 8 hobbies that won’t just make you feel good, they’ll make you feel smarter!


1. Photography

In photography, you combine different elements like light, exposure, and effects to click a perfect picture, which requires a lot of focus and concentration. This boosts your brain activity and helps you solve puzzles easily.


2. Gardening

When gardening, you get in contact with a soil bacteria that triggers the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a happy chemical that makes you feel cheerful and boosts your learning skills.


3. Learning Music

A 2007 study by Stanford University found that our brains naturally look for patterns to follow to overcome chaos, and music helps us do this. Listening to and playing music makes you smarter, happier, healthier and productive.


4. Reading Literature

We know reading books is good for the brain. But by “deep reading” (like reading novels, poems and other literature works), you take your brain activity to the next level by gaining intellectual and emotional stability.


5. Language Learning

Speaking multiple languages improves your leadership, planning and problem-solving skills. You analyse new grammar structures and learn new words which enhances your creativity and intelligence.


6. Exercising Regularly

Have you heard of the protein called BDNF? It helps with boosting memory, learning, concentration, and understanding. And when you exercise regularly, your cells are flooded with BDNF!


7. Quizzes

Quizzes don’t just improve your brain activity but also helps in getting to know yourself. From memory games, personality or language tests, to subject-focused quizzes like Math or Science, there are numerous online quizzes available, and something for everyone.


8. Meditation

In 1992, the neuroscientist Richard Davidson did a study on the Dalai Lama and other monks. He found that the brain waves of monks (who’d spent 34,000 hours meditating) were in a deeply compassionate state of mind and they could control their brain activity.


If you’d like even more suggestions for free Personal Improvement courses, then check out Alison’s Personal Improvement homepage!


  1. Chika


  2. Marthe

    Thank you so much , there is a lot to learn from this site.

  3. John

    Great tips, thank you! Actually, the first 6 hobbies are on my list of hobbies 🙂

  4. Chand Maurya

    Nice helpful blog

  5. Frankie Mnamba

    Well! I have at least two hobbies that make me smarter. Perhaps I criticize myself for nothing 🙂


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