What to do when your bored

Illustration by Max Fleishman

53 fun ways to kill your boredom

Have a bad case of the blahs? We can help.


Jam Kotenko


Kristen Hubby


Boredom has a tendency to squelch creativity, leaving you stuck in a rut and staring into space. It can be especially hard to find things to do when you’re stuck inside or bored at home with little resources.

If you’re undeniably full of ennui at home and need a little help in jumpstarting a dull day, don’t worry. You can have fun without another person, for the most part. Start with our exhaustive list of things to do when you’re bored out of your gourd.

What to do when bored: 53 boredom-busting activities

1) Run from zombies

Alternately looking at the four walls of your house can get pretty tiring. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air. If you’d like to do more, go for a short (or long) hike and enjoy nature. If you want added excitement, give the app Zombies, Run! a whirl. It transforms your walk, jog, or run into a mission to save the humanity from a zombie apocalypse.

If you prefer to be on wheels, riding a bike or taking a drive around the neighborhood is also a great option.

2) See how long you can last in P90X

Challenge yourself and see if you can get through a P90X workout. There are quite a few videos you can access through YouTube.

If you don’t feel like listening to a trainer, then opt for something simple and accomplish 100 jumping jacks. If you’re feeling energetic, follow it up with a full-on calisthenics workout.

3) Clean the house

If you’ve got carpet, do some vacuuming, and if it’s hardwood, sweep the floor and maybe polish it as well. Make an effort today and ensure that all beds in the house are made up. Do the dishes (or run the dishwasher). Do and fold the laundry. Mow the lawn, and if there’s a layer of snow, shovel it.

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Make sure you list all your chores using the best to-do list apps on Android (some of them are also available for iOS). Ticking every accomplished task off your queue will give you the satisfaction as well as the drive to do more.
You’d be surprised at how much time it takes to get through all the household chores, but you’ll be even more surprised at how productive you’ll feel once you’re done with everything.

4) Rearrange your furniture

It doesn’t have to look perfect right away, and it doesn’t have to follow feng shui (unless that’s important to you), but sometimes all you need is a brand-new view to make a room feel exciting again.

You can check YouTube for arrangement how-to videos or Pinterest for design inspiration.

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5) Give your closet a makeover

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Sort through your wardrobe and get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in over six months. Organize more efficiently by downloading a wardrobe app like Stylebook.

Additionally, pick items you think you can sell and donate the rest to charity. This activity will help you feel good inside as well as create space in your cabinet for new apparel.

6) Eat, drink, and be merry

Prepare a meal and try a new recipe or reinvent one you already know by heart. If you prefer to use food items you already have on hand, Supercook is a cool website that generates recipes according to what’s already available so you don’t have to go on a supermarket run.

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Better yet, order food to be delivered to your house. Feel free to splurge!

7) Do some gardening

Get down on your knees and feel the earth with your hands. Pull out the weeds and plant some pretty flowers. If it’s too wintery/cold/dreary where you are, do either of the following: Shovel the snow or lay in it and make snow angels.

8) Finish a puzzle

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Do a crossword or try out Sudoku. Try to do both without peaking at the answer page. If you prefer clicking or tapping, download a crossword or Sudoku app on your device for the same effect.

9) Reconnect with your inner bookworm

Read that novel you’ve always been meaning to read. Plus points if it’s more than 500 pages or is part of a book series.

If you prefer to read something completely new, check out Goodreads for some recommendations.

10) Get to know the country you live in

Try to recreate the U.S. map by drawing it on paper and labeling the states. If you don’t know where the places are located, today seems like a good day like any to find that out. And of course, as always, there’s an app for that.

11) Watch something educational

Netflix has a slew of programs you can choose from like Bill Nye the Science Guy or Iron Chef America. (You’d be surprised to know how much you can learn from cooking competition shows.)

12) Read the news

Plus points if you read an actual newspaper, but if you don’t have one handy, browsing the Web will do.

13) Explore Wikipedia

You can learn so many things from the main page alone, but it’d be a lot cooler to use the site’s random page tool. Challenge yourself by reading and clicking the link for at least an hour.

14) Shop online for bargains

Amazon and eBay are both quick and easy stops to make for nothing specific, but feel free to check out specialty stores as well for daily deals and special discounts.

Check out your favorite brand of clothing, shoes, makeup, gadgets, and whatever else you can think of. You can pretty much buy anything online these days… even fancy cheese!

15) Make a list—any list

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Jot down the things you need to buy at the supermarket. Take note of the tasks you need to accomplish each day this week. If you feel like it, stretch out your to-do’s to cover every month of this year. Again, there are apps for that.

16) Learn a new skill

Go on YouTube and follow a tutorial video of your choosing. Download an app that’ll help you learn something from scratch, like a new language.

17) Create a personal website

Design it according to your personality. Start a blog. Or better yet, start a vlog.

18) Play a game

If you’re by yourself, choose an online or video game that lets you battle against the computer. If you’re with other people, consider games that let you play in teams and utilize your creativity.

19) Improve your Instagram game

Look up a photo a day challenge list online and take photos with your phone. Feel free to download and use Instagram companion apps.

20) Take up the art of paper folding

Once you’ve mastered the basics, try to see if you can pull off more complicated origami (click on “Look Inside”).

21) Listen to a podcast

If you’ve neglected to keep up with the times last year and didn’t get on the Serial bandwagon, start with season 1 as soon as possible. Other shows to check out are This American Life, Snap Judgment, and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk Radio.

22) Watch a classic movie made before you were born

Pick one from the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All-Time list or check out our list of the  best free movies on YouTube.

23) Take a nap

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Sometimes, the best solution is the simplest one.

24) Create a vision board for the year

Unleash your creativity and create a scrapbook of goals that you can hang on your wall. Use all sorts of coloring materials and old magazines for picture cut-outs.

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Don’t forget to share it on social media.

25) Write, write, write

Start with something easy, like a poem. If you’re musically inclined, try composing a song and singing it out loud. If you’ve got the gift of the quill, create a short story or a play. (The last one is especially recommended if you’ve got people around you to act out the roles.)

Having a hard time getting started? Check out writing prompt apps and websites to get the creative juices flowing.

26) Go on a chick flick binge

See how many it takes to make you cry. Check out list of the best romantic comedies on Netflix and the best rom-coms of all time.

27) Listen to music

Create a music playlist or two. Pick multiple themes and have at least 30 songs per mix. Then have a dance party and play your lists on full volume.

28) Take a long bubble bath

If you can throw in a face mask and some aromatherapy candles, the better. (This is where an appropriate music playlist would come handy as well.)

29) Write handwritten letters to your friends

Practice calligraphy or writing in cursive while you’re at it.

30) Embrace your body

Hang out naked in your home for an hour or two. See what it feels like. (You probably shouldn’t take selfies during this time.)

31) Pick a TV show to binge

Opt for shows that have already concluded, like Friends, House, Dexter, The Office, or Gilmore Girls.

32) Reconnect with an old acquaintance

Pick a Facebook friend you haven’t spoken to in months and initiate a catch-up chat. If you’re not feeling particularly chatty, cull your Facebook friends list instead and unfriend contacts who haven’t spoken to you in years. (They probably won’t notice and besides, it’ll help make your newsfeed run better.)

33) Clean up your Facebook account

While you’re cleansing your friends list, go through your old photos and status updates and delete anything incriminating or anything that makes you cringe so it doesn’t show up under the “On This Day” feature.

34) Look up your family tree

Finding out about scandalous family members from earlier centuries and your ancestry could be fun.

35) Bake a bunch of desserts

Then feel absolutely zero guilt over eating all of it by yourself.

For a quick and easy source for instant treats, head to YouTube or follow Tip Hero on Facebook.

36) Watch funny videos on YouTube

YouTube is a rabbit hole, so expect to blow hours browsing through tons of hilarious clips.

37) Write yourself an email to receive in the future

Just do it.

38) Sit on your porch with a hot beverage and watch the sunset

Take a moment to meditate and feel the peace and gratitude wash over you.

39) Invite people over for a hang-out at your house

Nothing beats boredom than having other people to experience it with. Make it an impromptu party and call for a potluck.

40) Ride a bike

Going for a bike ride around our city or neighborhood is a great way to get exercise, fresh air, and maybe discover areas you didn’t know existed. If you don’t own a bike, no need to panic. A lot of cities are now adding bike-sharing programs like B-Cycle.

What to do when bored: ride a bike

41) Download a dating app

Dating apps put its users under a spell where they hold on to the hope that maybe the next person they stumble upon will be their soulmate, causing them to continue an endless cycle of swiping left or right. There are many dating apps to download if you are tired of Tinder, and if you want to take it a step further, you can download a hookup app to get straight to the point.

42) Go to the farmers market

Farmers markets are typically held on weekends and offer a wide and colorful selection of fresh produce from local farms. It’s nice to know where your food comes from, and buying local produce gives back to the community by supporting local businesses and families.

43) Join an intramural sport

Joining an intramural sport like volleyball, softball, or soccer has a lot of benefits other than getting exercise without suffering. Intramural sports give people the opportunity to make new friends and possibly meet someone special, so show off those coordinated skills.

44) Go to your local coffee shop

Get out of your house and head over to a local coffee shop for a cup of cold brew. Reading a book in a bustling shop can be calming for some people, or if you are more the social type, make friends with the local barista and regulars that always chat it up with newcomers.

45) Treat yourself

Go to that new restaurant you’ve been craving that opened a few weeks ago. If you don’t feel comfortable sitting alone, you can invite a friend or order the food to-go. Sitting at the bar top is the best option for mingling and meeting new people while pairing a couple drinks with your meal.

46) Watch porn

If you haven’t already thought to do this (and odds are, you have) skip the taboo mentality and just watch porn. There are a lot of websites to watch porn on, and a handful of surprising benefits when it comes to doing the deed as well. If you dive deep enough into the archives of different categories of porn, you may be amazed more than impressed.

47) Go to a museum

Depending on how big a museum is, or if the new exhibit is rich with history, you could spend hours studying every brush stroke and reading every description. Many art and history museums offer free entrance on Sundays and student discounts, but that is unlikely in cities like New York City and Washington, D.C.

48) Enroll in a class

Now, this may not sound like a “fun” option to some, but when tax season rolls around and you find yourself in a financial rut or are looking to start a business, it may be a good idea to enroll in a finance or an entrepreneur 101 course at your local community college. Or if you’re interested in picking up a new hobby, enroll in an art or music intro class. 

49) Watch a trilogy

Nothing kills time like watching all of the Lord of the Rings movies or the entire Harry Potter series. Bonus points if you have a day to watch the whole Star Wars timeline in its entirety, including Rogue One.

50) Plan a trip

Plan out every aspect of a trip to a city you’ve never been to. Sure, traveling is a quick way to escape crushing boredom, but it also helps you grow as a person and take a necessary break, even if you’re just heading to the next town over.

51) Learn how to lucid dream

There’s something to be said for sleeping away your boredom, but what if you took it a step further? There’s a ton of research (professional and amateur) about lucid dreaming, or the state of being able to recognize and control your dreams as you’re in them. Read up and start napping.

52) Read some erotica

The internet is chock-full of sexy stories, and they’re probably more entertaining and time-consuming than your own fantasies. Check out the best erotica sites like Literotica and Reddit for hot submissions. Plus, read up on queer porn and erotica and even BDSM stories.

53) Become a relationship expert

Even if you’re not actively in a relationship, it’s alwyas interesting to read up on dating theories and best practices. There is no more useful art than the art of breaking up with someone, or actively defining the relationship. By the end of the day, you’ll be spewing psychology at your bae or sending a strategically flirty text to your potential future bae.

Still bored? Here’s the ultimate guide to getting consent, the best Tinder conversation starters, and the best self-care tips and ideas. Plus, read up on ethical and fair-trade porn and the best of NSFW Tumblr.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

The Daily Dot