When it comes to picking up hobbies and habits, most of us try to choose things that are “good for us.” Things that will lead to edification and wealth building, better physical fitness, a more resilient mentality. These are the high hopes we’ve set for ourselves when we think about what kind of habits we’d like to form in the future and what type of hobbies we’d like to explore.

Well, unfortunately life is usually not very ideal and our hobbies and habits tend to be a bit deleterious in ways, especially for people with addictive personalities who aren’t good at practicing restraint. However, some things that the purist would consider “bad for you” are actually great at relieving stress and helping you cope with a busy schedule when used responsibly. With that said, here are seven hobbies that aren’t often taken up by the majority of society but can still be great for you and great for a good time:

1. Vaporizing

If you’re a smoker then obviously vaporizing is the preferable alternative. Even if you don’t smoke, vaporizing is still reasonably safe and the vapors are delicious. You can also get e-liquid that doesn’t contain nicotine for an experience that isn’t addictive and is purely about being a flavor connoisseur. You can also vaporize your favorite herbs for various effects and many vaporizers can even be used to fill the room with vapors for aromatherapy.

The smells and tastes produced by vapors can be therapeutic in and of themselves and the action of blowing huge clouds of vapor without having to inhale any smoke can be lots of fun as well. The thing that makes this a cool hobby for a flavor lover is that there are already thousands of different flavors to try and more are being created every day. You can even try your hand at creating your own custom flavors. In a way, vaping can be a good substitute for candy because you get all the taste you’d get in a piece of candy, if not more, and yet barely any actual sugar intake.

2. Gambling

For many years, gambling was demonized in the mainstream media as being an expensive and addictive habit that single-handedly ruins the finances of anyone who chooses to partake in its evil existence. In reality, betting on a game of cards isn’t really like making a deal with the devil. It’s a minor wager, and making wagers here and there can be a fun and relieving experience. Plus, in most cases there are only two things that can happen – you win or you lose.

If you lose, you know that you’re going to lose money, and hopefully you wouldn’t continue to do that repeatedly until you’ve exhausted your only allocated funds. But, if you win, you get to earn a profit. So, if anything, it’s like playing a game or watching a sports match with the added benefit of possibly winning money, but to enjoy that you have to be wiling to accept the risk that you could lose a little money as well. Simple concept – there’s no need to act as though it’s an insidious street drug.

3. Gardening

Nobody denies the fact that gardening and growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be great for your health and good exercise. Yet, sadly only a small minority of the population currently maintains a garden. Why is it that such a small percentage of people actually take the time and effort to grow their own foods even though it’s something that most people could easily do if they put their minds to it?

Well, it seems to be that easy access to all sorts of foods at the supermarket has caused people to become comfortably reliant on farmers and grocery stores. It’s so convenient that people don’t mind completely discarding any form of self-sufficiency in exchange for the ability to easily go and purchase whatever they need, as they need it, without having to do any of the work involved in harvesting or producing the food products. There’s nothing wrong with buying products when you need to, but being able to produce them on your own property is always much better.

4. Competitive Sports

Find a sport or game that you’re decent at and play it until you get good enough for it to be a competitive thing. Intense competitions might seem stressful and bad for people who have anger management problems, but it can actually be just the opposite – giving you a way to vent your built-up energy and frustration into a game or sport. Losing will be horrible, but winning will make it all worthwhile, even if it is only an occasional, hard-earned win at that.

Some good examples of sports that most people can get into are table tennis, basketball, volleyball, disc golf, golf, air hockey, pool, bowling, darts, card games, and board games, just to name a few. Even if you don’t want to get active you could also play the video game version of your favorite sport, or bet on games as a spectator. If you’re looking for something to do in your spare time, engaging in and betting on sports competitions is certainly worth an afternoon.

5. Wine Tasting

Nobody is telling you to go and become an alcoholic, but responsible wine tasting is a very enriching and luxurious hobby to have. Sure, it can be expensive, but there are also guided tours that give you complete experiences in a single package price, and you don’t necessarily have to taste more than one kind of wine per night, so there are multiple ways to go about it.

Aside from having fun with a nice buzz on a relaxing evening, wine tasting also introduces you to all the subtleties and flavor nuances present in each type of wine. There’s so much to be explored in this regard, so it offers a lot of depth for someone who likes to experiment with flavors and aromas and doesn’t mind an alcoholic drink here and there.

6. Cannabis Smoking

No this isn’t a joke, and its only illegal in the minority of the states in the U.S. now. In fact, if you’re somewhere like Colorado, California, or Oregon, you can walk into a store and buy it with no medical recommendation and only a standard state ID showing that you’re over the age of 18, all thanks to the recreational legalization that has taken place over the past few years.

So, you’re free to give it a try without being labeled a criminal, and believe it or not it’s much less intoxicating than alcohol in terms of the way it affects your motor skills. Most people find cannabis to be the more mild of the two. If smoking seems a bit too unhealthy for your liking, maybe consider mixing this tip with tip #1 and vaporizing the herb instead for a healthier experience. If you wind up liking it, you’ll have found a fun pastime with hundreds of different strains and flavors to waiting to be explored.

7. Speed Dating

Speed dating and online dating was once demeaned and called sleazy, but nowadays it’s much more acceptable. Plus, just because you’re going for an evening speed dating doesn’t mean you’ve just signed up for an automatic orgy. It’s really just a quick way to get out and meet interesting people, usually with the hopes that one of them will be as interested in you as you are in them.

The fun thing about speed dating is that you don’t have to do any impressing or flattering to get the date – it’s already there waiting on you. All you have to do is show up, be yourself, and hope for the best. Worst case scenario: you meet a bunch of people and feel slightly awkward afterward. Best case scenario: you meet someone who will have a profound impact on your life by bringing you a happy relationship. The risk vs. benefit assessment makes it look like most people should find this worth a try.

All Habits and Hobbies Can Be Good in Moderation

The lesson here is that even the so-called “bad” habits and hobbies can be a good source of fun and an outlet to relieve stress when you’re in need of a good pastime. The key is to strive towards balance in your life and never let one particular activity outweigh the things that are important to you. If you find yourself obsessing over any hobby, whether it’s playing a sport or watching TV, it can be bad for your mental state, health, and financial wellbeing.

Keep that in mind, practice discipline, and you should be able to have a great time doing all of the above without it resulting in your downfall. In the end, it’s up to you decide whether you’re mature and responsible enough to handle something like being a wine taster or giving cannabis a try. However, we can all agree that they’re reasonably safe things to do. You’re not going to get alcohol poisoning from one glass of wine and you certainly won’t get reefer madness (whatever that is) from a single joint.

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