Activities and Hobbies for Those in Outpatient Rehab

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on April 27, 2022.

While everyone faces a different path to addiction recovery, everyone can also appreciate enrichment activities to help them navigate the process.

In contrast to partial hospitalization or inpatient programs, outpatient care presents less structure and more downtime. Various healthy hobbies for recovering addicts can help you stay busy in outpatient care and sober at home.

As you build sober skills, you’ll learn the tools needed to fill your downtime and get back to your normal life. You’ll avoid relapse by ensuring a healthy outlet when you consistently practice a hobby. We’ll look at various activities for outpatient recovery that can help you through the process and ensure your long-term sobriety.


While in outpatient rehabilitation, you’ll learn several things you can do in recovery to promote productivity and wellness. Meditation is a helpful tool that provides various benefits by calming your mind and body. You’ll notice its advantages in helping you slow down while quelling depression and anxiety.

If you’re new to meditation, you’ll want to start simple. Follow these steps if you’re unsure where to begin:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe in and out at a consistent pace.
  4. With every breath out, count to four before inhaling once more.
  5. Repeat the above steps for five minutes, twice a day.

If your mind starts to wander at any moment, start the process over until your mind is cleared. You’ll become better with practice and notice how effective meditation can be in your recovery process. You’ll see many positive health benefits of meditation, such as reduced stress, lengthened attention span and enhanced self-awareness to spot triggers and aid in your recovery.


Reading is another wonderful way to destress at the end of the day and avoid harmful habits. If you have a passion for learning, books can teach you anything you’ve ever wanted to know, from cooking to history and even makeup or fitness tips.

On the other hand, fiction stories can transport you to another world. You’ll invest in the characters and relate to their struggles as you fill your downtime with imagination and fun. Choose from adventure, romance, mystery, fantasy and everything in between. You’ll find intriguing stories at your local library or bookstore.

Reading can provide education and entertainment, but it can also prolong your life and alleviate depressive symptoms. Having a book on hand while you undergo outpatient care can provide you with long-term health benefits while helping you to avoid relapse. By indulging in a good self-help book, you can also learn essential coping strategies for your recovery success.


Learning to cook reveals personal growth. Cooking is often more affordable than eating out, and you'll appreciate the inner satisfaction that comes with creating a tasty meal for yourself.

Follow your imagination to create meals or follow a structured recipe in the kitchen. Discover helpful cooking techniques that you can use to make fast and easy meals when you need them. Cooking is also an excellent activity to participate in with another person and can help you bond with loved ones while in recovery.

Search for recipes online or pick up a cookbook from the local library. You’ll discover all sorts of fun recipes you can do on your own or with a friend.


You’ll quickly discover that creativity in any form is beneficial for your recovery. Crocheting is no exception, as its calming effects can distract you from maladaptive activities and improve your focus. The methodical repetition of crochet is highly therapeutic, and all you’ll need is yarn and a crochet needle to create all kinds of interesting designs.

You’ll appreciate reduced stress and anxiety working with your yarn and needle. Crocheted hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters also make excellent gifts — you can give back while creating art and powering through your stressors.

Crocheting before bed is especially helpful for relaxing the mind and getting better sleep. Whether you take your crochet to outpatient care or cozy up in a comfy chair at home, you’ll appreciate all the benefits this recovery activity can provide.

Listen to Music

Music has the power to improve your mood and alleviate physical symptoms, making it an excellent resource for those in recovery. Feel-good music is clinically proven to provide emotional support for those in treatment, while upbeat music can inspire you to move and have fun.

Express yourself through dance or look for songs with uplifting lyrics to empower you on your journey. Music can boost morale and inspire you to stay sober. Dance is a great way to exercise and relax your muscles. Whether you’re a fan of rock, pop or hip-hop, you’ll find endless inspiration and comfort in music.


​​Like crochet and other art forms, painting can be highly soothing as it allows you to focus deeply on your artistic process.

Sign up for art classes in your area to hone your skills or look at it as a casual activity for self-expression. You can use any paint and colors to convey your emotions and describe exactly how you feel. Paint alongside your loved ones or create a masterpiece on your own time — there are many ways to reduce stress through painting.

Hold onto your artwork and follow your recovery progression through your past and current paintings. You’ll be proud to see all you create when you sit back and let your brush move across the canvas.


Journaling provides immense therapeutic value for those in recovery. You can use journaling as an outlet for stressful situations or to keep track of day-to-day life in outpatient treatment. Writing your thoughts out on paper can benefit you in many ways — it’s a wonderful form of creative expression and a helpful tool for understanding your thoughts and emotions.

Journaling can help you determine where you are emotionally and work from there to improve your mindset. Learn from past mistakes, note your successes and track your overall recovery progress when you keep a journal.

Volunteer With Animals

Working with rescued animals can be incredibly soothing for recovering individuals. Animal-assisted therapy reduces pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, making it a therapeutic hobby for your downtime. Extending your compassion to animals in need is a great way to reduce stress, and the love you receive from animals in return is like no other.

While it may not be practical for you to adopt a pet of your own in early recovery, shelters are usually looking for volunteers, and you just might be the perfect candidate!

Pave Your Way to Sobriety With Healthy Recovery Hobbies

As you now know, recovery activities offer endless mental and physical benefits. Hobbies for outpatient recovery can help meet your immediate needs, promote self-expression and become a healthy and enjoyable component of your newfound lifestyle.

At Diamond House Detox, our clients find comfort in enrichment activities spanning a variety of interests. Appreciate an outpatient program tailored for your needs while enjoying the flexibility and extra time to spend with your loved ones and hobbies.

To learn more about our programs, contact us today.

Learn More About Outpatient Treatment

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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