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Survey Says: Creativity & Hobbies Are Keys to Happiness

Kurt Vonnegut said, “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”

Making your soul grow probably contributes to a long and happy life, right?

Bupa, an international healthcare company that states its purpose as “helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives,” surveyed 2,000 adults aged 55 years and older on what they believe it takes to live a long and happy life.

Among some of the usual suspects (a loving partner and close family ties, exercise and nature, plenty of sleep, a job you love, and money to do what you want), creativity and hobbies ranked especially important among the keys to a long and happy life according to the survey participants and Bupa’s eventual Top 50 – Secrets to a Long and Happy Life.

Says Joan Elliott, Managing Director at Bupa UK Care Services:

Overall there are a number of themes within our top 50 secrets to a long and happy life namely love, friendship, creativity, eating well and being outside. Creativity appears to be especially important and perhaps this is because it stimulates the mind and allows us to express ourselves and release any frustrations.


  • The survey participants have an average of two hobbies and dedicate more than 369 hours a year (or 15 days total) to those hobbies.
  • 35% wish they had more time for creativity, which they believe is key to happiness.

Some of the creativity- and hobby-related items on the happiness list?

  • Having a hobby. (Getting straight to the point!)
  • Being crafty, like knitting or crochet.
  • Taking photos every day.
  • Painting or drawing.
  • Playing music every day.

Of course, there were several other list items that could fall under multiple happiness-related categories, including hobbies, such as:

  • Reading every day.
  • Listening to music every day.
  • Seeing lots of the world.
  • Doing puzzles.
  • Going to events like concerts or sporting events.

How wonderful is it to think we can maximize our happiness and possibly increase the number of times we spin around the sun just by spending time doing something we enjoy?

Yet, as simple as it sounds, coming up with a hobby — much less more than one — isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Too often, we let life responsibilities strangle our creative sides, or any desire to do anything fun but that doesn’t directly keep the house clean, bring home a paycheck, and feed the family.

…we’ll talk more on that later.

For now, let’s talk about:

  • Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How much time do you normally spend on your hobbies? Do you think your hobbies contribute to your happiness?
  • If you don’t have any hobbies, why not? Do you feel too busy? Do you think they’re a waste of time, as if your time could be spent doing something more productive or lucrative? Or, are you having trouble thinking of any hobbies, finding motivation, or feeling interested?

Chime in below!

Survey Says: Creativity & Hobbies Are Keys to Happiness

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2019). Survey Says: Creativity & Hobbies Are Keys to Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Jun 2019
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