Is 2019 the year when you finally take up a hobby? Nourish your mind, body or spirit with a new pastime.

With the millennial predominance of social media, video games and Netflix, the notion of a hobby is increasingly obsolete.

After all, a hobby is really just “an activity done regularly for pleasure” (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) – and we can now do those, on our phones, all day every day.

A scroll through Instagram, anyone? A quick game of Words With Friends? An episode or two of Sex Education? These are all activities done regularly for pleasure in our hyper-connected world, so by the classic definition, they are all hobbies. But they are not particularly edifying ones, are they?

Let us inspire you to spend your screen time improved with these sites and apps.

POCKET YOGA
www.pocketyoga.com


It’s been estimated that almost half a million people in the UK currently practise yoga (so they must be onto something). Arguably, it is the hobby for our times. Download the Pocket Yoga app and start perfecting your Downward Dog (in the comfort of your home) today. While you’re at it, you may want to pick up some new threads for your new hobby at Cucumber Clothing.

MUSIC STUDIO
itunes.apple.com


This award-winning app can help turn a passing fancy for songwriting into a full-blown skill. Combining an 85-key keyboard, 123 studio-quality musical instruments, a 127-track sequencer a super user-friendly interface, Music Studio provides a complete music production environment for your iPhone or iPad. Mindblowing.

GARDEN TAGS
www.gardentags.com


Whether you’ve grown up with green fingers, or are turning your attention anew to the garden, this is the app for you. It brings together novice gardeners with experienced plants people who inspire, support and advise. The co-founders’ mission is to: “Turn the fear of gardening into the joy of growing for millions of people across the globe.” It’s all there, whether you want to identify a plant, access an encyclopedia or receive perfectly timed planting and growing guidance.

THE MINDFULNESS APP
themindfulnessapp.com


You’ll become more mindful in daily life if you practice meditation as a hobby. The Mindfulness App is great because, at its most basic level, it has simple guided instruction, timed sessions from three to 30 minutes and reminders to stay focused. At the more advanced stages, for when you’ve entrenched meditation as a bona fide hobby, it has a library of premium meditations and courses. Mental clarity, here we come!

FOREST
forestapp.cc


If an actual hobby eludes you, try this incredible app instead. Forest exists to help you stay focused. Through it, you set a period of time during which you do not want to use your phone. When you put down your phone, Forest plants a virtual tree. As time goes by, the sapling grows. If you pick up your phone, the tree withers. If you stay focused on the task at hand, the sapling grows into a tree. Eventually, you can grow a virtual forest. You win coins for every successful planting session, which you can spend on planting a real-life tree. It’s genius.

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February 2019