List Of Pleasurable Activities | Psychological Health Boosters


If you’re looking for ways to increase the enjoyment you get from life then a list of pleasurable activities you can try is a great place to start.  It’s also one of the best ways to start making changes if you’re struggling to overcome low mood or depression problems.

One of the first things that most psychotherapists often recommend to people that are experiencing low mood or dissatisfaction with life is to consider ways of increasing the opportunities you have for feeling enjoyment and pleasure.  The important thing to remember here is that pleasurable activities do not necessarily have to give you a ‘buzz’ or a ‘high’ – but simply an opportunity to experience something other than boredom, lowness or numbness with life.

Whilst this can seem like an impossible task when you’re in the midst of an episode of depression or even if life is particularly busy or stressful, it is certainly possible.  Why not use our list of pleasurable activities to help give you some ideas to start you off?


List Of Pleasurable Activities On Your Own:

Spending time in your own company can be an easy way to increase pleasure – as long as your time is focused on some useful things.  Here are some ‘you-time’ activity ideas…

– Read a trashy book
– watch a favourite moviereading for pleasure and to reduce depression - picture of a book
– Eat something that you haven’t tried for a while
– take a walk and really focus on what’s around you, rather then what’s in your mind
– Play a game or puzzle
– Doodle or draw a picture
– cook a favourite meal
– do an activity that will switch your body on such as a brisk walk or swim.
– Write a bucket list
– Find out more about something that makes you curious.
– dress up in your best clothes, just for the fun of it
– spend an hour spotting local wildlife


List Of Pleasurable Activities To Do With Friends:

pleasure to reduce depression - picture of a boardgame

Connecting with people that are important to you can be pleasurable in itself, but sharing a common task or goal and keep your mind focused.  If this focus is on something pleasurable then you can get two benefits in on!

– Go for a walk together
– Cook a meal for them
– Write or call a friend you have lost touch with
– have a mini fun competition together
– play an old fashioned board game
– sign up to an evening class together
– have a spa day together


List Of Pleasurable Activities To Do With Your Family and Partner :

eat a meal together - picture of a pie

Spending quality time with your family or partner is a key way to increase your psychological wellbeing.  However it is also one of the things that tends to get forgotten about first.  Here are some ideas that don’t just mean you are together, but that you actually get to enjoy being together…

– Talk about something you’ve never spoken about before
– Eat a meal together
– visit somewhere new
– plan a holiday together
– Ask or offer a massage
– Do an indoor camping trip in your front room


Things To Keep In Mind About Increasing Opportunities For Feeling Enjoyment And Pleasure…

Remember that when you start increasing pleasurable activities in your life, that it is unlikely that you will experience a sudden and extreme change in emotion.  Rather, by doing small and regular amounts of pleasurable activities intentionally, your mind will begin to learn to identify moment by moment times in which you get get enjoyment.  The big picture here is that you increase you mind’s ability to experience pleasure – and whether you are happy with life, or are having difficulties currently, this can only be a positive change to make.


About The Author:  Alex Hedger is a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist in London.