ADHD Hobbies and Interests

ADHD Hobbies: Gaining and Losing Interest in a Heartbeat

While people with neurotypical brains can easily have and sustain a hobby, some adults with ADHD may struggle. They might easily lose interest in the activity or impulsively decide to try another one. How can people with ADHD have a long-lasting hobby? Find out here. 

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Reviewed by

Lisa Batten

PhD in Psychology
In this Article
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How Many ADHD Hobbies You Had?

Hobbies are activities that people do for leisure, sometimes to ease up the tension in their brains, loosen a bit, and escape their stress. For neurotypical people, having a hobby can be easy: they can just simply pick what interests them, do it consistently and maybe even become good at it. 👌 They often see that what they do is fun, and they benefit from doing these things.

However, for some people with ADHD, having a hobby is not just for fun - it can be essential to managing their symptoms. 🙌 It can provide an outlet for all that extra energy, help improve focus and concentration, and give a sense of calm and relaxation. But maintaining a hobby is a different story with our ADHD diagnosis. We tend to get bored quickly, and we find it hard to stick with one thing for an extended period. 🥺

For many ADHD brains, having a hobby depends on a four-step cycle that seems to be never-ending. 😵 We can sometimes find ourselves learning new things, being good with them, and eventually boring ourselves to the point that we quit doing them and start a new one again.

The Mini ADHD Coach Medical Advisor says: “Hobby-bouncing is a common quality in people with ADHD due to feeling chronically understimulated by life and latching unto activities that feel rewarding. The all-or-nothing approach to hobbies often means piles of equipment, supplies, and instructional books that get pushed to the corner when the interest fades. Although it may feel intuitive to beat yourself up for quitting or “wasting money,” you should aim to thank yourself for allowing room to pursue what brings you joy. The qualities of ADHD that allow you to jump headfirst into new hobbies also lead you to discover new talents, create art, and connect with your soul. Even if your hobby is short-lived, the passion you felt was real. It’s perfectly ok to hobby-bounce, be kind to yourself and have fun in this lifetime.”

I Lose Interest In My Hobbies As Well

I am guilty of this ADHD trait: losing interest in my hobbies. 😅 I often become suddenly interested in things that I watched on Youtube to the extent that I want to start doing them the next day. The impulsivity I feel during the time frame hits so hard, even though I know I might feel wrong about it and regret doing it after just a few days of trying.

Like other people with ADHD, I have struggled to find a permanent hobby that I'll do for the rest of my life. 😭 I often have misplaced or lost interest in things, so I eventually quit. They say that having hobbies is good for adult ADHD, but sometimes it can get very stressful for me.

Before I had my ADHD diagnosis, I struggled to have and maintain an activity that I'll do because I had the passion for it. I started going to the gym and exercising a bit, but the progress I gained from it was plodding and not so rewarding, so I eventually stopped. After that, I started a new hobby and yielded the same result after just days of trying it. I tried writing stories and ended up doodling most of the time. 📝 That's when I discovered making basic illustrations, but I didn't have the necessary resources, so I stopped doing it for a while.

The bottom line is, I struggled with how I handled my urges and impulses. That's when I asked for professional help about what I had experienced. 

When I was 29 years old, my mental health really had a hard time coping with what I felt, so I decided to consult my doctor and had an ADHD diagnosis afterward. That's when I realized and understood that what I had is an ADHD trait that can affect my decisions in life, like my career paths, hobbies, or even my love life.

After that day, I had my ideas on setting up my account to help people like me become more aware of this neurodivergent disorder and all the ADHD symptoms that come with it. 😘 So here I am, trying my best to share my experiences with having ADHD.

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The Four Stages Of ADHD Hobbies & Why We Sometimes Lose Interest Easily

According to various sources - and my personal experience - having a hobby can be difficult for us, people with ADHD. A person can try to do several hobbies and see if any of them works, but most of the time, they abandon them for something else. 😅 May it be musical instruments, photography, art, or even books. 📚 The list goes on and on, and the outcome is more likely to be the same.

Here's the life cycle of interest when it comes to having hobbies with ADHD:


The first stage of developing a hobby in an ADHD brain is curiosity. It's when an initial idea of doing something is picked up and placed into the brain, triggering interest. This is the time when all information about that specific interest is gathered. 

We may experience curiosity when an activity sparks that special joy even though we’re just watching videos 👩‍💻 or reading related articles or blog posts. With a little kick of impulsivity partnered with hyperactivity, this curiosity will propel us to move forward and try to pursue the idea.


The next phase is when the ADHD brain becomes attached to starting their hobby—continuously talking about it. The plan to begin is often discussed with friends, and our hopes are high that it will last. 😉

Being excited and motivated to do something more meaningful during free time is a good sign that your task will be fun and rewarding. This is where hyperfocus happens. It's when every information revolving around your new-found hobby can be researched in one sitting, or you tend to have spent most of your time planning everything for the hobby to be successful.


The peak of the cycle is when an ADHD brain obtains what it wants to happen. The individual enjoys what they are doing and it brings them happiness. ❤️  The dopamine level production is high because we become satisfied that we have successfully learned something new

But post-learning everything, our ADHD brains disengage and lose focus on what we are doing.The feeling of excitement withers and fades away when we lose interest in our leisure. That's when it will all seem familiar, and we tend to observe that we are going back to the same pattern.


Whether you are doing martial arts or writing different stories, there will sometimes be a point when you'll get bored, tired, and exhausted from doing your hobbies. 😔 This is when you'll decide to drop it off and try another one again. The boredom phase is not specific to people with ADHD, but we can be more prone to it. It can be a cycle, a never-ending one.

The best way to deal with it is by finding out what works for you and your brain. It takes time and effort to find the best hobby that will make a difference in your lifestyle and understand yourself more.

The Missing Part To Break the Cycle: Acceptance

An essential piece in obtaining a hobby for an ADHD brain is acceptance. There are times that you won't understand how your brain works, but it is essential to be kind to yourself. 😘 Accepting that some hobbies may come and go and might not work for us might help us comprehend more about our ADHD situation.

There is no definite hobby that works for people with ADHD. It all boils down to how our brain understands and wants something to be done. Trying new things has the tendency to be a trial-and-error process. But, in the end, it's worth it when we finally get a grasp of what we want and what we are good at. Losing interest is an ADHD symptom that can affect your decision to get a worthwhile past-time, but when you get through your struggle, you might even forget that you ever had that problem.

always remember that ADHD is complex...
ADHD & Hobbies: The 4 Stages

ADHD & Hobbies The 4 Stages: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

 Is having a hobby important for people with ADHD?‍

Yes, it is. A hobby, which we usually do for leisure, can help us unwind and relax. This can help when our minds become clouded with anxiety. Also, hobbies can help tone down the symptoms of ADHD, particularly the lack of focus

What makes having a steady hobby challenging for some people with ADHD?

Obtaining a steady hobby can be difficult for some adults with ADHD because of their symptoms. These include losing interest in things quite easily and the impulsivity to try another activity that seems to be more exciting. 

Should I accept that I might go through trial and error before I find a long-lasting hobby? 

Finding a long-lasting hobby typically involves trial and error, so it’s best to accept it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find that one hobby is not working well for you. You can also talk to a therapist or an ADHD coach for more professional help. ‍

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