59 Awesome FREE things to do to Feel Amazingly Alive
Life is short.
You may know it rationally, but do you really know it?
Although I would never recommend walking the path I've been on to anyone, there are certain benefits of having known deep, hollow and desperate depression.
First of all – after you come out on the other side you feel like you can do anything.
But that is not my point.
It took being locked up for me to realize how vital freedom is to make a beautiful life. It took hitting rock bottom for me to realize how much I yearned to live. And it nearly took ending my life for me to realize that for most of my time on earth I hadn't been truly alive. It took facing death for me to realize how much I wanted to be.
I made a decision then – in a hospital bed on suicide watch – that I would not wait. I would not push into the future what I could have right here and now.
Freedom. Dreams. Love.
I decided to stop writing bucket lists. And start writing to do lists.
I'm sure you have a bucket list too. A list of amazing things to do – one day.
Most of us do – either written down or in our heads.
But do you have a list of awesome experiences that are free, simple and achievable within the next couple of months?
Didn't think so.
Luckily, I made one for you!
Dance in the moonlight
Plan for this amazing experience when the moon is full. If you can summon up an African drummer – I would totally go for this. But in our modern era, an ipod with some tribal tunes will do. If you can, I recommend going to a forest, a mountain or a desert – but anywhere that is not lit up by streetlights will make this a magical experience.
Rest your head on a dogs belly
I don't think there is anything more healing than resting your head on a sleeping dog's belly. There is something about that deep trust, both from you and from the animal, that makes this an experience like no other. If you already have a dog, this should be no challenge. If you don't, I would offer to dog sit and spend some time with the dog before you make the first attempt. Keeping calm and move slowly will help establish the trust. If you are lucky, the dog will let you rest on it's belly for a little while! (It is painfully obvious … but this works best with large to medium sized dogs!)
Move your fingers after Savasana
Savasana, or Corpse pose, is the final resting pose after any yoga session. However, you don't have to sweat it to enjoy this experience on a regular basis! Just lie down, put on some relaxing music and enjoy the awesome feeling of slowly waking up your body after a good 10 minutes of rest.
Tell stories by the bonfire
Nothing beats the power of stories and a group of good friends. Ask everyone to prepare a true story, a fairy tale or a myth and plan to spend some quality time together. Feel the energy and know that you are carrying on a tradition as old as humanity itself. If you need inspiration for stories – I truly recommend the book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
Look at old photo albums
Nostalgia can sugar coat any bittersweet memory, but you can't argue with the fact that reminiscing is a lovely activity. Look through the photo albums from your childhood, and from when your parents were young. Bonus points if you can do it with a family member or old friend who can tell you the stories behind the pictures. Prepare to have a laugh!
Say a prayer in a sacred place
Religious or not, I am a believer. There's something so profound about praying and asking for what we need. Doing it while soaking up the energy of a sacred place where generations have prayed before you is a very powerful experience. Pick a place that seems intriguing or interesting to you. This can be a church, a temple, a synagogue or a mosque – but also an opening in the woods, a mountain or a ruin.
Use essential oils in the shower
You have to shower anyways, so why not make it an experience every time? I recommend waking up to a drop or two of Eucalyptus oil, resting to a calming lavender oil, or getting nourished by a sensual Sandalwood or Jasmine oil. Heat up the wall with hot water and splash a drop or two of oil on the wall. The heat will make the oil come alive. Enjoy!
Give yourself a massage
You don't have to pay a fortune to enjoy the soothing effect of a good massage. All you need is a little oil and your own two hands. I recommend sesame or coconut oil, but any organic or professional oil will do. It's easiest to massage your hands and feet, but a neck massage is lovely too!
Stand up, put on Hammock by Breathturn and swirl around and around. Enough said.
Watch TED talks
Lucky for us, there are some very wise, talented and inspiring people out there who have been there and done that scary thing. If you haven't already watched these, some of my favourites are Brené Brown, Sarah Kay, JK Rowling and Amy Cuddy.
Run in the rain
Is bad weather your usual excuse for not exercising? Well, if you stay in when it pours down – you are seriously missing out. The next time the rain starts to fall, out on your running shoes and have a good workout in the rain. I promise you, there is nothing like the endorphin rush meeting rejuvenating and cleansing rain.
Have a hot bath and go to bed in clean sheets
This is one of my most cherished childhood memories. Do you remember the same? Well, you don't have to be a child to enjoy this awesome feeling. Just change your bedsheets, hop in the tub, spend the next 30 minutes in candlelight and listening to calming music. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your water – and you'll sleep like a baby.
Reade Alice in wonderland
If you haven't actually read this masterpiece yet, you have something to look forward to. I read it with a pen in hand, because the text is packed with inspiring quotes. Try interpreting it with your life in mind. You will be amazed!
Walking barefoot in the grass/sand
This is an awesome thing to do in the summer. Take off your shoes, walk around and pay attention to how your feet feels as they touch the ground beneath you. Where do you end and the amazing world begin?
Watching the stars
Stargazing is a dying art. Don't let it disappear! Arm yourself with a map of the constellations, pen and paper for drawing, and something hot to drink. Go somewhere where there are no streetlamps. Make a wish if you catch a falling star!
Bathing in the ocean
There is something wild about swimming in nature. If you don't live near the ocean - go swimming in a lake!
Napping in the shade
The best part about being on vacation is lying in the shade and doing nothing. And then fall asleep! Well, you don't have to be on vacation for this little luxury. Hit your local beach, park or garden on the next sunny day and do nothing for a few hours!
Take photos of the sun
If you are following me on Instagram, you know I love taking photos of the sun. I just love how the rays create awesome colors and shadows. Try it and be amazed!
Climb a mountain
You don't have to be sporty to be a mountain climber! It's all about choosing the right mountain! Hee hee. It might be a challenge getting up, but you will be rewarded by amazing sights and the exhilarating feeling of being a wild, adventurous human on top of the world!
This is my absolute favorite thing to do when I'm traveling. Hit an interesting neighborhood, arm yourself with a book and a pair of sunglasses and start watching the amazing species that is humankind!
Wandering around in a city
...And this is my second favorite thing to do. Wander around a city with no aim or purpose. Let your intuition and curiosity guide you to new and exciting places. Bust out your camera and hit the streets of your local city!
Nothing brings me more joy than helping others, and I spent 5 years as a Red Cross volunteer when I was completing High School and in College. Nowadays, I volunteer by giving away free coaching session, helping others through e-mail and by proofreading for friends and family. How you choose to do it is up to you. The point is; doing something for someone else – without expecting anything in return – is a great joy. Do it!
Talk to strangers
I love a little unexpected encounter and I have slowly learned how to be more open with strangers. Since I spend a great deal of time working from coffee shops, I love to strike up a short conversation to the people around me. It's so awesome when you meet a talkative lady with an awesome story! A great way of starting a conversation is to give a compliment or ask a question about their work or what they are doing. Ask lots of questions – most people love to talk about themselves.
Spend the day in bed
How often do you spend a whole day in bed? Not very often, you say? Didn't think so. Well, in case you need a reminder, this is a lovely non-activity on a rainy day. Stack up on books, work, snacks and movies – and do whatever you feel like doing. Bonus points if you fall back to sleep.
When did you last dress up? I don't mean playing dress up with your grandma's clothes, but putting on something really nice and making an effort to do you make-up and hair in the morning. I promise you, when you look amazing you will feel amazing. Get up a little bit earlier tomorrow and spend some you time in the bathroom!
Go on vacation to your parents' house
Do you need a holiday, but can't afford the hotel? Well, your mum may not agree, but you have a free hotel available at your parents' place any time! Just think about it, no housework, all meals served, nothing you have to do but enjoying time with your family. You may not get room service, but you'll get very loving attention that beats any hotel.
Listen to a guided meditation
There are so many amazing free guided meditations out there. I recommend listening to the ones from Goddess Leonie and Gabrielle Bernstein, but I am sure you already have your own favorites. Make it a daily habit to spend some time with yourself in stillness. You will soon see very amazing results!
Do yoga outside
Yoga is awesome in a nice studio, but nothing beats doing yoga in a nature. It is such a spiritual experience. This summer, I am doing yoga in the park twice a week with Leela Yoga. Check out if there is something similar near where you live!
Poetry is such a beautiful way of expressing your emotions. I love reading poetry, but I think I love writing it even more! There is something about the delight in finding just the right word. If you need inspiration, I recommend checking out Bentlily. I also did a guest post there last year.
Visit a contemporary art museum
Contemporary art. Art that opens your mind, challenges you and amazes you. While some museums are still free, others charge a small amount. Check with your local museum and pay attention to free nights. Lots of museums have a free day a month!
Picnic in the park
Bring your lunch, dinner, or even breakfast to the park! Pack a blanket, a pillow, a book - and you're good to go!
Make snow angels
This only works if you live in a cold climate. But if you do, this free and childish activity will leave you feeling playful and whimsical. What kind of angel do you want to be?
Home spa day
Set aside some you time and have a home spa day. I recommend using essential oils, a scented candle, soft towels and soothing music. Take good care of yourself!
Write a letter
There's something about writing a letter, the old-fashioned way. If you don't have anyone in your life to write letters to, consider getting a pen pal - or write to an inmate. It may sound silly, but I also think it's a good idea to write a letter to yourself and mail it. By the time you receive it, you probably will have forgotten what you wrote!
Make a vision board
Stock up with old magazines, scissors and something to put your board on. I use MT tape and just tape my images directly on the wall. In the beginning, just cut out everything that appeals to you. Then look for common themes in color, shape and idea. Have fun!
Do your own nails
You don't have to pay someone else to have the pleasure of well-done nails. Do it yourself! Bright nail polish will brighten your day!
Meditate where you can feel the wind
This is pretty self-explanatory, but try meditating somewhere where you can feel the wind in your hair. A mountain, a balcony, on a boat, a clearing in the woods - where you do it is up to you. Pay attention to how the wind feels on your skin. Where do you end and the wind begin?
Sleep under the stars
If you live in a warm climate - all you need is a friend, a sleeping bag and somewhere safe to sleep. If you live in a colder climate, you might need some more props, but it is still do-able. The best part is watching the stars before you fall asleep. Magical!
Talk/listen to a homeless person
Have you ever thought about slowing down and starting a conversation with that homeless person you always walk by? Do you wonder what their story is? Well, homeless people are humans too. And humans yearn to be heard. Buy an extra coffee and ask them if they are interested in sharing their story with you. You'd be amazed!
Host a slumber party
Invite all of your friends, make good food, watch a movie and sleep on the floor. You know you want to!
Start a book club
I know you want to. A real book club where you read, discuss and obsess over the same wonderful stories. A meeting place where you can have real conversations. A space to talk about emotions, about love, about life. What are you waiting for?
Start a collection of found objects
Life will be more interesting when you have something to search for. Start collecting something that attracts you, such as heart-formed stones, vintage poetry or feathers. Something you can delight over and enjoy looking for! Showcase your collection and make note of where you found what. It will be awesome to show the grandchildren your collection, don't you think?
Climb a tree
It sounds crazy, but it is actually pretty incredible. Try it!
Record a message to your future self
This is an awesome free thing to do. Just use the recording functionality on your phone or your computer. Record a message to listen to on a special occasion, like your birthday, at newyears or when your struggling. I promise you, this may bring both tears to your eyes and make you laugh out loud!
Play with a child
This is pretty self-explanatory. Play dress up, play house, play peek-a-boo. Anything that will wildly excite both you and the lucky child. If you don't have any children in your family, then offer to baby-sit or volunteer at a daycare or school. When you peek-a-boo the child into a gigglesnort, the repetitiveness and the tireless "more!"'s will be so worth it.
Read Danielle LaPorte's archives
I've been a follower of Ms. LaPorte for years, and I can truly say that reading her posts changed my life. What she is writing currently is great, but there are some absolute gems in her archives too. Make a cup of tea, burn some sage (see below) and dig in!
Burn sage and Palo Santo
Both Sage and Palo Santo have very nourishing, relaxing and clearing effects. I burn sage when I am writing, to clear the energy after I have done yoga, and when I feel disconnected. Palo Santo for me works better before I am coaching, and when I am relaxing. If you haven't tried these yet, do it!
Clean and let go
Our outer environments reflect our inner state. That means that if you live in a messy house, chances are you are feeling chaotic on the inside too. The good thing is that this works both ways. That's why cleaning and letting go of old possessions can be deeply nourishing and energizing – also on an emotional level. It's time to go through that room, drawer or space – you know which one I'm talkin' about. I promise you, you will feel amazing when you're done!
Do intuitive painting
When was the last time you painted without worrying about the end result? Thought so. Painting can be a very intuitive and spiritual experience, but we very often ignore our inner landscape and paint something according to our concept of beauty. I recommend finger painting, and focusing more on the process than the result. This can be so releasing and emotional! You can thank me later.
Have your grandma tell stories
Most people love to talk about their lives (who doesn't?) and are often lonely. A great way of connecting to your granny is to ask her to tell you stories from her life. Expect to be amazed at how much she has lived and how little you really know.
Watch the sun rise
Get up early, head to a hill or tall place and watch the sun greet the new day. Bonus points if you meditate or do this on the first day of the year!
Go to the Natural History museum and watch the dinosaurs
...And while you're at it, visit all the other parts of the museum too! There are so many beautiful and interesting species!
Sit in the sun, close your eyes and imagine you're on a beach
Yes, it is possible to do a three minute beach vacation! Make it into a full meditation by adding an mp3 playing wave sounds.
Sing along to Oh happy day at the top of your voice in the shower
No explanation needed. Do it.
There's a reason why those signs always say "gone fishing." It's because it's the ultimate relaxing and nourishing experience! Oh, and in case you wonder... It's not really about the fish. It's about the silence, the vastness of the lake and the sweet humming sound of mosquitoes and the dragonflies!
Continue sleeping after your alarm rings
Read Shantaram and eat Indian food
If you haven't yet read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, you've missed something big. Read it! And then read some of my posts about traveling, because I can guarantee you want to travel to India after reading Shantaram. Have some Indian food to ease the pain of being stuck at home.
Host a potluck
Invite a bunch of your closest friends. Make this.
Bake a rainbow cake
Hope you enjoyed this list – and better yet that you will do lots of these awesome free things to do!
*Some items on the list may require materials.