3 Ways to Bring on the Fun

Fun is irresistible at every age.  More than just frivolous, it is often the spark that connects and inspires us to feel most united and alive. Fun is also just plain good for you.


Marbles on the sidewalk in golden sunlight.

Fun is subjective. To reconnect to what brings you the most joy, you can go all the way back to childhood (Making things? Laughing with friends? Pretending or playing games outside? Inside?) That stuff is pretty hardwired, and chances are some variation on the theme can jump start that childlike energy in you. You can also look back at the past week or month and ask, “What (and who) spiked my fun factor?” A new hobby (especially shared) like cooking, dancing, or homebrewing is a good formula, but the answer can often be making time for the fun you already love. Carve out that night to play games or just hang with friends. Shut your phone down for a few hours. Dust off the guitar case, craft kit, or card table. Simply spending time with friends who bring their own fun energy is priceless.


Man leading group of people in boot camp exercises, rear view

We all know physical exercise is good for us, for endless reasons. Why not find some form that’s actually fun for you? All kinds of group workouts are emerging on the scene, like fitness boot camps and new variations on Cross Fit, Box Fit, yoga and Pilates. If this sounds more like work to you, how ‘bout a soccer, kickball, or dodgeball league? Bocce won’t sculpt your frame, but it’s a great game. The positive trend toward these group activities underscores our need to connect with others and just have a good time. If organized team sports and games are not your thing, just have a ball. With you. Always. Bounce it, say hello with it, kick off meetings with it. Throw. Catch. Connect.


leap frogSir Ernest Shackleton’s famous Antarctic expedition involved fun as more than an ice breaker. He kept his twenty-seven men alive for almost two years through unimaginable hardships, in part by keeping them loose under extremely challenging conditions. For Sir Ernest’s crew, fun was sing-a-longs, hockey games, and occasional ballroom dancing for comic relief. Everybody has stress in their life, and bursts of fun throughout the day help keep your mind and spirit strong. The random belted lyric across the office floor. The absurd kitchen dance for his or her eyes only. The silly rhymes, tag game or inventive fist bumps with a child. Crank up the music, try out a strange new voice and a song verse – good or bad (remember, the worser the better). Weave more of those little moments into your day, because the world (and the people around you) need them more than you realize.

This article is excerpted and adapted from the book Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs, published by National Geographic on September 1, 2015. Copyright © 2015 The Life is Good Company.

Read more in Life is Good: The Book