A Proven 10-Step Guide To Having More Fun In Your Life

Fun is underrated.

As adults, our lives are complicated and often very serious.

We are involved in the serious business of grown-up stuff.

We work hard. We support our families. We worry about money and higher prices.

We fret about the condition of the world, politics, our children. We have endless chores and tasks without much time for fun.

We look at other people having fun and wonder how they can be so indulgent. But it's not indulgent — it's an essential part of being human.

Here's what you'll learn in this post about how to have fun and why it's so important:

  • Children need fun and play to develop properly.
  • Research shows adults need fun just as much as children.
  • Fun and play have many social, emotional, mental, and physical benefits.
  • Playing and having fun doesn't have to be competitive.
  • You don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun.
  • Watch kids having fun to remember what it means to be carefree.

Why Children Need to Have Fun

Have you ever noticed that children can have fun from morning until bedtime, only pausing for meals? They don't even think about the need for fun — they just create it.

These days, kids lives are so scheduled that parents often have to make time for “play dates” and fun activities for their kids. Research shows that the amount of play time children get has been declining for decades.

We are doing a disservice to our children (and their future adult selves) by not allowing them more time for unstructured play and fun.

Spontaneous fun and play help children develop socially, emotionally and physically. It also trains and enhances their cognitive abilities, helps them regulate their emotions, and helps protect them against toxic stress.

When they enjoy activities that involve creativity, decision-making, problem-solving, cooperation, and negotiation, children are learning valuable skills they can apply when they become adults.

However, the value of fun and play doesn't end at childhood. Adults need fun in their lives as well.

Why Adults Need to Have Fun

Life can be overwhelming with our work and life responsibilities, but even so, we need to carve out more time for fun.

As the saying goes, “Time flies when you're having fun,” so once you're engaged in it, you won't feel like you're sacrificing too much of your “responsible” time.

You may even have more energy to be productive and focused during your work hours.

But if you need more reinforcement that it's not indulgent to enjoy yourself in life, research has proven the essential value of fun for adults.

playing guitar having fun

Here are some of the benefits of fun and play for adults:

1. Having fun relieves stress.

Play and fun trigger the release of endorphins, the chemicals that promote a sense of well-being. Endorphins can even relieve pain.

2. Having fun improves brain function.

Playing games, working on puzzles, and doing any fun activities that challenge your brain improves memory and brain function.

3. Having fun boosts creativity and stimulates your mind.

Just as children learn through play, adults also continue to develop mentally through playful and creative activities that are fun.

4. Having fun improves relationships.

When you have fun with others, you have the opportunity to enhance compassion, connection, empathy, trust, and intimacy.

5. Having fun teaches cooperation.

Just as kids learn to “play nicely” with others, you learn through fun and play how to get along with other adults by negotiating and cooperating.

6. Having fun breaks down barriers.

The joy and energy that fun evokes are universal. The differences between you and another person fall away when you are engaged in a fun activity.

7. Having fun keeps you young and energetic.

Having fun and playing can boost your energy and enhance feelings of vitality. It can even improve your resistance to disease and illness.

The Proven 10-Step Guide To Having Fun Everyday

Now that you know how important and valuable it is to have fun, you may need a brief refresher course on how to add more of it in your life.

Before you review these steps, take a moment to reflect on some of your most fun times as a child. Close your eyes, and pull yourself back in time to feel the feelings of joy and contentment you felt.

  • What were you doing?
  • Who was with you?
  • What made the activity so enjoyable?

Allow those feelings to settle over you as you plan and prepare to infuse your adult life with more of these same emotions.

Check out these ten steps you can follow to reignite having fun:

1.  Take yourself and your life less seriously.

Lighten up about the serious business of being an adult. Serious business will always be there whether or not you choose to focus on it all the time.

boys slip and slide having fun

Give yourself permission to feel joyful, silly, and childish.

2.  Embrace the truth that fun is good.

You don't need to feel guilty or embarrassed about having fun. Being an adult doesn't mean you've lost the child-like quality of wonder and joy and wild abandonment.

Scientific research has given you the green light on having fun, so embrace it!

3.  Don't be self-conscious about having fun.

It's okay to look goofy and unabashedly happy sometimes. Let your hair fly in the wind. Dance like no one is watching. Laugh until you cry.

Self-consciousness is the enemy of fun and will shut it down before you can enjoy a moment of it. You don't need to be serious and pulled together 24/7. Shake it up sometimes.

4.  Remember how kids have fun.

I loved riding my bike. Maybe you did too. Some of the old-fashioned stuff is still the most fun. Here are some other fun things you might try again:

  • flying a kite
  • sledding
  • canoeing
  • skating
  • dancing
  • throwing a ball
  • camping in a tent
  • fishing
  • wading in a stream
  • reading in a hammock
  • building a sandcastle
  • having a picnic
  • playing cards
  • jumping on a trampoline
  • riding with the windows down

Remember, you don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun. Simple pleasures and unstructured time with others are often the most enjoyable activities.

4.  Nourish your friendships to have partners in fun.

Some of the most fun occasions in my life have been with my girlfriends when we're just hanging out and laughing at silly stuff.

Don't wait for your friends to initiate. Become the fun instigator of your circle. Plan unstructured get-togethers where you can just kick back and relax.

Or do something that requires fun teamwork — like a three-legged race or learning to square dance.

5.  Build time for fun with your spouse or partner.

Think back on the times when you were first together and the fun you created naturally.

Rekindle those moments. Be playful. Make him/her laugh with silliness or private jokes. Take fun into the bedroom.

Playfulness is a sign of a healthy relationship. The more you enjoy of it, the better your relationship will be.

girls playing in water having fun

6.  Teach your children how to have fun.

It's easy to go off into your separate corners of the house to do chores, homework, or computer surfing.

But make a point to connect with your children through fun. They are the masters of it, so let them take the lead with a game a family game, a hobby, or a trip to an amusement park.

Pile up on the bed for a pillow fight or tickle-fest. You'll find these playful activities seem to melt away any tension or stress in your household.

7.  Be creative and spontaneous.

All fun activities don't have to be planned or traditional.

Maybe dancing in your underwear isn't your idea of fun, but come up with something unexpected or surprising.

Start a water balloon fight with your kids or have an impromptu scavenger hunt with your neighbors. Put on some music and dance with your partner around the family room.

When the mood seems to be particularly serious or stressful, lighten it up with spontaneity.

Related: 29 Fun Things To Do At Home

8. Make it non-competitive.

There are many sports and games that are loads of fun until it starts getting competitive.

Then the lighthearted fun can quickly morph into an ego-based urge to win. That's a different kind of fun that stokes a different part of the psyche.

If you can play a competitive game, like cards or a board game, without sacrificing fun, that's fine. Just be mindful that a game doesn't become a competition.

9. Be child-like, but remember your limits.

I was urged by my kids to body surf in the ocean a few years back. They were having so much fun, and I wanted to join in.

But with the first big wave, I was slammed to the ocean floor face first and sported a lovely abrasion from brow to chin for the remainder of the vacation.

Maybe you did cartwheels across the front yard as a kid or climbed to the top of trees. Maybe that still seems fun — but make sure your adult body can still handle it.

10. Plan fun into your life.

It's easy to forget about fun. It's been so long since it lived with us every day as a regular companion.

Fun may not come knocking at your door, so you may have to invite it in. Plan fun activities with your family and friends.

Look for opportunities to experience fun. Find ways to make the tedious tasks of life more interesting and fun to enliven your spirit and brighten your day.

20 Quotes About Having Fun

I'm convinced that we are programmed from birth to have fun and enjoy this beautiful Earth we call home. It's only as we age that real fun is abandoned for the pursuit of it.

Go enjoy the fun you once enjoyed as a child and abandon yourself to the joy of just living life.

Here are 20 having fun quotes to inspire you to make time for joy, laughter, and play.

1. “My philosophy is: If you can’t have fun, there’s no sense in doing it.” – Paul Walker

2. “Life is too short to worry about stupid things. Have fun. Regret nothing, and don’t let people bring you down.” – Anonymous

3. “Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.”  – Nina Dobrev

4. “There’s no fear when you’re having fun.” – Will Thomas

5. “I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.”  – Randy Pausch

George Bernard Shaw quote having fun

6. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

7. “Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it.” – Eileen Caddy

8. “Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” – Richard Branson

9. “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” – Dr. Seuss

10. “The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn

11. “There are going to be good times and bad times, but lighten up.” – Chris Pine

12. “It’s more fun when you’re not the only one having it.” – the Oaqui

13. “Sometimes having fun with your best friend is all the therapy you need.” – Author Unknown

14. “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”  – Bill Watterson

15. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

16. “You have to let go of the rope to have more fun.” – Anonymous

17. “Enjoy life. Have fun. Be kind. Have worth. Have friends. Be honest. Laugh. Die with dignity. Make the most of it. It’s all we’ve got.”  – Ricky Gervais

18. “You can be childlike without being childish. A child always wants to have fun. Ask yourself, ‘Am I having fun?'” – Christopher Meloni

19. “There's no fear when you're having fun.” – Will Thomas

20. “‘Sexy' is being independent, being confident and having fun.” – Mollie King

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 40 comments
  • Josh Solar

    I’ve been a long time reader, never commenter…this post just touched me in the right way. Everyone should take life less seriously. Daily danceoffs, picnics under the kitchen table because it’s too cold out for a real picnic, snowball fights (basically balled up socks thrown at each other) and other various activities are all part of our daily lives with our young children. They expect random & fun activities every day, and my wife and I sure do enjoy life much better when we do them.

    Thanks for writing so many wonderful blog posts. Your blog helps us stay happy 🙂

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Hi Josh,
      Sounds like you have a happy household. I’m so glad you commented, and please do again! Thank you for your kind words.

      Reply
  • Diana

    Oh. My best friend who lives very far away from me (so I couldn’t be there) had a girlfriend and sister pajama party over the winter! Her sister’s thought she had cracked and lost her mind, but they went along with it. My girlfriend kicked her husband out and sent him to her mother’s overnight. They had a BLAST. They stayed up until 5.30 am!

    It is SO easy to forget about fun. We are generation of children raised by serious, hardworking parents. Fun was not always a part of that stoic work ethic, in fact, it was often marginalized. I have to remember to have fun in the front of my brain, because it doesn’t always come naturally.

    This is one of the main reasons I bought myself a teeny Ipod for walking the dog, so that he and I can dance instead of walk. He does look at me kind of funny, but he’s just got to get over it. I work hard. I deserve to dance once in a while!!!

    Very good, important post. 🙂 xo

    Reply
      Diana

      rogue apostrophe in the word sisters in the first paragraph. I hate it when that happens.

      Reply
      Timaree

      Accept that kind of error in the spirit of being too excited about having fun to pay total attention to your punctuation!

      Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      I’d like to get to know your best friend! Maybe we can both meet you in Italy for an Italian pajama party. 🙂 My upbringing was pretty serious too. Fun was not a part of daily life. I’ve just recently (how sad) really learned the value of fun. Better late than never! Tell your dog he’s barking up the wrong tree if he thinks you’re going to stop dancing.

      Reply
  • barbara

    Hi Barrie! I’m fairly new to your blog and enjoy it very much. I love this post. I believe I was born an adult and have youthened over the years. I spent much of my childhood being my mother’s parent. I had children early in life. With each decade since the age of 30 I’ve gradually released the pressure of all that and tried to have fun as often as possible.

    I’m fortunate that my kids are fun to be with and we have always enjoyed sharing in silliness. I feel sorry for those who take life so seriously and always want to be the ‘grown-up’. It’s very over rated.
    Thanks for a fun post!

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Hi Barbara,
      Remember that song that had the refrain, “I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now”? That’s how I feel too. I’m growing younger in spirit. I’m so glad you have joined my blog — welcome. I hope you will comment often.

      Reply
  • Faith | Minimalist at Home

    Thank you for this reminder! I often fall into the trap of working too much and starting new projects so that I will create a life with more free time. The goal is still a worthy one, but it’s easy to miss the fact that I can still make time for family and fun NOW. I don’t want to miss today’s opportunities while I focus on a tomorrow I’m not even guaranteed.

    I’ve discovered that it doesn’t take much to have fun. My kids think it’s awesome when I jump on the trampoline with them. When I make silly faces or tell goofy jokes, they seem to think I’m the funniest mom ever. Those are the times I want them to remember so I need to just jump in and be my goofy self more often.

    Thanks for another great post!

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Hi Faith,
      So nice to see you here! These are great days for you Faith. I hope you will continue to embrace them with that spirit of joy and lightness and never get to bogged down in the business of life. Keep jumping on trampolines!

      Reply
  • Marley

    Great post! Fun us very important! I love watching something goofy with my daughter or telling each other silly jokes. She told me last week that she loves to hear me laugh and I will never forget that…when I am laughing hard enough, tears start streaming down my face …my friends tease me about this but I think it’s an indicator that I am having a good time! Come to think of it, I haven’t “laughed until I cried” in quite a while. I am overdue!!

    Reply
  • Marley

    Oh ~ and what I do for fun ~ kayaking, watching That 70s Show or America’s Funniest Home Videos, playing board games with my 8-year-old, roller skating, happy hour with my friends, riding my bike, camping, bonfires at the beach, dancing, playing XBox games with the Kinect…I may be 36 but having FUN is still high on my list of priorities 🙂

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Marley, I don’t think you have a problem with fun at all! 🙂

      Reply
  • Christopher Lovejoy

    “Live young.” Now there’s a mantra I can forever embrace. Fun post, Barrie. And the vid? So cute! I love it. Your relationship with fun is very healthy and happy 😀

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Hi Christopher,
      I’m so glad you liked it. Those babies are something, aren’t they??

      Reply
  • Living the Balanced Life

    So very important to remember to have fun! I remember when I was going thru a tough time in my marriage and in my life in general. I realized we weren’t doing anything for fun! Now I try to do something fun everyday, even if it is just playing keepaway with my dogs!
    Another fun game? Tossing ping-pong balls into a moving ceiling fan! You never know where they are going to shoot out! Loads of giggles and the more people and the more ping-pong balls you use, the better!
    Bernice

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Never tried that one before Bernice. Off to the store to buy ping pong balls!

      Reply
  • Clhristopher Foster

    Barrie, you’re brilliant. I think I’m getting to know you a bit better. Maybe this is another gift that fun can give us….

    … It can help us drop our silly little human quirks for a moment if we have any like I do and see the genuine beauty and uniqueness of another person with a clearer and brighter eye. A long long sentence but I couldn’t quite figure where to break it up.

    I’m definitely going to follow up on some of your great tips.

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Thank you Christopher! Yes, fun is a great equalizer. We are all silly humans that mess up, think we are important, and take ourselves too seriously. Fun makes us all the same — like kids in a sandbox.

      Reply
  • Timaree

    I’ve never been one to cut-up and have rioutous, silly fun. I have learned how to do some of this with my grandkids (everyone deserves to have a grandchild – they are the best!). Now if I could only return the favor to the oldest granddaughter who is too much like me and stands outside the circle rather than jumping in to have silly or playful fun.

    Reply
      Barrie Davenport

      Hi Timaree,
      You can be reserved and still have fun I believe. If silly fun doesn’t feel right, then something else might. The concept of letting go is important though. If we hold back because we are living up to expectations or fear failing, then we are missing out on some wonderful experiences.

      Reply
  • Jason @ Stop & Breathe

    I like your suggestion to think like a child. Even better, spend time with a child. Whether you have your own kids, kids in your family or you spend time with children volunteering, simply being around them is one of the best ways to have fun.

    Reply
  • van025

    Thanks for your sharing.
    Fun is an important part of our life because it helps us to reduce stress and raise our optimistic.
    It is easy to follow your simple guides to creating more fun in my life

    Reply
  • jackie

    Is fun an activity or a state of being?
    Greater article focused on fun activities that we must leave our boring jobs /chores to participates in. In my extremely boring office, there is a guy who is fun to be . Everyone wants him on their project team. I wish I knew how he does it ! Id love to see more about having fun where you are at. Are you that guy? How do you do it?

    Side note…I wish this site was mobile friendly

    Reply
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  • Jana

    “I’ve realized that fun is essential. What are we working so hard for anyway?”
    Very nice :).

    I really enjoyed this article! I think it’s great what you do, always being so positive in your posts and putting all these motivational messages out into the world. (At least) some of you Americans really have a great attitude. Thank you for that!

    Reply
  • suzane

    Woww..my tears are falling..hope to have like that with my best-friend and have a happy moments..all I do for now is focusing on my studies..:):)

    Reply
  • veronica wambui

    waow, thank u ineeded that. you have realy put it well, grown up stuff is all serious and it makes life unbearable at times.

    Reply
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  • Shriya

    Thanks for this article Barrie! In fact thank you for all your articles! They’re always really entertaining and yet very helpful to read- thank you for being there for all of us, you are so inspiring 🙂

    Reply
  • Charmaine

    Thank you. This girls night cocktail party I’m planning is taking on a completely new meaning. We are really going to have fun. My three very young children will thank you for helping me loosen up, as will my hubby. Looking forward to reading more of your insights.

    Reply
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  • Ms Colette Reilly

    Brilliant blog! The power of play is sooo under appreciated…it’s so easy to get caught up believing being a grown up needs us to be serious when a sense of playfulness is a great way to refuel and reset. Fab reminder ❤️

    Reply
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