Keeping your mind active and engaged is important at any age. Plus, it improves your quality of life. Beyond the typical advice of reading, exercising and meditation, here are three hobbies to pick up that boost your memory, improve brain function, and increase your happiness during retirement.


1. Play Chess

Chess is a notoriously mentally stimulating game, and for good reason. Chess gives both brain hemispheres a tough mental workout, and it improves cognitive function while doing so. Research has shown that playing chess decreases the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Chess is a long-term game of strategy. Your mind must stay active and focus its attention on the strategic planning necessary to win. Playing chess exercises your memory while learning through trial and error. Plus, chess tournaments are a great way to get others in the community involved.


2.  Start a Journal

Similar to reading, writing exercises your brain and keeps the mind sharp. Research has shown that writing removes mental blocks by keeping the left side of your brain occupied while allowing the right side the freedom to express its creativity.

Writing in a journal can reveal details about yourself that you hadn’t focused on before, making it an excellent tool for you to get to know yourself better. You may figure out other activities you’d like to do. You could find yourself writing about following your dreams, and all you’d have to do next is take action.


3. Take Online Classes

After journaling has shown you more about what you want, there’s probably an online class you can sign up for that will help you pursue your dreams. Online classes are available in nearly every subject or topic, and plenty are free as well. Learning improves brain function by strengthening the pathways between neurons in the brain. These are the same pathways your memory uses to integrate new information with prior experiences, so keeping them strong is vital.


These new hobbies will help you learn and improve your brain’s power, memory and lifelong happiness. Enjoy!