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We’ve entered a brand new year, which means a fountain of opportunity and potential waiting before us. There are all kinds of geeky new year resolution ideas you could adopt, but one of the most rewarding things you could do? Learn a new hobby or skill!
Fortunately, there’s never been a better time for learning new hobbies and skills—all thanks to freely available resources on Udemy, EdX, and of course, YouTube. With over 37 million YouTube channels out there, you can bet that some of them are quite informative and educational.
Want to develop a new talent this year? Check out these awesome YouTube channels for learning new hobbies and skills!
1. Learn Card Magic: Chris Ramsay
Card magic isn’t easy, but it’s one of the coolest hobbies to pick up. You can usually find a pack of cards anywhere you go, or bring one with you if you want, which means you can bust out a card trick no matter where you are. It can be an excellent conversation starter, plus it helps develop skills like manual dexterity, charismatic presentation, and creative thinking.
2. Learn Cooking: America’s Test Kitchen
Everyone needs to eat, which means everyone can stand to gain by learning how to cook. You’re going to have to eat eventually, so why not make your food taste great while you’re at it? You’ll save a ton of money in the process (by not going out or ordering takeaway) and you may just find that cooking itself is a therapeutic and relaxing activity.
3. Learn Drawing: Proko
Ever wanted to learn how to draw but could never commit to art school or art classes? The videos by Proko are great because they’re illustrative (you learn more by watching it done than by reading a book), they’re convenient (you can watch along at your own pace), and they’re cheap (the videos are free and you only need pencil and paper to get started).
4. Learn Game Development: Brackeys
Maybe this is the year you finally make that video game idea you’ve been thinking about since childhood! Game development is no walk in the park, though, which is why a high-quality game development tutorial channel is gold. There are several I could point out, but Brackeys is my favorite because he’s relatable, clear, and has several playlists worth checking out. (He teaches how to code games using C# and Unity.)
5. Learn Gardening: Garden Answer
Gardening is one of the better hobbies to take on in a world where people are more and more disconnected from nature by the day. Don’t have a giant backyard to use as a plot? No worries! There’s always indoor gardening and/or hydroponics. Garden Answer is among the best YouTube channels for gardening, complete with over a thousand videos that cover all kinds of topics related to home gardening.
6. Learn Home Repair: This Old House
Home repair is a skill everyone should eventually learn—so why not this year? Not only could it save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary bills and many hours lost waiting on repair calls and return visits when things aren’t fixed properly the first time around. Plus, it’s immensely satisfying to patch up your own home with your own hands.
7. Learn Interior Design: House & Home
With all the hours we spend at home—especially during pandemic times—it only makes sense to make the best of our living space, whether we live in a tiny studio apartment or a spacious single-family house. Small, inexpensive changes can have massive impact on the look and feel of your dwelling. All you need is an eye for it, which can be taught.
8. Learn Knitting: VeryPink Knits
Knitting is a great way to kill time. It doesn’t require too much mental energy so you can watch TV or listen to a podcast while you do it, and it’s productive. What can you make with knitting? Caps, ties, scarves, cowls, pillow covers, slippers, stuffed animals, sweaters, coasters, and more! Or take it to the next level by making your own amigurumi!
9. Learn Lockpicking: Lock Noob
Lockpicking is a skill that might not ever be practical… then again, you never know when you’ll lose a key and need urgent access to something that’s locked off. As a hobby, lockpicking is great because there are so many variety of locks to master, plus it’s super satisfying when you manage to crack them open. Few hobbies will make you feel this badass.
10. Learn Mini Painting: Goobertown
Mini painting is one of my favorite geeky hobbies ever. You don’t really need to spend that much to get started—ignore anyone who says you do—and it’s surprisingly relaxing and meditative. Even if you aren’t uber creative, you just need to know a few techniques in order to paint models and make them look stunning. Goobertown is my recommended channel because they aren’t as elitism or dogmatic as a lot of other mini painting channels.
11. Learn Novel Writing: Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is the most prolific fantasy writer of our time. He’s published millions of words since his debut in 2005 and has racked up uncountable hours of experience—all of which he freely shares as lectures uploaded to YouTube. Even if you have no intention of writing fantasy or science fiction, you should watch this lecture series. There’s a ton you can learn and apply no matter what kind of creative writing you want to do.
12. Learn Origami: EZ Origami
For a hobby that demands very little creativity or commitment, you can’t beat origami. There are numerous tutorial channels on YouTube and tutorial resources on the web, so you won’t ever run out of stuff to make—and they tell you how to make it, so you only need to follow instructions. And yet, it’s still satisfying!
13. Learn Photography: Mike Browne
Anyone can point and shoot a camera. But what if you want to snap good photos? Or better yet, what if you want to snap great photos? There’s actually a lot to learn when it comes to photography, and it’s a wonderful hobby to pick up because it sharpens your eye and develops a greater appreciation for the world around you. Mike Browne can take complex photographic concepts and break them down into easy-to-digest nuggets, which is why he’s the first YouTube channel I recommend to beginners.
14. Learn Woodcarving: Gene Messer
Want to learn how to whittle and carve wood? What if you could learn from someone who’s frequently referred to as the “Bob Ross of woodcarving”? Gene Messer may not have the same fast-paced editing that’s standard for modern YouTube videos, but that’s why his videos are great for learning. You can hear his thought process behind every cut and why he carves the way he does, which is invaluable for a learner.
15. Learn Yoga: Yoga With Kassandra
My favorite YouTube channel for yoga is Yoga With Kassandra. She’s engaging and instructive without pushing the spiritual angle that many YouTube channels adhere to. More importantly, she puts out a wide range of yoga videos for all types: short routines, long routines, yoga for pain, yoga for sleep, yoga for energy, etc. Highly recommended for newbies!