New habits, new neural pathways

New habits, new neural pathways – 8 hobbies great for your brain health


Research from Harvard Medical School and neurologists tell us that learning a new skill has a variety of effects on the physical structures of the brain itself. 
New information introduced to our mind connects new neural pathways, which makes our thinking more agile and more efficient and crucially, maintains good brain health.
It also makes our brain matter denser, speeding up our thinking even more and this has even been shown to help the elderly avoid the effects of dementia and slow our cognitive ageing. 


With this in mind, here are some new skills you can learn from the comfort of your home.


Join an Online Choir Music charity Nordoff Robbins invites you to sing together from the comfort of your own home using video platform Zoom. Find out more here.


Learn a new language Whether it’s just a few conversational basics or if you want to learn in-depth, apps like Babbel and Duo Lingo mean you can learn some new lingo. You could try Polish to Danish, Norwegian to Turkish and a few more besides.


Cook up a storm Google celebrity chefs on You Tube or look up your favourite chef on Instagram or Facebook and you’ll find chefs sharing their best how-to recipes for simple suppers or midweek meals. One of our favourites is Tom Kerridge on Facebook.


Embrace Mindfulness The Headspace or Calm apps on Google play come highly recommended. This online course from Be Mindful is also excellent. 


Learn Flamenco If dancing floats your boat and you’d like to learn, this website has lots of videos, tips and blog and lessons online.


Learn CalligraphyExplore your creativity and learn a new art form. Skillshare has lots of courses on creativity.


Make a Macaron or two There are lots of online forums dedicated to these French custardy little cakes. Apparently they’re quick tricky to make though this website makes it look quite easy!

Get into Quilting If you’ve ever fancied learning how to do this, you can do it on this website which is dedicated to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.

Keep Well

Dr Clara Russell