Special to Palmetto Counseling’s Blog | March 2, 2018 11:50 AM EDT
This issue features an article by Kim Thomas

Reap the rewards of your passions and boost your self-esteem in the process.

Hobbies are a necessary part of life. They give us an outlet to release negative energy and help us tap into our creative side. Plus, our hobbies let us do something we’re truly good at without the pressures of doing it someone else’s way. Having a hobby is also a great way to boost your career or help launch you into a new one.

If you’re struggling with depression, addiction recovery, or other mental health concerns, turning your hobby into a paycheck may be a part of a healthy treatment plan. Here are a few ideas on how to transform something you do for fun into a positive means of support for yourself and your family.


People stare in awe as others with even the slightest bit of artistic talent doodle and sketch. They also tend to spend money to decorate their homes with unique one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork. Drawing and painting is a great hobby and, in fact, art therapy has been used in mental health treatment for decades. Even outside of professional applications, doing art is relaxing. Depending on your style, you could create custom artwork for homes or businesses. Comic book art has regained popularity since the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so that might be a good place to start, especially with new superhero movies being released at a rate of two or three each year. A quick search of Etsy reveals dozens of pages of original art selling for up to $4,000 (or more).

Dog walking

If you love dogs, you can turn that passion into profit by opening your own dog walking or dog boarding service. You probably won’t strike it rich frolicking with Fido, but you will benefit in numerous other ways. Science suggests that spending time with dogs actually increases your overall mood and will encourage you to exercise. And a little fresh air never hurt anyone. You can expect to earn between $25 and $50 per night cuddling and caring for other people’s canine companions.


Inc. rightly asserts that people will always need food. And no food is more iconic than cake. While anyone can throw together a boxed cake mix, it takes a special talent to design a custom confection for a special event, such as a birthday, retirement party, or wedding. The average wedding cake cost more than $450 and many parents have no problem dropping $150 or more on their child’s birthday cake. If you have kitchen skills, you can make a respectable living helping other people celebrate their milestones.


A wedding photographer can make thousands of dollars over the course of a single weekend. It’s hard work and requires the proper equipment, but photography is a popular pastime that can help you earn a serious income while practicing your art and celebrating life’s most cherished moments. If you understand lighting, composition, and the inner workings of a DSLR camera, you are miles ahead of the general population. Once you are done photographing the events, you get to take your images home and refine them according to your own vision through software such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

You don’t have to be an expert to share your talents with the world. Often, your skills are just what someone else needs to finalize a birthday party, wedding, or simply focus their attention on their own job or hobbies. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, you might be amazed at how much you can earn – and how much better you feel — by doing something you enjoy.

About the author

Kim Thomas’ mission is aligned with that of US Health Corps, and that is to triumph over chronic disease. Her mission is to advocate for those suffering from chronic disease and enjoys writing about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have an article on mental health, addiction, substance abuse, mental health advocacy or other important topic you would like to submit?

Let us know if you would like to be featured as a Special Guest Contributor to PCC’s Blog by contacting us at [email protected]