Can Healthy Alternatives Replace Gambling?

June 13, 2024 Kevin Anyango

There are healthy alternatives to gambling, but building healthy habits as a recovering gambling addict is not easy. One day, you feel like it's all behind you, and the next, you are fighting the urge not to place that bet. This was me a couple of years back. Weeks and even months of abstinence would crumble at the allure of the casino until I realized that recovering from gambling addiction requires more than just abstaining from placing bets. Recovery also involves finding healthy alternatives to gambling, supporting your current lifestyle.

Reasons to Embrace Healthy Alternatives to Gambling

Gambling had become my default activity. I'd convinced myself that the thrill it offered couldn't be replicated elsewhere. This meant boredom inevitably led to a battle between returning to the casino and doing nothing. But I've found that engaging in healthy alternatives to gambling can help.

These healthy alternatives to gambling can provide:

  • Distraction from gambling urges -- Engaging in new activities provides a healthy distraction from the desire to gamble.
  • Stress relief and relaxation -- Activities like yoga or painting can help manage stress and anxiety.
  • Confidence -- Mastering a new skill or completing a project brings a sense of satisfaction, which boosts your self-esteem.
  • Social connection -- Joining a club or participating in group activities allows you to build social connections.
  • The opportunity to discover new passions -- Trying new activities may spark a passion you never knew existed.

Healthy Alternative to Gambling

Here are some ideas for healthy alternatives to gambling:

  • Outdoor activities -- Hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and birdwatching get me moving and offer a refreshing escape from the stresses of gambling.
  • Physical exercises -- Getting active has been vital in managing cravings and improving my overall wellbeing. Whether hitting the gym or running, regular exercise has helped keep me grounded and even improved my mental and physical health.
  • Creative pursuits -- Creative pursuits can be enriching. I recommend trying new activities like painting, photography, writing, or even music, especially if you like being creative.
  • Social activities -- Spending time with friends has helped me feel connected and supported. I hang out with my friends occasionally, play games, or even go on lunch and dinner dates, which I have found helpful in my recovery journey.
  • Volunteering -- Find a cause that resonates with you and contribute your time and skills.
  • Gardening -- Gardening is a great hobby for those who love connecting with nature. Whether indoors or outdoors, tending to plants has a calming effect and offers a sense of accomplishment.

Recovering from gambling addiction is a journey often of self-discovery and growth. By embracing new hobbies and activities that align with your interests and values, you can fill the void left by gambling with healthy alternatives and create a fulfilling, balanced lifestyle. 

APA Reference
Anyango, K. (2024, June 13). Can Healthy Alternatives Replace Gambling?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Kevin Anyango

Kevin Anyango likes to say, "I am still me, no matter my mental health." Find Kevin on Twitter

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