10 Simple Ways to Feel Alive

What do rock concerts, having sex and exercise all have in common?

I thought about that this weekend after seeing the Melvins play live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. I’ve never really been into the Melvins, but my sister’s boyfriend is a big fan. Three out of four of us went to the show not really knowing what we were going to see.

Even after seeing them live, I still wouldn’t consider myself a fan. “Sludge metal” just isn’t my genre I guess (and my wife likes the hard stuff even less). But still, all four of us had a fantastic time. Why is that?

Rock concerts are just one of those things that make you feel alive. I’m usually left wondering why I don’t attend them more often. There’s something invigorating about feeling a crowd of people enchanted by live music, no matter the genre.

That’s what rock concerts have in common with having sex and getting exercise. They make us feel alive, and often make us wonder why we don’t do them more frequently.

Those three things aren’t the only simple and inexpensive ways to feel alive, either. You’ll find 10 of my favorite things you can do to feel a rush of life without spending a lot of time or money below. It’s the simple things in life, you know?

What would be on your list?

  1. Get close to nature Hiking, camping and anything else that gets you out of the concrete jungle for a while is a fantastic way to clear your head and remember you’re part of a living planet. For bonus points, go backpacking and spend the night without any electricity or modern conveniences.
  2. Start a workout routine It doesn't take long to start to feel the high from a regular workout routine. It doesn't have to be anything specific (jogging, weights, spin, yoga or Orange Theory are all good candidates), just work out regularly.
  3. Get it on Make love, have sex, do it, whatever you want to call it. What makes us feel more alive than the act that creates life itself?
  4. Spend a day at the beach The sun, the surf, the sand and the sound of waves crashing always stimulate my senses and get the blood flowing. Better yet, play some volleyball or frisbee, go for a jog or do some surfing while you're there.
  5. Get jiggy with it OK, dancing may not be for everyone (I have a couple of friends who would rather take a poke in the eye from a hot stick), but if you're inclined to dance it's a great way to feel good.
  6. Travel somewhere new and “dangerous” It doesn't really have to be dangerous, but traveling somewhere out of your comfort zone will definitely make you feel alive.
  7. Go skiing or snowboarding The cold elements, reflected sunshine and speed all add up to a pulse-quickening afternoon on the mountain. A burger and brew never tasted better than after a day of skiing or snowboarding.
  8. Attend a rock concert Like I said in the opening, a mass of people and loud music have a way of inspiring you.
  9. Go for a swim Preferably in the ocean. There's something about giving in to the sheer power of water that puts everything in perspective.
  10. Play an organized sport Basketball, soccer, softball, whatever the sport, doing something organized with a team is a life-affirming experience.

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Hi, I’m Corbett Barr. I’ve been writing here since 2009. Join my email list for new articles about supporting yourself doing something you love: