18 Self-care ideas for when you’re broke

18 free self-care ideas

Hello, my dear. I have a super chill post for you today that I know you will love. It’s time to sit back and relax. Who doesn’t love treating themselves? But you know what makes it even better, doing it for free? Find 18 self-care ideas for when you’re broke within the next few minutes.

Treating yourself doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars. You can do all of these self-care activities for free and they are just as beneficial.

Some days I just need a refresh, and to do so, I do some of these relaxing activities. If you are looking for a way to have a relaxing and calm day, then continue reading and check out these 18 self-care ideas for when you’re broke.

*DISCLAIMER: This post may or may not contain affiliate links. An affiliate link allows me to make a small profit at no extra cost to you. Find more information in the disclaimer.

18 self-care ideas that don't cost a penny

1. Read a library book 

Use your library card and go to a library or use the Libby app. Since most libraries aren’t open, this would probably be the best option.

Libby is a free library app with a bunch of audiobooks and ebooks you can download to your phone or Kindle. I feel like I talk about this app all the time, but it really isn’t getting the hype it deserves.

It makes reading 10x easier and convenient. It is also free so you don’t have to worry about buying a book and spending money.

2. Clean your room

Cleaning helps to clear your mind. It is also a good way to reflect and be productive while doing so.

Just set a 10-minute timer and clean as much as you can in this short period of time. 10-minutes might seem like too short of a time to get anything done, but you’ll be shocked when you see everything you can put away.

3. Create a “Daily Gratitude” list

Creating a gratitude list is so underrated. I noticed that whenever I make one consistently, my mental health is much better.

A “Daily Gratitude” list is just something you make to list a bunch of things you are thankful for from your day. It really helps to humble yourself and appreciate what you already have.

This thankfulness list will also put you in a better mood and make you look for more positive moments throughout your day.

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4. Declutter your closet

Just like cleaning your room, decluttering your closet is a great time to reflect while getting stuff done.

When cleaning out your closet, you can either donate or sell your unwanted items. This will, in turn, create money, so pretty much this is a money-making self-care idea. 

To learn more about how to make the most out of cleaning your closet, make sure to check out this post.

Related: 8 Foolproof Steps to Being More Productive and Motivated While Cleaning Your Closet

5. Go for a walk

Walking around your neighborhood, at a park, or downtown is a great way to explore new areas of your city and get in exercise. Going for a walk is the easiest thing you can do to get in some daily exercise and have time to reflect on your day.

My favorite times to go on walks are early in the morning or late in the evening. If you live somewhere where you can see the sunrise or sunset, then you should make it your goal this week to go for a walk around these times.

6. Catch up with a friend

It is easy to lose contact with a friend, so go through your contact list and text, call, or FaceTime someone you have been meaning to talk to. This will brighten their day and yours.

Catching up with a friend is beneficial to you and your friend, so don’t be afraid to reach out whenever you have extra time on your hands.

7. Make a feel-good playlist

If you have extra time today, then make a feel-good playlist. This playlist should include your favorite songs.

They can be anywhere from 2012 pop hits, lo-fi beats, current rap, or your favorite country songs. Just make sure whatever songs you put in this playlist are songs that are guaranteed to boost your mood.

For me, these are mostly throwback songs, but for my sister it is rap. Comment below what your feel-good playlist time is or would be! 

8. Meditate

Meditation is so interesting to me, but I struggle to be consistent with it. My thoughts are always distracting me and bumping me off course, but I would love to try meditation again.

I have found the best time to meditate is right when you wake up or before you go to bed. You can even use an app such as “Sleep” or “Calm” to listen to relaxing noises or guided meditations.

9. Follow an at-home workout video

Getting in some daily exercise is guaranteed to boost your mood and productivity. My favorite at-home workouts are the 10-15 dance party videos from MadFit

These always put me in a good mood and get me active without feeling like I’m doing too much. If I want something more mellow, then I will follow a yoga video from Yoga With Adrienne.

18 inexpensive self-care ideas for broke college kids

10. Listen to a podcast

I’m obsessed with podcasts. They are so interesting and it is so fun to listen to while you’re busy doing other tasks. I like to listen to podcasts when I’m cleaning and it makes the time pass much quicker.

My current favorite podcasts are “Intentional with Sedona Christina” and “Call Me Candid”. Both of these are pretty chatty, but “Intentional with Sedona Christina” has super interesting environmental interviews.

It is super easy to listen to podcasts on your iPhone, you don’t even have to download an app. The podcast app is automatically downloaded onto your phone and you can start listening without an account.

11. 24-hour social media cleanse

Taking time away from social media will help you realize how attached you actually are. Try deleting these apps for 24-hours and see how you do. I tried this last spring for a week, and if I’m being honest… I struggled.

A little over a year later (aka right now), I can easily go a day without social media and that is growth I’m proud of.

Social media can fill our minds with nonsense and junk that we don’t need to be thinking about. By spending time away from social media, you will have more time to reflect and focus on the present.

12. Drink a bunch of water

Water is literally the only thing I ever drink. I’m obsessed with it. As always, I suggest drinking out of a reusable bottle such as a Hydro Flask.

Water solves so many problems. It helps with sickness, headaches, acne, and your mood. Pretty much the more water, the better you’ll feel.

It is helpful if you put your water bottle in a convenient place, so it’ll always be easy to grab.

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13. Go to bed early

Going to sleep on the earlier side is so refreshing. It helps prepare you for the day ahead and will allow your body to catch on the sleep it might have been missing.  Sleep is a necessity for your mental health and well being, you shouldn’t neglect it.

Related: My REAL Summer Nighttime Routine (2020)

14. Journal

Journaling is such a great form of self-care. It is inexpensive too. All you need is a pen and paper or just the notes section of your phone or laptop.

Journaling helps you work through your day and reflect on what happened. I noticed that when I am more consistent with my journaling that my mental health is better. It also makes me feel less anxious and helps me fall asleep faster when I do it before bed.

15. Watch a happy movie

Find a movie on your TV or streaming provider such as Netflix, AmazonPrime, or Hulu. To get into a good mood, I like to watch easy to consume movies such as chick flicks or old Disney movies.

My go-to movie for whenever I need a pick me up is High School Musical 2. It honestly is just so good and one of my favorites.

When watching your movie of choice, you should make your favorite snacks and get into comfy clothes. Don’t forget your cozy blanket!

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16.Drink a warm drink

Hot drinks such as tea make me feel so relaxed. If you don’t like tea, then you could drink coffee or warm water.

My favorite type of tea for relaxing is peppermint or chamomile tea. I feel so safe and cozy when holding a mug of hot tea.

17. Wash your hair

Since I have wavy hair and am lazy (mostly because I’m lazy), I don’t wash my hair often. So, washing my hair is a treat.

It is so relaxing and makes me feel very fresh. Whenever my day hasn’t gone so well, I will wash my hair and feel 10x better.

Don’t neglect the importance your cleanliness has on your mood or actions

18. Play board/card games with your family

This isn’t something you do by yourself but is still a form of self-care. Board games are a great way to bond with your family and to bring everyone together.

They also prevent y’all from ignoring each other and wasting time on your phones all evening. My family’s favorite games to play are Uno, BS (bull sh*t), Clue, Card Against Humanity, or the Game of Life.

18 Free Self-care activities

18 Self-care ideas for when you’re broke:

  1. Read a library book
  2. Clean your room
  3. Create a “Daily Gratitude” list
  4. Clean out your closet
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Catch up with a friend
  7. Make a feel-good playlist
  8. Meditate
  9. Follow an at-home workout video
  10. Listen to a podcast
  11. 24-hour social media cleanse
  12. Drink a bunch of water
  13. Go to bed early
  14. Journal
  15. Watch a happy movie
  16. Drink a warm drink
  17. Wash your hair
  18. Play board/card games with your family

📌Sharing is caring

What’s your favorite self-care activity? Would you rather practice self-care inside or outside?

What would you like to see more of? Make sure to join my email list if you want to receive emails every Sunday with tips, advice, freebies, or bonus content you won’t find anywhere else. If you are new to this blog and have any questions, then make sure to learn more about me or contact me! Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest if you haven’t already and check out the related posts below. Bye girl!

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