How to Be a Happy Homebody

Make your own fun.

Collage by Emma D.

There are nights when I don’t feel like going to a Superchunk show or hanging out at the local coffee shop with my friends. I just want to stay in and read a book by the fireplace with my pug, Nigel. Doesn’t that sound nice? It certainly sounds nice to me, because I am a 90-year-old woman. Just kidding. I’m an über-cool teenager—you know that. For some reason, people love to make homebodies feel bad for choosing to stay home all the time. I’ve had friends who have tried to make me feel lame for not going out more and “living life,” whatever that means. They would label me a big fat ol’ loser just because I loved hanging out at home! On one hand, I think: I’m 17. I should be partying nonstop! On the other, if being home makes me happy, then I should stay home. And on my mutant third hand, I think, Does this make me lame? No! And anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know how much fun being a homebody can be, apparently. It’s not lame if you want to stay home. In fact, staying home can be super fun! Behold my top eight suggestions for an awesome night indoors:

1. Watch movies forever and ever and ever…
…or at least for a couple of hours. Sometimes I’ll pick an interesting director whose films I’ve never seen before, like Gregg Araki or Hal Hartley, and watch one film every night until I’ve seen their entire body of work. I love inviting friends over for Chinese food and a Disney movie marathon or ’80s movie marathon or, really, any movie marathon.

2. Make art.
I like to create, and I don’t mean in the sense of making a scene in a restaurant. I labor over paper chains and miniature Japanese fish kites. One time I had some plastic animals lying around from Walgreens so I glued bar pins to the back of them and, voilá, they were wearable. (My advice? Always have bar pins.) I really want to try my hand at these sick-looking mini piñatas as well. Hell, you can make a flower crown or just give yourself an artful Sharpie tattoo.

3. Read super-smart literature and stuff.
It is getting increasingly hard for me to find time to relax and read. Being home means an opportunity to fill my brain with the written word. Books, zines, you name it. I can get completely lost in a good story—so lost that three hours pass and I’ve finished the sucker. The last kickass collection I read was The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender. It was trippy and lovely and otherworldly. Add it to your wishlist!

4. Cast spells on boys.
Draw a pentagram on the floor and put four candles at different points on the edge of the circle. These represent the four elements. Make sure you have some sort of offering (roses? red wine?) to a higher power and place this in the center of the star. Chant the name of the boy you hope will fall in love with you 666 times. Warning: this is probably an activity best saved for when you’re home alone. That way, if any demons enter the house, they’ll only harm you, and not your family. Or maybe don’t listen to me because I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.

5. Watch TV.
I will climb into bed with an entire Amy’s pizza to watch a series—and eat the pizza, in its entirety. This is a little dangerous because, whether it’s a mockumentary comedy like Summer Heights High or a freaky thriller like Twin Peaks, getting addicted to a good show will make you never want to leave the house until it’s over. Do you watch Mad Men? You don’t? Then why are you reading this? Get thee onto Netflix and glue your eyes to the computer screen.

6. Dress up.
You don’t need to go out to dress up. I like to go through my closet and put outfits together that I haven’t tried on before. I cut shirts, I shorten skirts, I stick safety pins in anything. Also, I recommend getting freaky with your makeup. If you’re not going out for the rest of the evening, feel free to attempt the Bowie face.

7. Play board games.
Okay, I might sound like a total square, but games can get pretty intense. Especially Pictionary. It’s like, “Whoa, I’m sorry I didn’t know this eyeball with three dots in the center means hysterical blindness. Yeesh!” Anything can happen when you play Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble, too. Maybe you will get SO into the game that you flip the board over. Maybe you’ll throw it at someone! But, hey, you won’t be bored. Ha ha, get it?

8. Girl talk.
I could talk to my friends for hours and hours about school, boys, Congressional earmarks—ya know, girl stuff! But seriously, one minute it’s 6 PM and then, suddenly, it’s two in the morning and all of the takeout is gone and one of your friends just had an emotional breakthrough. Your besties can be all you need to have a good time.

So the next time someone asks you what you’re doing on Friday night, you know what to say: I’m drawing a Bowie lightning bolt on my visage, eating a four-cheese pizza, and watching The Doom Generation. Doesn’t that sound like the best night ever? ♦


  • PaolaB December 5th, 2011 7:13 PM

    I love this! I always felt lame for not going out on the weekends, but this is great! Now I know that when I sit home and watch uptown girls and paint my nails on a Saturday night, I’m normal.

  • Marguerite December 5th, 2011 7:13 PM

    haha – you know what really fun? – sitting in a built-in-closet, gossiping/secret sharing, eating popcorn out of the bag and throwing popcorn at your besties! – thats what!

    When you said you were a 90 year old woman, I thought you actually were, and i was like “WHY IS A 90 YEAR OLD WOMAN READING ROOKIE! SHE HAS WAY BETTER OLD PEOPLE STUFF TO BE DOING!” – but then i realized you weren’t …

    Oh and i LOVE amy’s pizza!

  • Naomi Morris December 5th, 2011 7:14 PM

    summer heights high love!!!!!!

  • Chimdi December 5th, 2011 7:17 PM

    1. Ummm I LOVE staying home! You do not need to convince me to do otherwise!

    2. Mad Men is soooo greeeeattttttttttt

  • tobiasfunkette December 5th, 2011 7:23 PM

    some people might cast spells on girls, too. or people who don’t identify as either.

    • Hazel December 5th, 2011 8:25 PM

      That’s true! I guess it’s just because MY personal preferred victims are cute boys. ;)

      • tobiasfunkette December 5th, 2011 9:24 PM

        that wasn’t to say i didn’t love this article! totally up my homebody alley

  • Bren December 5th, 2011 7:24 PM

    I LOVE staying at home. Sometimes I’ll get really frustrated, because I’ll have too many nights out and then I have another one coming on and all I can think is “Come on! We JUST went out! Can’t I have a night to myself while watching Doctor Who for hours on end with a gigantic bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?!” And then I’ll cry. I mean I cry a lot, but sometimes I just need to be left alone to enjoy my own company. Because my internal monologues are super funny.

  • sunny-side-down December 5th, 2011 7:25 PM

    This totally makes me look forward to winter break :D

  • maggiemadge December 5th, 2011 7:41 PM

    I could watch Mad Men for hours upon hours. In fact, that gave me an idea to have a marathon with my boyfriend. I love being a homebody with him and snuggling together under a blanket with his dog curled up at our feet. It’s so lovely…

  • Jamie December 5th, 2011 7:42 PM

    congressional earmarks

    i died

  • erin December 5th, 2011 7:45 PM

    I love this post! I stay home all the time. I like to hole up in my room, turn on some music, and think of a craft to do that involves glitter. Most of the time I don’t succeed in thinking of a craft, but I still find a way to have fun with glitter…

  • FashionHauties December 5th, 2011 7:45 PM

    Agreed about the 2am thing! Happens to me daily.

  • Jem December 5th, 2011 7:57 PM

    This is the most accurate description of my life i’ve ever read…no shame in enjoying your own company and not feeling like going out and listening to the bloody beetroots as drunk guys try to ply you with shots. (not that embracing your ~teen lyfe~ isn’t fun sometime) In fact, i stayed in yesterday making mince pies and listening to the rookie christmas mix :) and watching the x-files, because no day is complete without the x-files.

  • Gabby December 5th, 2011 8:13 PM


  • Cirrelda Bee December 5th, 2011 8:31 PM

    This is exactly my life!! I love winter break specifically because I can focus all my energy on these sorts of things! Friends and boys are okay, but glue guns and pizza bagels are my true loves!1

  • lynellmarie December 5th, 2011 8:33 PM

    I actually went to a couple of clubs every once in a while and actually tried to get a life once = horrible. I honestly didn’t have a good time. And, the only complaints as for why I don’t go outside and get a life are from my ‘rents, so I think I’m doing good. I love being a homebody.

  • emilyelizabeth December 5th, 2011 9:14 PM

    i used to be a homebody a lot, but now that i’m away at college i go out a lot more. i’m so excited for winter break so i can return to my homebody ways!!!

  • AndieP December 5th, 2011 9:16 PM

    I agree. So much to do at home! I am a serious homebody and majority of the time, I love it. The rest of the time? I go out and just hang out at the mall and oogle stuff I can never buy. This article makes me happy. Oh, and lots of Martha Stewart crafting/baking/magic. Lootsssss of Martha Stewart.

  • youarebananas December 5th, 2011 9:58 PM

    wtf hazel let’s be bffs. srsly though i posted this on my friends’ facebooks whilst reading because it is SO TRUE TO LIFE. my last few friday/saturday nights (and, i admit, a few weeknights) have been me, in my bed, with tea and netflix instant, because i am a senior and need to relax, duh. anyway this article made me feel less marginalized/like a senile loser. muchas gracias.

  • unicorn December 5th, 2011 10:11 PM

    i cant tell whether this article reminds me more about the time me and my friend had a three hour discussion that started with discussing lollipop flavors and ended with talking about time travel, or the time me and my friend tried to get this one guy to fall in love with her by lighting candles and chanting things over his yearbook picture.

  • C.M. December 5th, 2011 10:32 PM

    Nowhere is my favourite Araki film!!!

  • sedgwick December 5th, 2011 10:56 PM

    i can truthfully claim to have gone to school with real life versions summer heights high characters. yay australian school stereotypes! and i am a total homebody – nice post!

  • Narnie December 5th, 2011 11:22 PM

    This is actually my life. My two friends and I have decided to spend a good chunk of our holidays being hermits and making forts out of sheets with fairy lights to decorate. Now we have a lovely list of things to do in our fort! One of my friends is named Hazel. Just sayin’.
    And author Hazel, you can come too. Let’s all be best friends and not go out like proper 17 year olds should.

  • carla December 5th, 2011 11:40 PM

    thank god! i kind of needed to know that are other people like me who just want to be home ❤_❤ love it!!! i don’t feel lame anymore… yay!

  • saranev December 5th, 2011 11:57 PM


    Hope that didn’t sound as creepy as it did in my head.

  • Jackson December 6th, 2011 12:01 AM

    You basically described 90% of my weekends; being at home rules.

  • sequoia December 6th, 2011 12:11 AM

    Hazel, I wish we were best friends…

  • momfarts December 6th, 2011 12:26 AM

    oh my god, “And on my mutant third hand”! I’m dying! (In a form of laughter!)

  • tcheriset December 6th, 2011 12:39 AM

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with being a homebody. Sometimes one just needs to take some time and laze around at home all by herself, sobbing over the turbulent love affair of a fictional couple on TV or treating herself to a head-to-toe self-pampering session. Who said that every teenager/young adult needs to book their evenings for an exciting night out (whether it’s anything from window-shopping to bar-hopping)? I mean, sure, it can be fun sometimes, but everything in moderation, I guess (:

  • KayKay December 6th, 2011 2:05 AM

    I also love to stay at home and doing cozy, lazy, home things. But when I say this, all my friends look at me like I’m crazy.
    They told me the same thing, that I should go out more and meet people and “live life”. Technically, living life means that you are alive and I’m alive at home, so I am “living life” (LOOPHOLE!)

  • PussyGalore December 6th, 2011 2:23 AM

    I misread the title and read this article expecting to learn how to be a homeboy. Happy accident.

  • Christina December 6th, 2011 2:38 AM

    totally have to try to paint bowie’s lightning bolt on me, too much fun!

  • December 6th, 2011 3:50 AM

    Yes, Summer Heights High! Mr G. is a theatrical genius :-))

  • Spence December 6th, 2011 5:20 AM

    OMG I LOVE MAD MEN! I can’t wait untill the next freakin’ season! AH!

    Also the Bowie-face and dressing up in insane outfits or nice is a great idea! I love finding junk in my, or my parents, closet that I would never wear in public! Those outfits make you feel at home y’know? Like costume-y-ish?!

    Oh yeah, homebody-ing it is great! :)

  • samhatt December 6th, 2011 7:30 AM

    love this!! hehe this is how i’m going to spend the winter holidays : )

  • forgottmyself December 6th, 2011 12:02 PM

    lovely article! and i love how the writing on that page in the background of the collage is Polish. i’m an American living in Poland, and it really surprised me to see something like that.. :)

  • Nishat December 6th, 2011 12:53 PM

    Hazel! I love, love, love being a homebody! Your joke about being 90 is how I feel a lot of the time while my other friends are drenched in second hand smoke at clubs and bars, but I’m totally okay and very comfortable in my bed. Tumblr kind of takes up my days, as does browsing the interwebz. All the things you like to do fit me to a T, especially the getting artsy part and watching movies. Laptops are a wonderful creation. You can do MORE nothings in bed!

    • Fortune_Goddess December 6th, 2011 4:50 PM

      Yesterday, my friend and I skyped from under our covers. We were both pretending it was nighttime and drinking cocoa and eating cookies! :-D

  • Laia December 6th, 2011 1:09 PM

    homebodies unite!

  • fizzingwhizbees December 6th, 2011 1:49 PM

    this article pretty much sums up my plans for my month-long winter break…and i’m excited!

  • Fortune_Goddess December 6th, 2011 4:49 PM

    This is totes cute!

  • lucylu December 7th, 2011 3:52 AM

    this is great! and i love love love love LOVE summer heights high!

  • ShockHorror December 7th, 2011 2:41 PM

    This is great!

    I get way too competitive and excited with that game… :L

    I have a book on spells, tip for the love spell – the more gerneral the spell the better – don’t pick a partiucular person, just a type of person (:

    Apparently ;D

  • rachel December 8th, 2011 9:51 PM

    Dude, as I get older I love staying home more and more. Crafts, snacks and netflix. Those wild teen nights really took it outta me I guess.

  • Gina December 12th, 2011 7:12 AM

    this is right up my alley :P
    I spend my weekends & vacations watching 4 movies a day, playing the sims 2 for hours, writing, reading and watching entire seasons of tv shows.

    The downside though is that people start thinking I don’t like them or don’t want to go out at all after a while so when I do get sick of staying at home all the time I have no one to go out with, which sucks :\

  • thewordlover December 14th, 2011 12:58 PM

    Love this article! Great ideas, and yes, being home alone is one of my favorite things. True facts.

  • RamonaMonkey May 8th, 2013 3:50 AM

    I usually stay at home and my best friend likes to as well. It’s weird but we hardly ever go out anywhere, we usually just lie on one of our beds or go to the park near by and talk.