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In an era where the 9-to-5 is more like a 9-to-9 and everyone seems to have a day job and a side job or two, it’s sort of an incredible feat when you hear about women who manage to make time for hobbies, too.

That, at least, is a common topic of conversation around our offices at Career Contessa, especially after we all inhaled The Cut’s Get a Hobby Week earlier this year. Because it turns out (this newsflash also courtesy of The Cut), having a hobby that’s not related to work makes you happier. So, having a hobby? Work-life balance goals.

In any case, in the interest of celebrating the leading women in our lives who also make time for a little fun, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites below.

photo via instyle

Oprah Winfrey throws fundraisers.

While she may not be running for president, Oprah Winfrey does get more than a little political in her free time. She’s known for throwing fundraisers for candidates from Obama to congressional candidates to a 21-year old Stanford grad who ran for city council in Stockton, California in 2012.

image via pinterest

Rosario Dawson creates comic books. 

The self-proclaimed Star Trek obsessive loves attending Comic-Con conventions, but here’s a cool fact: she co-created a limited run comic book series called Occult Crimes Taskforce about a team investigating crimes in New York.

image via career contessa

Hillary Kerr is a foodie. 

She may be best known for her fashion empire, but turns out Kerr is a huge fan of the exploding LA food scene and was more than happy to take New York Magazine along on a week-long pilgrimage to her favorite Mexican places. Can food be a hobby? We say absolutely.

image via kreyolicious

Roxane Gay plays competitive Scrabble.

In fact, one of her essays in Bad Feminist centers on her passion for those wood-letter words. But really, it’s the 2014 interview she did with Mother Jones that caught our eye, in which she said one of her best words played was “gestate.”

image via beauty editor

Mary-Kate Olsen competes in equestrian tournaments.

Proof positive that #HorseGirlsRule. Olsen has been competing in show jumping since 2013 at the Hampton Classic. As in getting on a horse and jumping over things. NBD.

image via the talks

Susan Sarandon ping-pongs.

A long-time player, Sarandon even opened a ping-pong centric bar at The Standard in Los Angeles. I’ve been, by the way, and am happy to confirm it’s great.

image via understood

Lisa  Ling is a long-distance runner.

The award-winning journalist who’s worked for The View, National Geographic, and CNN, makes time for runs even when traveling the world. In an interview, FabFitFun asked: Where is the most unique place you’ve gone running?
Says Ling: “Well, that’s really Afghanistan. But the funniest experience, now in hindsight, is that I was staying in Iran and you obviously have to cover up when you’re there. I was so anxious to jog, so I would jog up like 30 flights of the stairs of the hotel. When I got to the top, I’d put on my long coat and head scarf and ride the elevator down, go back into the stairwell, take it all off, and start again. I just couldn’t run in the long coat.”

image via allure

Laila Ali writes cookbooks.

The undefeated boxer has become increasingly outspoken about healthy eating in the last few years, especially given the often questionable diets of professional boxers. This year, she released a cookbook called Food For Life, complete with recipes she cooks for her family at home.

image via the caret

Ann Friedman hard boils eggs.

Given that Friedman, the writer and a co-host of Call Your Girlfriend, wrote a touché piece on why not every hobby needs to become side hustle, we’ve got to give her some kudos for her own hobby: apparently, she’s got a passion for making “over-the-top” deviled eggs, which she happily brings to parties but absolutely refuses to market/sell/brand ever.

image via vogue

Serena Williams serves on a board.

When she’s not serving on the court, you know? (Couldn’t help myself.) In May of 2017, Williams joined the board of startup SurveyMonkey. Fun fact: turns out Sheryl Sandberg orchestrated the introduction.

  1. 1
    janetfazio | May 24, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I love that these celebs have (mostly) regular hobbies. I love having people over for Sunday dinner. Allows me to cook, which I find soothing, without all the leftovers.

  2. 2
    Eva | May 24, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Such a cool article!! Really unexpected hobbies! 🙂

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  3. 3
    Christine Do | May 26, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    great peek into the live of celebrities, who we usually think are too busy or too cool to partake in normal hobbies.

  4. 4
    Susanne Scharl | May 28, 2018 at 11:31 am

    I always thought that the Olsen twins are so busy with their careers (acting, fashion,…) so I am wondering how Mary-Kate is managing all this and making competitions in equestrian tournaments, too.
    Susanne from Ohrring Paradies

  5. 5
    thestyletune | May 31, 2018 at 4:17 am

    those are all inspiring women, i must say i am going to make time for that hobby!

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