Broke & bored? 7 free ways to wake up your mind

Take a walk

Wrap up and get out there. Aim to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes. That alone will banish a few cobwebs, but you can also walk and talk with someone else (see my earlier blog post on walking meetings). And of course, you can walk somewhere interesting: an historic part of town, by a river / canal / the sea, or where there’s some stunning architecture. Or you can try The Alternative London Walking Tour.

Escape into music

Take a lunch break and hear wonderful classical music, such as St Martin-in-the-fields or St James Piccadilly. Or try Trinity Laban Conservatoire of music and dance for a range of music and dance.

Host a film night

No, not the first of seven films in the latest blockbuster franchise. Try something more thought-provoking. It could be an art house film, a foreign language, one from the archives, or a history film. If you’re feeling cerebral, you can discuss it afterwards. Or you can ask everyone to dress up to match the film’s theme. Or both.

Be awed by art

Open your mind up with some great art. For example, the Serpentine Gallery is currently hosting Jake & Dinos Chapman. There are the Tate galleries, the National Gallery or the Saatchi Gallery. The ICA is currently hosting an exhibition about Ibiza.

Start a book club

OK, you need books to be able to do this – but between a group of friends you may already have them. If not, there’s always the library, charity book shops or second-hand bookshops.

Muse in a museum

The UK is blessed with heaps of free museums. Just a few in London: The British Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, The V&A Museum of Childhood.

Listen to experts

Chances are there’s a free talk going on near you tonight. Feed your brain by going to a talk on a topic you know nothing about. In the City of London, Gresham College has provided free talks for over 400 years. Now that’s a track record. Many art galleries offer free talks. The London School of Economics & Political Science hosts a series of free guest lectures. Or you can take in a poetry recital or book reading. Waterstones has a calendar of events.

I’m bound to have missed something – so please let me know if you discover any great free resources.

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