42 Self-Esteem Activities for Teens

In the digital age, where every single picture, thought, or action can be viewed under a magnifying glass, self-esteem has become more critical than ever

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on 42 Self Esteem Activities for Teens

In the digital age, where every single picture, thought, or action can be viewed under a magnifying glass, self-esteem has become more critical than ever. With the omnipresence of social media and the weight of peer pressures, it’s vital to nurture a resilient, positive self-image. Enter: self-esteem activities.

Harnessing the power of these practices can not only bolster confidence but also empower young individuals to thrive in an ever-demanding environment. In this guide, we delve deep into transformative exercises that can make a world of difference.

The benefits of nurturing self-esteem are extensive. It not only affects personal happiness but has far-reaching implications for relationships, career prospects, and even physical health. Research shows that a higher sense of self-worth can lead to better decision-making and an increased likelihood of pursuing healthy behaviors.

With that said, let’s uncover 42 self-esteem-boosting activities tailor-made for our modern era.

1. Daily Affirmations

Embracing the power of words can have a profound impact on one’s mental well-being. Affirmations serve as a quick mental boost that reinforces positivity and self-worth.

  • Written Words: Start by jotting down three things you like about yourself. Review and add to this list regularly.
  • Mirror Talk: Stand in front of a mirror every morning, look into your own eyes, and say these affirmations aloud.
  • Sticky Notes: Leave uplifting sticky notes on your workspace, bathroom mirror, or fridge to remind you of your worth.
1. Daily Affirmations
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2. Physical Activity

There’s no denying the correlation between physical activity and heightened self-esteem. Moving your body releases endorphins, natural mood lifters.

  • Dancing: No need for a club. Just dance around in your room. Let loose and feel the rhythm.
  • Yoga: It’s not just exercise; it’s a mindfulness practice. Studies have shown yoga to improve self-perception.
  • Nature Walks: Sometimes, a simple walk amidst nature can rejuvenate the mind and soul.

3. Creativity and Artistic Expression

Expressing oneself through art can be a therapeutic avenue for improving self-esteem.

  • Journaling: Penning down thoughts and reflections can provide clarity and a sense of achievement.
  • Art Projects: From painting to pottery, creating something can instill a sense of pride.
  • Music: Whether it’s playing an instrument or just singing along, music has proven to be a soul-soother.
Therapeutic Art Activity for Self-EsteemTherapeutic Art Activity for Self-Esteem

4. Social Connection

While it’s essential to find peace within oneself, seeking external validation isn’t always a bad thing.

  • Group Workshops: Attend self-help or personal development workshops in a group setting.
  • Volunteering: Helping others often brings about a feel-good factor and a boosted self-image. Numerous researches back this claim.
  • Join Clubs or Groups: Being part of a community with similar interests fosters a sense of belonging.
4. Social Connection
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5. Mindfulness and Meditation

Rooted in ancient practices, mindfulness, and meditation are the gateways to inner peace and self-love.

  • Deep Breathing: Just a few minutes of focused breathing can lower anxiety and boost confidence.
  • Guided Meditation: There are many online resources offering guided sessions, grounding one in the present.
  • Gratitude Practice: Regularly counting one’s blessings can significantly improve self-worth.

Comparison Table: Physical Activity vs. Mindfulness

Primary Objective Physical Activity Mindfulness
Daily Commitment Improve physical & mental health Stay present and reduce stress
Resources Required 30 minutes to an hour 10-20 minutes
Immediate Impact Gym equipment, sports gear Meditation apps, quiet space
Community Aspect Endorphin release Reduced stress, increased focus
Can be both individual & group Primarily individual, but group meditations are popular

6. Setting Achievable Goals

Small, tangible achievements can work wonders for one’s self-worth.

  • Daily Goals: Set easily achievable targets for the day.
  • Monthly Milestones: Create broader goals for the month and work towards them daily.
  • Visual Reminders: A vision board or even a to-do list can act as reminders and motivation boosters.

7. Self-Care Routines

Regular self-care is not just a trend; it’s essential for mental and emotional well-being.

  • Skin Care: Taking care of your skin can give you a radiant confidence boost.
  • Read: Diving into a good book can offer escape and perspective.
  • Baths and Relaxation: A relaxed body often leads to a relaxed mind and elevated self-worth.

8. Challenge Negative Thoughts

Our minds can sometimes be our worst critics. By actively challenging these negative notions, one can significantly improve their self-esteem.

  • Thought Diary: Write down negative thoughts and objectively analyze their validity.
  • Positive Replacement: For every negative thought, replace it with two positive ones.
  • Mindset Shift: Embrace the growth mindset, viewing challenges as opportunities rather than setbacks. Research emphasizes its value.
8. Challenge Negative Thoughts
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9. Embrace Learning

Adopting a lifelong learning attitude doesn’t just improve one’s skills but can boost confidence and self-worth.

  • Online Courses: Enroll in courses that interest you. There’s a sense of accomplishment upon completion.
  • Learn a New Hobby: This could be anything from cooking to coding.
  • Travel: While it’s not feasible for everyone, exploring new cultures can offer fresh perspectives and boost confidence.

10. Accept Compliments Gracefully

Learning to receive compliments without brushing them off can reinforce positive beliefs about oneself.

  • Practice Saying ‘Thank You’: Instead of dismissing or downplaying compliments, simply thank the person.
  • Internalize the Praise: Reflect on compliments and consider them valid observations rather than flukes.
  • Give Compliments: Boosting others’ self-esteem can often have a mirrored effect on your own.
10. Accept Compliments Gracefully
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11. Establish Boundaries

Recognizing one’s worth includes knowing when to say no and setting clear boundaries.

  • Assertive Communication: Practice expressing your feelings and needs clearly without being aggressive.
  • Digital Detox: Set limits on social media usage. Continuous comparison is a common self-esteem dampener. Studies highlight its impact.
  • Value Your Time: Don’t overcommit. Recognize that your time is precious.

12. Seek External Support

While self-help is crucial, sometimes external perspectives can offer invaluable insights.

  • Therapy: Consider seeking professional help to navigate through deep-seated self-worth issues.
  • Support Groups: Connecting with others who are on a similar journey can be therapeutic.
  • Books: There are numerous self-help books that provide structured guidance on boosting self-esteem.

Comparison Table: Challenging Negative Thoughts vs. Embracing Learning

Primary Objective Physical Activity Mindfulness
Daily Commitment Improve physical & mental health Stay present and reduce stress
Resources Required 30 minutes to an hour 10-20 minutes
Immediate Impact Gym equipment, sports gear Meditation apps, quiet space
Community Aspect Endorphin release Reduced stress, increased focus
Can be both individual & group Primarily individual, but group meditations are popular

13. Celebrate Small Wins

In the pursuit of big dreams, it’s easy to overlook the smaller victories, which are essential confidence boosters.

  • Maintain a Victory Log: Document your daily or weekly achievements, however minor.
  • Reward Yourself: Treat yourself occasionally, be it with a favorite snack or a day off.
  • Share with Friends: Sharing your achievements, however small, can amplify the joy.

14. Practice Self-Reflection

Engaging in self-reflection helps you to understand your emotions, reactions, and decisions better, leading to a clearer sense of self.

  • Evening Reflection: Before bed, spend 5 minutes reflecting on the day’s events and your feelings.
  • Ask Yourself Questions: Periodically ask, “Why did I react this way?” or “What would I change about today?”
  • Seek Feedback: Occasionally, ask close friends or family for honest feedback about your actions or choices.
The Reflection in Me HDThe Reflection in Me HD

15. Engage in Positive Visualizations

Visualizing positive scenarios or outcomes can help replace negative thought patterns and reinforce positive beliefs.

  • Morning Visualization: Start the day by picturing a successful or positive outcome for a planned event.
  • Use Guided Imagery: There are various online resources and apps that guide users through positive visualizations.
  • Dream Board: Create a collage of your goals and aspirations, and frequently look at them to visualize achieving them.
15. Engage in Positive Visualizations
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16. Cultivate Self-Compassion

Being kind to oneself is pivotal. Instead of being your harshest critic, become your own biggest supporter.

  • Speak to Yourself Kindly: Change your internal dialogue to one of understanding and patience.
  • Forgive Yourself: Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from them, but also forgive yourself.
  • Practice Mindful Self-compassion: Engage in exercises that enhance self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

17. Declutter Your Environment

A clutter-free environment often leads to a clearer mind and boosts feelings of accomplishment and control.

  • Organize Your Workspace: A tidy desk can lead to increased productivity and a sense of order.
  • Declutter Your Home: Regularly purge items you no longer need.
  • Digital Cleanup: Organize your emails, files, and even your phone apps. A digital detox can also be refreshing

18. Prioritize Self-Growth

Always be on a journey to become a better version of yourself. This pursuit inherently enhances self-esteem.

  • Attend Workshops: They can be in-person or online, focusing on personal development or a new skill.
  • Read Widely: Apart from self-help books, delve into biographies, fiction, or any genre that offers growth.
  • Challenge Yourself: Step out of your comfort zone occasionally. It could be traveling solo, trying new cuisine, or learning a new language.
18. Prioritize Self Growth
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Comparison Table: Self-Reflection vs. Decluttering

Self-Reflection Decluttering
Primary Objective Understand oneself Create a clean, efficient space
Daily Commitment 5 - 15 minutes Varies (can be weekly/monthly)
Resources Required Journal, feedback Cleaning supplies, organizational tools
Immediate Impact Mental clarity Tangible cleanliness, space efficiency
Community Aspect Primarily individual Can involve family or roommates

19. Limit Negative Inputs

Being selective about what you consume mentally can significantly impact self-esteem.

  • Evaluate Your Social Media: Unfollow or mute accounts that make you feel inadequate or negative.
  • Choose Positive Entertainment: Opt for movies, music, or shows that uplift rather than depress.
  • Surround Yourself with Positivity: Engage with friends or family who encourage and uplift you rather than those who constantly criticize or demotivate.

20. Recognize and Own Your Strengths

Everyone has strengths. Recognizing and harnessing them can immensely boost self-confidence.

  • List Your Strengths: Sit down and actively list out things you’re good at, no matter how minor they might seem.
  • Seek External Opinions: Sometimes, others see strengths in you that you might overlook. Ask them!
  • Capitalize on Them: Find opportunities to use these strengths, be it in your career, hobbies, or personal life.

21. Embrace Physical Activity

Movement isn’t just beneficial for the body; it’s a powerful booster for the mind too. Regular physical activity can usher in a rush of positive feelings.

  • Engage in Aerobic Activities: This can be anything from jogging to dancing.
  • Practice Yoga: It’s not just physical; yoga often encompasses mental wellness and mindfulness.
  • Join a Sports Team: This adds a social aspect, fostering camaraderie alongside fitness.

22. Cultivate Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment, fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the time. It’s transformative.

  • Meditate Daily: Even a few minutes can have a profound impact on your mental well-being.
  • Practice Deep Breathing: Focus on your breath whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
  • Engage in Mindful Eating: Experience your food—savor each bite, recognizing its flavors and textures.
22. Cultivate Mindfulness
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23. Set Clear Goals

Having clear and achievable goals can help you track your growth and give you a sense of purpose.

  • Use the SMART Goal Framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Visualize Your Goals: As mentioned earlier, having a dream board can be a tangible reminder.
  • Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and reward yourself when you meet a goal, however small it might be.

24. Establish a Routine

Structuring your day can provide a sense of purpose, minimize procrastination, and improve productivity—all of which can enhance self-esteem.

  • Plan Your Day: Use tools or apps to create a daily to-do list.
  • Include Self-care: Ensure that your routine isn’t all work; add activities you love.
  • Stay Consistent: While spontaneity is great, maintaining a routine helps in creating discipline.

25. Engage in Art and Creativity

Expressing oneself creatively can be a cathartic experience, opening up avenues for self-exploration and confidence-building.

  • Sketch or Paint: You don’t have to be a professional; it’s the process that counts.
  • Write: Maintain a journal, write poetry, or even short stories.
  • Crafting: Take up activities like pottery, jewelry-making, or even DIY home decor.

Comparison Table: Physical Activity vs. Mindfulness

Physical Activity Mindfulness
Primary Objective Improve physical & mental health Stay present and reduce stress
Daily Commitment 30 minutes to an hour 10-20 minutes
Resources Required Gym equipment, sports gear Meditation apps, quiet space
Immediate Impact Endorphin release Reduced stress, increased focus
Community Aspect Can be both individual & group Primarily individual, but group meditations are popular

26. Volunteer and Help Others

Helping others can significantly boost your self-worth and provide a sense of purpose.

  • Join a Local Charity: Dedicate some hours weekly or monthly to a cause close to your heart.
  • Teach: Share your knowledge, be it academic or a skill like playing a musical instrument.
  • Simple Acts of Kindness: Even small gestures, like helping a neighbor or volunteering at an event, can make a difference.

27. Limit Perfectionism

Chasing perfection can be detrimental. Focus instead on progress and growth.

  • Set Realistic Expectations: Understand that no one, including yourself, is perfect.
  • Celebrate Small Steps: Every bit of progress is a move in the right direction.
  • Seek Feedback: Others often provide a more balanced view of our achievements than we might give ourselves.

28. Foster Healthy Relationships

Surrounding yourself with supportive and loving people can provide a stable foundation for building self-worth.

  • Recognize Toxic Relationships: Being self-aware will help you identify relationships that sap your energy.
  • Engage in Group Activities: Clubs or social groups can be avenues to build strong bonds.
  • Communicate Openly: Open and honest conversations can deepen connections and reduce misunderstandings.

29. Attend Personal Growth Seminars

Workshops, seminars, or retreats focusing on self-improvement can offer tools, techniques, and experiences that foster self-esteem.

  • Research Reputable Seminars: Ensure that the seminar aligns with your goals.
  • Engage Actively: Participate, ask questions, and involve yourself in group activities.
  • Network: Such events offer opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, expanding your circle of supportive connections.
29. Attend Personal Growth Seminars
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30. Listen to Uplifting Music

Music has the power to shape our mood. Uplifting tunes can serve as a direct boost to our self-worth.

  • Create Positive Playlists: Fill them with songs that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Explore New Genres: You might find motivational power in unexpected musical territories.
  • Attend Live Concerts: The collective energy at these events can be incredibly uplifting.

31. Revisit and Celebrate Past Achievements

Looking back can sometimes offer the boost you need to move forward.

  • Maintain an Achievement Journal: Regularly jot down your accomplishments.
  • Revisit Old Photos: They can remind you of happy times and successes.
  • Speak to Old Friends: They often recall and celebrate your achievements, reminding you of your worth.

32. Engage in Nature

Connecting with nature can be a profound experience, offering both relaxation and a sense of belonging.

  • Regular Walks: Be it a park or the countryside, engage with the green around you.
  • Camping: Immersing yourself entirely can be both fun and introspective.
  • Gardening: The act of nurturing plants can parallel nurturing oneself.

Comparison Table: Fostering Relationships vs. Engaging in Nature

Fostering Relationships Engaging in Nature
Primary Objective Build supportive connections Connect with oneself & the environment
Daily Commitment Varies based on social interactions At least 20 minutes
Resources Required Communication tools, social platforms Suitable attire, possible travel
Immediate Impact Emotional support and bonding Relaxation and a sense of peace
Community Aspect Central to the concept Can be both individual & group

33. Engage in Positive Affirmations

Using positive affirmations can reshape your belief system and enhance self-worth.

  • Start the Day Right: Begin with a positive statement about yourself.
  • Mirror Work: Look into your eyes in the mirror while affirming your worth.
  • Stay Consistent: For them to make a difference, positive affirmations need to be a daily practice.
33. Engage in Positive Affirmations
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34. Explore Spirituality

For some, exploring spirituality can offer a deeper sense of purpose and belonging.

  • Read Spiritual Texts: Understanding different beliefs can provide perspective.
  • Engage in Spiritual Communities: Whether it’s a church, temple, or meditation group.
  • Practice Gratitude: Regularly list out things you’re grateful for. This simple act can reshape perceptions.

35. Learn a New Skill

Delving into new learning territories can both divert from negative self-talk and provide a sense of accomplishment.

  • Pick Up a Musical Instrument: It can be as complex as a violin or as simple as a ukulele.
  • Learn a New Language: Connect with different cultures and expand your horizons.
  • Experiment with Cooking: Create new dishes and enjoy the pleasures of culinary arts.
35. Learn a New Skill
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36. Attend Therapeutic Sessions

Sometimes, seeking professional guidance can provide tools and insights that can be crucial in building self-esteem.

  • Counseling: Speaking with a professional can help address deeper self-worth issues.
  • Join Support Groups: Engaging with others who share similar experiences can be therapeutic.
  • Art or Music Therapy: Express and explore emotions through creative outlets.
36. Attend Therapeutic Sessions
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37. Dress Confidently

The saying “Dress for success” holds weight. How you present yourself can significantly impact how you feel about yourself.

  • Wear What Makes You Happy: It’s not about fashion; it’s about feeling good in what you wear.
  • Experiment with Styles: Sometimes, change can boost confidence.
  • Practice Good Grooming Habits: Simple acts like grooming can make a big difference in self-perception.

38. Reduce Screen Time

In the digital age, unplugging can sometimes be the best way to reconnect with oneself.

  • Limit Social Media: Designate specific times in the day for social platforms.
  • Engage in Off-Screen Hobbies: Read a physical book, paint, or do puzzles.
  • Go on Digital Detoxes: Allocate a day or weekend where you’re entirely off digital devices.

39. Maintain a Balanced Diet

Your physical health is intrinsically linked with mental well-being. Eating right can make you feel right.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Include More Whole Foods: Focus on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  • Limit Junk Food: While occasional indulgence is okay, maintain moderation.

Comparison Table: Learning New Skills vs. Reducing Screen Time

Learning New Skills Reducing Screen Time
Primary Objective Personal growth & enrichment Mental relaxation & well-being
Daily Commitment Varies based on the skill Dedicate specific unplugged periods
Resources Required Training materials, maybe a tutor Commitment, alternative activities
Immediate Impact Sense of accomplishment Reduced stress, better sleep
Community Aspect Can be both individual & group Primarily individual

40. Adopt a Pet

The unconditional love and companionship animals offer can be incredibly beneficial for emotional well-being.

  • Research the Right Pet: Choose a pet that suits your living conditions and lifestyle.
  • Engage in Pet Activities: Take dogs for walks or play with cats, for instance.
  • Experience Pet Therapy: The simple act of petting an animal can reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness.

41. Create a Vision for Your Future

Visualizing where you want to be can be a powerful motivator and self-esteem booster.

  • Draft a 5-year Plan: Outline where you see yourself in the next few years.
  • Visualize Regularly: Spend a few minutes every day imagining this future.
  • Break Down Steps: Knowing the direction is great, but knowing the steps to get there is vital.
41. Create a Vision for Your Future
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42. Embrace Change

Change is inevitable, and embracing it can lead to personal growth and a resilient sense of self.

  • Understand It’s Okay: Accepting that change is a part of life can be liberating.
  • Seek New Experiences: These can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or as significant as moving to a new city.
  • Reflect on Past Adaptations: Recognizing how you’ve successfully dealt with change before can be empowering.


In the grand tapestry of life, self-esteem plays a pivotal role in shaping our experiences, interactions, and perceptions. Through the 42 activities detailed above, one finds a road to rediscovery—a journey toward understanding, appreciating, and valuing oneself.

As you endeavor on this voyage, always remember: You are enough, just as you are. Embrace it, celebrate it, and let that knowledge guide you to boundless horizons.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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Confidence Building Activities for YouthConfidence Building Activities for Youth