Step 3: Pleasant Activity Scheduling

 Back to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Pleasant Activity Scheduling

The video below reviews how to get your depressed child to change their behavior to change their mood:


Print out the worksheet below to create list of pleasant activities and monitor frequency.   

Pleasant Activity Worksheet

If you are having problems printing from your smartphone, try printing from Connect4life online.

*You can also use the Pleasant Activity Tracker located under the Surveys tab.


It is also heavily recommended that your child or adolescent engage in exercise at least 45 minutes per day.  In some studies, physical activity and exercise was almost equally effective when compared to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Consequently, make sure that 45 minutes of exercise is part of the pleasant activities planned.

List of Pleasant Activity Ideas

Here are some helpful suggestions for pleasurable activities that your child or adolescent could engage in:

  • Being in the country.
  • Talking about sports.
  • Meeting someone new.
  • Playing baseball or softball.
  • Doing art work (painting, sculpture, drawing, movie-making, etc.)
  • Playing golf.
  • Rearranging my room.
  • Going to a sports event.
  • Reading a “How to Do it” book or article.
  • Reading stories, novels, poems, or plays.
  • Thinking up or arranging a song or music.
  • Camping.
  • Playing cards.
  • Solving a problem, puzzle crossword, etc.
  • Having dinner or lunch with friends.
  • Playing tennis.
  • Taking a relaxing hot bath or shower.
  • Writing short stories, novels, plays, or poetry.
  • Singing in a group.
  • Going to a church function (e.g., socials, classes, bazaars, etc.).
  • Going to a service, civic, or social club meetings.
  • Playing a musical instrument.
  • Acting.
  • Being with friends.
  • Singing to myself.
  • Making food or crafts.
  • Playing chess or checkers.
  • Visiting people who are sick, shut in, or in trouble.
  • Gardening.
  • Dancing.
  • Sitting in the sun.
  • Just sitting and thinking.
  • Going to a fair, carnival, circus, zoo, or amusement park.
  • Listening to the sounds of nature.
  • Having friends to come visit.
  • Playing in a sporting competition.
  • Going to school.
  • Watching the sky, clouds, or a storm.
  • Going on outings (to the park, a picnic, a barbecue, etc.)
  • Playing basketball.
  • Photography.
  • Gathering natural objects (wild foods or fruit, rocks, driftwood, etc.)
  • Helping someone.
  • Seeing beautiful scenery.
  • Eating good meals.
  • Going to a museum or exhibit.
  • Fishing.
  • Being with my parents.
  • Horseback riding.
  • Talking on the telephone.
  • Kicking leaves, sand, pebbles, etc.
  • Going to the movies.
  • Being at a family get-together.
  • Going to a restaurant.
  • Seeing or smelling a flower or plant.
  • Visiting friends.
  • Writing in a diary.
  • Playing football.
  • Saying prayers.
  • Playing board games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, etc.)
  • Swimming.
  • Running, jogging, or doing gymnastics, fitness, or field exercises.
  • Walking barefoot.
  • Playing Frisbee or catch.
  • Listening to music.
  • Reading magazines.
  • Going to the library.
  • Playing soccer, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, etc.
  • Birdwatching.
  • Watching people.
  • Bicycling.
  • Writing letters, cards, or notes.
  • Going to banquets, luncheons, potlucks, etc.
  • Talking about my hobby or special interest.
  • Playing in the sand, a stream, the grass, etc.
  • Being with my family.
  • Going on field trips, nature walks, etc.
  • Caring for houseplants.
  • Having coffee, tea, a coke, etc. with friends.
  • Taking a walk.
  • Collecting things.
  • Doing things with family.
  • Doing volunteer work, working on community service projects.
  • Making a new friend.
  • Reading cartoons, comic strips, or comic books.
  • Attending a concert.
  • Going to a play.
  • Playing with pets.
  • Looking at the stars or moon
  • Being coached.