Wish you could make some extra cash, but can’t deal with adding stress to your life? Consider these stress-free side hustles that let you embrace your entrepreneurial spirit without sacrificing your peace of mind. These side hustles have few deadlines, don’t require special skills and often involve things that are both relaxing and that you might do for fun.

Stress-free side hustles

Have a passion for photography? Whether you take photos of people, places or things, there is a market for almost every type of image.

Let’s say you spend your weekends at your kids’ soccer games, snapping action photos of your children and their teammates. You can earn money making those photos available to other parents.

Portrait photography

A site called Snapped4U can help. You simply pay $10 to open an account and upload your files. You then provide other parents with a link to the web site, where they can order photos from your gallery. This can be particularly lucrative if you take photos at tournaments, where dozens of teams play. (Tip: Bring fliers or business cards to games and tournaments to provide all the coaches — and the parents you meet — with details of where they can find their team’s gallery.)

You set the price for your photos. The site collects payments, emails the photos to customers, and remits the proceeds to you, minus a small fee.

And, of course, if you want to take photos at proms, weddings, birthdays, baptisms or anything else, you can post them here too.

But make sure your potential clients know that the photos do not stay live indefinitely. Snapped4U reserves the right to delete stale galleries, where no photos have been purchased for more than a year.

Photos of places and things

Prefer to photograph nature, architecture, natural wonders — or simply the places that you visit? You can sell these through stock photo sites.  Shutterstock, Alamy, Foap, iStock, GettyImages, Adobe Stock and Dreamstime all encourage photographers to upload their images for sale.

These sites sell photos to newspapers, television stations, corporations and websites that need images to illustrate everything from websites and brochures to news articles and videos. Each photo sells for a relatively small amount, but can be sold hundreds of times. The photographer earns a royalty on each sale.

Notably, too, unless you choose an “exclusive” arrangement with any of these sites, there are no restrictions on how many places you can sell your images. In fact, you can upload the same photos to all the sites and see which brings in the most money.


Exercise is one of the best stress-relievers, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s partly because it triggers feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins.

And, if you’re good at any sport, you can make exercise pay by coaching others. Three sites — CoachUp, Athletes Untapped and TeachMeTo — encourage athletes to market their coaching services for sports ranging from baseball, basketball, and soccer to pickelball and lacrosse.

Coaches post profiles that explain their experience, the sports they coach, and the type of students they prefer — i.e. adults, kids, women, individuals with special needs, etc. Coaches also set their own rates and availability. The sites collect from clients and remit payment to the coaches, after deducting site fees or commissions.

Watch pets

Did you know that simply petting a dog reduces stress and increases your sense of well-being? That’s according to Johns Hopkins Medcine, which maintains that hanging out with animals is so good for you that having a pet “keeps you young.”

But, you don’t necessarily need a pet of your own. You can watch other people’s pets and make money doing it. A site called Rover will let you advertise your pet-sitting service to thousands of pet owners in your neighborhood. You can pet-sit every day or just weekends or on holidays. Watch one animal or many. It’s all up to you.

You decide what kind of pets you want to watch. Dogs are the most popular, of course. But you can sign up to watch cats, snakes, rabbits or guinea pigs. And, you have control over all the details, such as whether you watch animals in your own home or the pet owner’s. In all cases, you set your own rates and availability. Rover simply takes a commission on your bookings.

Read books

When it comes to stress-free side hustles, few compare with reading books. And several sites will pay you to read, as long as you’re willing to edit or review the books in the process. Some of the best options:

US Review of Books pays between $25 and $75 for short reviews of self-published books. The site receives about a dozen review applications each day, says senior editor Christopher Klim. “An applicant’s first review is essentially the interview,” he adds. Applicants are paid for that review, regardless of whether or not they’re hired, he says. If you like this gig, there are plenty of books to read. Some freelancers write 8 to 10 reviews a month, he adds.

Meanwhile, if you have editing skills, a site called Reedsy enlists editors and proofreaders to read and edit self-published novels. Editors here set their own rates. But, since it’s a competitive marketplace, setting your rates well above established norms can make your bids uncompetitive, unless you’re uniquely talented.

PenguinFreelancers also enlists freelancers to read books. The site enlists freelance editors, proofreaders and indexers and pays between $30 and $35 per hour. However, you’ll need to have experience and to pass proofreading or editing test.


Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of dozens of books about stress-reduction and mindfulness, says that when he needs to meditate, he cleans the oven. The physical task of cleaning pushes aside day-to-day stress and allows your brain to simply focus on the task at hand. And there’s something truly satisfying about taking a dirt-encrusted appliance and making it shine.

If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, deep cleaning is a lucrative stress-free side hustle. Freelancers who advertise their deep cleaning gigs on sites like Taskrabbit and BabyQuip can earn anywhere between $50 and $150 an hour scraping grime off of ovens, barbecues, high chairs and car seats.


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