self-care in seattle

I’ve brought together my favorite affordable or free self-care activities in Seattle. 

Free & Inexpensive Self-Care in Seattle


There is a saying I love, “if your cup is empty you can’t pour into others”. And, isn’t that what art is? I believe being a creator comes from an impulse deep inside to share a part of ourselves with the world. While some believe great art comes from pain, studies actually show that most artists report feelings of happiness and increased energy from creating. So it is in your best interest and the best interest of your art to take care of yourself! 

I am not really the bubble bath and wine type of gal when it comes to my self-care. Not that I don’t love both of those things I just don’t consider them a way I take care of myself. To me, self-care must refresh and reenergize me. I don’t feel more energized after a glass of wine or a long bath although a bath might lead to a good nights rest, you won’t find that listed here. 

When I started on my freelance journey, I really neglected myself. It was not just because of the time I would be away from growing my business, but also the money it can take to participate in my favorite self-love activities! I was pinching the life out of every single penny and the idea of paying for a gym membership or even going to the movies just seemed frivolous. After nearly burning out I knew I needed to find ways to invest in myself. So, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite free or inexpensive acts of self-love in Seattle so you don’t make the same mistake I did. 

Love yourself, take care of yourself. 

– Nikki 


City Garden Acupuncture — www.citygardenacupuncture.com 

City Garden Acupuncture believes everyone deserves access to alternative health care to help prevent illness and to improve their quality of life. That is why they are a 501c3 nonprofit that offers acupuncture in Seattle on a sliding pay scale. They ask that you pay between $20-$40 per session. Finding a community acupuncture clinic was an energy game changer plus it’s good to my wallet! 

Acupuncture is not just mumbo-jumbo! Acupuncture works by activating your bodies own healing mechanisms. If I am feeling especially run down, I set aside an hour to visit Suzy in her U-District Acupuncture Clinic to get a treatment. I usually start to notice a shift in my mood and energy levels within just a few hours of the treatment. When you’ve been going awhile you’ll notice more long term effects like better sleep, better ability to deal with stress and a stronger immune system. 

Interested in trying Acupuncture? Send me a message! I try to go once a week and I’d be happy to meet up and go together. 

Community Yoga — www.meetup.com 

Yoga is an obvious self-care option because of its healing abilities for both the mind and body. We’re so lucky to have such a vibrant yoga community in Seattle that offers a lot of opportunities for free yoga in Seattle. Meetup.com is a fantastic place to find free yoga groups that are run by yoga teacher trainers and other community-minded yogis. 

The bigger yoga studios also offer drop-in classes as well. I can’t commit to a full monthly yoga practice but I do like to try to drop in on a class every month when I can. This is usually $20-$25 a class. You might even try reaching out to a smaller studio for trade, like playing music on a Sunday afternoon for a class in exchange for a voucher. 

If I am feeling really adventurous I like to go to the beer and yoga events at local breweries! These are generally about $10 and they come with a pint at the end. ?

Outdoor Exercise — www.seattle.gov

When I first moved to Seattle from Texas I suffered from extreme seasonal depression. I even had a doctor prescribe antidepressants because I was so miserable. I know I don’t suffer from depression, so I knew I needed a second opinion. I went to a new doctor and her prescription was to exercise outdoors, even if its cold, even if its raining. I wasn’t super excited about the idea at first but once I got the proper outdoor gear it wasn’t a problem and it fixed me right up! 

Did you know that over 20 parks in Seattle have exercise equipment for adults to use free of charge? Take advantage of them! Another option is to take a walk through the Washington Park Arboretum (keep an eye out for the family of owls living in there!) or a hike through Seward Park the next time you need some me time. 

Sleep Hygiene — www.sleepfoundation.org

There is something most people have never heard of called sleep hygiene, which is the behaviors and conditions around sleeping. Sleep is the best thing you can do for your mind and your body. A great and inexpensive act of self-care is looking at your sleep hygiene! 

My bedroom is what I call my “sleep cave” I try to do nothing but sleep in the sleep cave. The picture above is reflectix. A roll of reflectix cost $18 and is the best thing I ever did for my quality of sleep. I blocked out my bedroom windows with this and it keeps my room cool year round while also making it nearly pitch black. It’s important that you expose yourself to sunlight in the daytime and darkness at night. The light is the most important stimulant to your body that its time to go to sleep or wake up. I also put in an air purifier and a cool mist humidifier that sprays lavender oil into the air while I sleep. This sounds very bougie but I didn’t even realize how poorly I slept until I made these changes. 

Photo Credits top to bottom: Nikki Barron, Rui Diaz, PixaBay, Lowes  

Hey! I’m Nikki! I am a marketing expert with over a decade of experience. I hold a technical degree in graphic design from North Seattle College. I’ve been a photographer for over 15 years.  I offer short-term marketing and business coaching to creatives as a way to help as many creatives as I can, while still going after my own career goals as the Head of Marketing at Mastin Labs. 

Nikki Barron