Some decompose trees. Some taste great in soups. And some—edible, though not the tastiest—turn reality inside-out, exposing us to wild and uncharted realms of experience. Mushrooms can do a lot of things, and magic mushrooms (those that contain psilocybin, which are colloquially known as “shrooms”) are among the best tools humans have for changing the way we see, hear, and feel the world around us. So, what to do with all that power and potential? The number of interesting things to do on shrooms is seemingly infinite, and we’re here to help you narrow that down.
Some mushroom-loving, or “myophilic” cultures have historically used various traditions and rituals to create a container for the onset, peak, and comedown of a psychedelic experience. Those of us who lack access to such rituals find ourselves trading tips and tricks with fellow psychonauts on the best ways to pass the time on a seemingly endless shroom trip, or activities that maximize a trip’s potential for healing and fun.
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The Best Things To Do on Shrooms
Shrooms have a way of making just about anything interesting, but some activities are more shroom-worthy than others. Below is a list of 12 fun things to experience while shrooming. Don’t try any of them that are outside your normal range of possibility or access; you should not drive anywhere while tripping! Remember, most psychonauts follow the adage: “start low, go slow,” and only trip in a comfortable environment. Your “set” (inner emotions, beliefs, and perceptions) and your “setting” (physical surroundings) play a giant role in how your trip unfolds. You can always look up fun things to do on shrooms on Reddit, Shroomery, or other forums for advice and inspiration. If you’re new to shrooms, don’t forget to check out our past resource on shroom dosing for beginners.
1. Lie Down on the Earth
Being anywhere in nature is a great idea when shrooming; if you start inside, you may find yourself gradually drawn outdoors. You could go for a hike, or discover the intricate world of your own backyard. But shrooms—which sometimes have a heavy, meditative quality—work a special magic when you take a break from adventuring and surrender to the earth’s gravity. Lying down on shrooms is especially great if you’re looking up at a forest canopy, or stars in the night sky.
2. Listen to Psychedelic Music
Shrooms have been influencing musicians and music lovers for generations. You might get in touch with psychedelic standards like Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” or The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” But classic rock is far from the only psychedelic genre; all kinds of music, from R&B to electronica, reveal their layers under the kaleidoscopic gaze of shrooms. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a Spotify playlist of mostly instrumental tracks that have been found to support therapeutic psilocybin trips.
3. Paint With Watercolors
Like other psychedelics, shrooms have a demonstrated ability to expand creativity. You gaze at patterns you never noticed before; you visualize shapes you didn’t know existed. Having pencil and paper on hand is a good idea—but something about watercolors and their soft, dreamy ease seems most apt to the energy of shrooms. As clouds drift across the sky and thoughts breeze in and out of your head, the lazy drawl of a watercolor brush could be the best way to express your experience. Best of all, you can’t get it wrong. It’s impressionism!
4. Drink Some Tea
It can be notoriously difficult to eat while tripping (so it’s best to have a solid meal in the hours leading up). Yet water is essential, and water with leaves steeped in it—otherwise known as “tea”—can be sublime. On shrooms, delicate notes and fragrances become like a symphony to your senses. Ginger tea can help with nausea and indigestion associated with coming up on shrooms, while green tea might help you feel more alert and focused. Gentle lavender tea can mellow things out, and chamomile is great when it’s time to finally wind down for bed.
5. Contemplate the Unknown
You might find yourself doing this one whether you plan to or not! Many people report having mystical experiences on shrooms, from feeling like they’re talking to God, to being visited by a loved one who’s passed. While most shroom trips do not involve full-scale “hallucinations,” they do often present indescribable feelings and realizations that change one’s view of the world. This might happen in your mind, or in conversation with the people around you. Carry a notebook—or just let the epiphanies arrive and process them later.
6. Call the Fireside Project
If you’re tripping alone, or find yourself or a friend to be in need of outside support, you can easily reach trained peer support volunteers at the Fireside Project by calling or texting 62-FIRESIDE (that’s 623-473-7433). Fireside volunteers are well-equipped to talk you through any aspect of the tripping experience, whether you’re going through a dark moment or just want someone to share your joy with. No reason too big or too small! You can also call them after your trip is over—one of their specialties is helping people integrate, or process and learn from, a psychedelic experience that has ended.
7. Hug a Tree
If you find yourself in the presence of an arboreal being, you will probably admire it, you may want to touch it, and you might even throw your arms around it—in which case, you’ll understand where those tree-hugging hippies were coming from. Shrooms have a way of making everything feel alive, particularly plants, which often appear to be “breathing” as they move in the wind (and they actually are taking air in and out). A tree that’s been outside your window for years might suddenly feel like an old friend, deserving of some affection. Climbing trees can be fun too—if it’s safe and you know what you’re doing.
Theoretically, you can do this one while doing most of the aforementioned activities. If meditation means coming into presence (usually achieved by getting still and focusing on your breath), you can do that while painting, listening to music, or even on a dance floor—in many ways, shrooms make it easier. By narrowing your attention to what’s around you and heightening sense perceptions, shrooms help you arrive in your body in the present moment. It’s good practice: Many early psychonauts turned to meditation as a tool for unlocking aspects of the happiness and pleasure they first experienced on LSD and mushrooms.
9. Take a Bath
Yes, you can do a lot of things on shrooms—but sometimes, it’s all too much. Everything is swirling, the colors are intense, and maybe your muscles start to ache. One easy remedy can be found in your own bathroom, where if you’re able to fill a warm tub, you can escape from it all. Floating in a bath on mushrooms feels like returning to the womb, to all the peace and support we experienced before we had to carry our own weight. Pro-tip: enliven your bath with Epsom salts, candles, and mood-brightening essential oils like tangerine and lavender.
10. Walk Barefoot
That’s right, take off those boots, and even your sandals! Shrooms so often bring us into alignment with the earth, and nothing makes that connection feel closer than feeling the earth with your own two feet. Walking barefoot has many physiological benefits, by reducing the stress of confining footwear and activating stabilizing muscles. If you’re not used to walking barefoot, you probably shouldn’t try it for an entire hike, but even just sinking your toes into the sand, mud, or grass will activate sensations that you didn’t know were missing. Some claim that walking barefoot has a “grounding” effect with all kinds of potential benefits—early studies suggest benefits for mood, energy, and pain.
11. Hit the Club
This one might not be for beginners, or for higher doses—but particularly since the end of quarantine, more and more people are finding low-dose shrooms to work well for making magic and meaning on the dance floor. Shrooms can make dancing feel primal and embodied; when the beats pounding from the speakers are lush, the rave or club becomes a little slice of heaven. For some people, shrooms can make it hard to enjoy a crowded social space, but for others, it’s the key that unlocks the night.
12. Acknowledge and Embrace Your Mortality
All mushrooms, “magic” or not, are decomposers. They take in matter that was once alive and break it down to be regenerated into something new. As such, mushrooms are often associated with death—and at higher doses, shroom trips can induce “ego death,” which can be terrifying, transcendent, or both. Even if you don’t reach that extreme, a solid shroom trip seems to often involve moments and thoughts that make you aware of the fact that your beautiful life will one day come to an end—and that it’s OK. Shrooms are one of multiple psychedelics that have been theorized and tested as tools to help us face our fear of death.
This article is intended for educational and harm reduction purposes and is not intended to promote illicit activity.