Games that Promote Mental Health

Games that Promote Mental Health

In the bustling sphere of contemporary life, prioritizing mental well-being has never been more essential. We are continuously sailing through waves of life’s triumphs and trials, underscoring the significance of developing approaches to handle stress, anxiety, and a spectrum of mental health conditions. Gaming is rising to prominence in this regard, emerging as a surprisingly effective tool.

While games, encompassing both digital and traditional forms, are predominantly viewed as sources of amusement, they embody more than mere entertainment. Beyond serving as an enjoyable diversion, games play a pivotal role in fostering resilience, enhancing cognitive capabilities, and nurturing a healthy mental state. This article will guide you on a journey through various games, each celebrated for their unique contributions to mental health wellness.

Digital Games

1. Flowy

Flowy, a brainchild of Playlab London, is a mobile game artfully crafted with the singular goal of aiding individuals in tackling panic and anxiety attacks. In this immersive game, players guide a ship across an enchantingly illustrated universe. The intriguing part? The ship’s navigation is linked to the player’s breath. As a result, Flowy subtly instills valuable breathing techniques in its users, which can considerably help alleviate anxiety.

2. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice stands out as an extraordinary video game brought to life by the creative minds at Ninja Theory. This intense action-adventure game, steeped in dark fantasy, plunges players into the psychological depths of its lead character, Senua. The gaming experience authentically mirrors her journey through psychosis, presenting auditory and visual hallucinations derived from real-life experiences of this mental health condition. The unique design of this game offers players a glimpse into the world of mental disorders, promoting a culture of empathy and comprehension.


SPARX, a captivating role-playing game steeped in fantasy, was created by a team of researchers from New Zealand with a mission to aid adolescents in handling depression. This ingenious game ingeniously weaves cognitive-behavioral strategies into its quests and challenges, imparting useful skills to its players. An intriguing study published in the British Medical Journal points towards the game’s efficacy, hinting at SPARX’s potential to match the effectiveness of conventional therapy under specific conditions.

4. Journey

Journey, a widely praised adventure game, welcomes its players into a serene world ripe for exploration. Its calming soundtrack harmoniously intertwines with breathtaking visuals, crafting an ambiance that can transport players into a state of meditation. This immersion into tranquility fosters relaxation and contributes to stress reduction, creating a soothing escape from reality.

5. Kind Words (lo-fi chill beats to write to)

Crafted by the indie developer Popcannibal, this unique gaming experience invites players to both pen and receive supportive correspondences from global counterparts. This game cultivates a sanctuary for anonymous expression of emotions and concerns, fostering an environment of connection and shared humanity.

Traditional Games

6. Dixit

Dixit, a creative card-centric game, acts as a unique tool for nurturing emotional comprehension and articulation. Players are presented with cards adorned with illustrations, and they’re tasked with crafting a narrative inspired by these images. This process not only stimulates creativity but also facilitates the indirect expression and exploration of emotions, making Dixit an enjoyable avenue for emotional communication.

7. Chess

While Chess is widely recognized for honing strategic thinking skills, its benefits stretch far beyond that, encompassing mental health enhancement as well. This classic game cultivates mindfulness, requiring players to focus deeply and strategize their future moves. Such intense concentration can contribute to improved attention span and reduced feelings of anxiety, making Chess a multifaceted tool for mental enrichment.

8. Jigsaw Puzzles

Working on jigsaw puzzles demands an engaging mix of focus and patience. As the puzzle gradually comes together, the resulting sense of achievement can enhance mood and bolster self-confidence. The act of piecing together a puzzle can also act as a form of meditation, calming the mind and aiding in stress reduction.

9. Lego Therapy

Lego Therapy employs the universally cherished Lego blocks as a tool to enhance social interaction, notably among children grappling with autism and related conditions. The process of constructing with Legos serves a therapeutic purpose, stimulating focus, igniting creativity, and sharpening problem-solving abilities.

The Bottom Line

Games, whether digital or traditional, hold a potent capacity to enhance mental well-being. They serve as an engaging, secure medium to acquire and refine techniques to combat stress, anxiety, and depression. The world of gaming offers a wide array of options, ensuring there’s a perfect fit for everyone’s preferences.

However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that games, while advantageous, are not a standalone solution and should not supersede professional assistance when needed. Instead, they can act as a lively supplement to therapeutic interventions or prescribed medications, enabling a fun, engaging way to practice and fortify mental health strategies.

Remember, mental health carries as much weight as physical health. Always keep a close eye on your mental condition, and if ever in need, don’t shy away from seeking help. Whether it’s through a comforting game or professional assistance, resources are available to support you.

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