6 serene gaming apps to help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress

Can you make your way into a better mental space? Sometimes having a nice escape to occupy your mind for a few minutes can help. With beautiful graphics, soothing music, and simple, relaxing gameplay, these apps aim to help you reduce your stress and anxiety.

1. #SelfCare

A non-competitive app focused on calming and comforting, #SelfCare can help you feel at ease and comfortable in a virtual space. When you first launch, the app explains how it works under different energies: celebration, curiosity, love, intention, and attention. You can choose a different energy to explore each time you open the app.

The game function of the app itself takes place in a beautifully illustrated room and you can interact with its elements. For example, pet the cat a little and watch its animated response. Decorate the duvet cover with different colors and patterns to create a space you will enjoy. Tap the book to play a word game or tap the flower for breathing exercises. Read the zine or write in the newspaper.

There are a lot of interactions inside the room and you can discover new games and objects over time. The game does not reveal all of its secrets at once, which keeps the gameplay engaging. It’s fun to explore the room and find out what each object will invite you to do. Sometimes gambling is its own form of self-care.

To download: #SelfCare for iOS | android (Free in-app purchases available)

2. Patterned

Available with an Apple Arcade subscription, Patterned is a tile-sorting game designed to help you focus and relax. Listen to soothing background music as you assemble the tiles into a beautiful repeating pattern.

When you first open a new puzzle, it appears as a gray sketch of the finished image. Put the pieces in place to create a colorful version of the patterned repeating image. It’s easy to stand out as you study the screen to find the right pieces, which also invites you to appreciate the detail in these artist-made images.

You can also take your time to put the pieces together. Your selected puzzle piece will turn red until it’s placed in the correct spot, making assembly a little easier.

The app includes over 500 puzzles, so it can keep you busy for quite some time. Categories include seasonal, kid-friendly, animal-centric, and geometric images, in addition to many more. You’re sure to find some eye-catching images you’ll love putting together (and they’ll make great phone backgrounds when finished).

You can also check out the hundreds of other games that Apple Arcade gives you access to for a monthly fee.

To download: Patterned Available for iOS (Subscription required, free trial available)

3. Trim

A soothing game that invites you to grow and cultivate a tree, Prune also tells a larger story as you continue to play. Simple, clean animated graphics and meditative music combine to create the unique and immersive experience of playing Prune. Watch the trees grow and prune their branches with a simple gesture.

The premise sounds simple, but helping the trees navigate their environment gets harder and harder along the way. Sometimes it takes a little foresight to prune trees so they grow around obstacles and towards the sun that makes their flowers bloom.

Beautiful, engaging and calming, Prune is a unique experience in the gaming world. Cut+ is also available as part of Apple Arcade.

To download: Cut for iOS ($4.99) | android ($3.99)

4. Fidget Toys 3D – Anti-stress

Scroll through a large collection of colorful toys in this fidget game. Break plates, pop balloons, sort crayons, clean a steamy window and play a slippery number game. It’s a super simple collection of fun distractions. Reviewers also mentioned enjoying the sound effects of their ASMR properties.

Long video ads are included as well as in-game banner ads, but you can get rid of them by purchasing the paid version. If you prefer to enjoy games without paying, there are many mobile games that you can enjoy for free.

For the most part, if you’re someone who likes to play with buttons or solve simple puzzles, then Fidget Toys 3D is a fun choice.

To download: Fidget Toys 3D – Anti-stress for iOS | android (Free)

5. Hex – Anxiety Relief and Relaxation

Hexagonal board game, Hex invites you to think about lines and shapes in an engaging way. Tap the hexagon figures to rotate them and arrange the lines into stylish shapes. It’s fun to watch the jumble of lines slowly turn into a continuous figure. Plus, there’s a help button if you get stuck on a particular puzzle, which provides guidelines for the shape you’re creating.

It’s also rewarding to see the final shape of each figurine, some of which feature intricate curls and other patterns. The understated color scheme is also pleasing. Between the soothing music, colorful lines, and simple game objective, Hex is a wonderful way to calm your mind.

To download: hex for android (Free in-app purchases available)

6. My Oasis: Anxiety Relief Game

Build your own oasis in the clouds with this soft tapping game. Tap the screen to earn hearts, which are basically in-game currency. You can also watch ads to earn more hearts.

A built-in piano at the bottom of the screen prompts you to play notes for more hearts. You can also tap on the animals that inhabit your area and they offer uplifting affirmations.

You start the game with a small oasis, with the ability to progress to Star Island, Emerald Hill, and other areas over time. With its soothing music and simple, soothing gameplay, My Oasis is a solid choice for anyone looking for a virtual escape.

To download: My Oasis: Anxiety Relief Game for iOS | android (Free in-app purchases available)

Relieve stress and anxiety with soothing mobile games

If you need a little break to rest and calm your mind, these anti-stress mobile games can help. Occupy your mind with gently growing trees, beautiful puzzles, and soothing virtual spaces to relax and unwind anytime.

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