The Best Games for Stress Relief and Relaxation

In today’s fast-paced world, video games offer a digital escape, helping to alleviate stress and enhance mental well-being. This guide reviews various games designed for different preferences, emphasizing their therapeutic advantages. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to gaming, explore how these games can provide a much-needed respite from daily stressors. These stress relief games offer a brief, engaging distraction from everyday pressures, allowing you to unwind and improve your mood.

10 Relaxing Games to Alleviate Stress and Relaxation

Video games, often seen merely as entertainment, can also serve as a powerful tool for relaxation and stress relief. Here, we present the top 10 games that are expertly crafted to help you unwind, relax, and rejuvenate your mind:

Bubble Wrap

Bubble Wrap is a free mobile app that offers a virtual version of the stress-relieving activity of popping bubble wrap. Users can freely pop bubbles or participate in mini-games like Blitz Pop, where you pop as many bubbles as you can in one minute, Pop 500, where you race to pop 500 bubbles, and Pop All, where you aim to burst all 2,000 bubbles on the sheet. The app features adjustable bubble sizes and a variety of colors and sounds, enhancing the relaxing and enjoyable experience of bubble popping. Perfect for killing time and easing stress on the go.

Personal Zen

Personal Zen is a clinically recommended game designed in collaboration with neuroscientists to alleviate anxiety and enhance mental wellness. By following the path of a friendly sprite and ignoring a distractive one, players train their brains to focus on positive aspects and discard negative thoughts. A study in Clinical Psychology Science found that playing Personal Zen for just 25 minutes can significantly reduce anxiety, with noticeable improvements even from short, bi-weekly sessions. This game not only helps in battling painful emotions but also promotes overall brain health.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw Puzzle is a beloved classic game with over 360,000 reviews on the App Store, making it a favorite among many puzzle enthusiasts. This digital version mimics the traditional jigsaw puzzle experience, challenging players to sort and fit interlocking pieces together to form a recognizable image. It’s an engaging and stress-relieving activity that enhances problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and visual-spatial reasoning. Available on mobile devices, it offers the convenience of puzzling anytime, anywhere, without the worry of losing pieces. Perfect for both beginners and advanced puzzlers, Jigsaw Puzzle provides a soothing escape and the satisfying accomplishment of completing beautiful images.

Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire is a popular card game that involves arranging all cards in descending order from King to Ace by suit to clear the board. Renowned for its blend of strategy and relaxation, the game provides a soothing distraction from stress, requiring concentration and strategic planning. This makes it not only a fun and engaging challenge but also a great way to achieve a meditative state of mind. Players enjoy the satisfaction of completing stacks and the calming effect of the game’s repetitive card movements.

Flow Free

Flow Free is a relaxing puzzle game where players connect matching colors with pipes to cover an entire board. The challenge is to ensure the pipes do not overlap and no box is left untouched. While the game increases in difficulty at higher levels, sticking to lower levels offers a more soothing experience. It’s an ideal game for unwinding, accompanied by calming sounds, and it provides a satisfying and meditative distraction from daily stressors.


Bejeweled is a classic match-3 game renowned for its various modes tailored to different preferences, including the stress-relieving Zen mode. Zen mode is designed to enhance relaxation through subliminal positive affirmations, fine aural tones, and breath modulation features. Players can engage endlessly without the pressure of achieving specific targets, making it an excellent choice for unwinding. The breath modulation tool helps synchronize breathing with gameplay, promoting a calming experience as the game progresses.


Wordscapes is a relaxing word puzzle game that combines elements of word searches, anagrams, and crosswords against a backdrop of beautiful scenery. The game is designed to sharpen your mind with just 10 minutes of play each day. It offers a stress-free experience with unlimited chances to complete each level, eliminating the pressure of losing or waiting for lives to recharge. This makes Wordscapes an ideal choice for those looking to engage their brains while unwinding and enjoying a peaceful gaming environment.

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush is a widely popular puzzle game that involves matching colorful candies to clear them from the board. It’s known for its stress-relieving qualities, partly due to the satisfying sounds and visuals as candies are crushed and the upbeat background music. The game allows players to progress at their own pace, adding to its relaxing nature. However, it can be quite addictive, requiring some self-control. Candy Crush operates on a “freemium” model, where the game is free to play but offers in-app purchases for additional features. This game is a great choice for those looking to unwind during commutes or breaks.

Key Features of Games Designed for Stress Relief and Relaxation

Stress relief and relaxation games are designed to provide a calming experience to players, helping them unwind and manage stress. These games often incorporate specific features to enhance their therapeutic benefits. Here are some key features commonly found in stress relief and relaxation games:

  • Simple Gameplay: These games are easy to understand and play, requiring minimal concentration.

  • Soothing Visuals and Sounds: Soft graphics and calming sounds create a peaceful atmosphere.

  • Repetitive Actions: Repetitive mechanics, like tapping or swiping, can be meditative and help distract from stress.

  • No Punitive Measures: Games often lack strict penalties, featuring no time limits or harsh failure consequences.

  • Mindfulness Elements: Elements such as breathing exercises enhance relaxation and presence.

  • Customisation Options: Players can personalize backgrounds, themes, and other game elements.

  • Progress at Your Own Pace: Non-linear design lets players move through the game without competitive pressure.

  • Positive Affirmations and Feedback: Encouraging messages throughout the game boost mood and self-esteem.

  • Endless Modes: Some games offer modes without a defined end, allowing continuous play.

  • Engagement of Multiple Senses: Games may also use haptic feedback to involve touch, increasing immersion.
  • These features collectively help make stress relief and relaxation games effective tools for mental wellness, providing a gentle respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Stress relief games offer a fun way to escape from life’s pressures, providing an engaging diversion into calming realms. By exploring the games listed, you can find effective tools for relaxation and share your experiences to help others manage stress. We encourage you to comment on other games you find helpful for stress reduction. In summary, these games come with features that promote relaxation and mental wellness, from their simple gameplay to soothing elements and flexible progress systems. Incorporating them into your daily routine can not only enhance your enjoyment but also improve your overall mental health.


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