The brain is the most important organ in the body. It’s responsible for everything you do and feel. This means that it’s really important to look after your mental health so your brain can continue to function at its best.
There are all sorts of games to play that can help you learn and strengthen your mental capacity. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, anyone can play these games and reap the benefits such as better memory and improved response time.
Fancy trying it for yourself? Here are 10 games, apps and websites that help with mental health.
1. Ping Pong
Ping pong is an awesome game to help improve your mental health for multiple reasons.
First off, due to the speed of the game, the skills required to play well are similar to how you would solve a puzzle. It also improves your reflexes and fine-tunes your muscle movements.
Further, playing ping pong improves your hand-eye coordination. You must react quickly depending on where your opponent places their shot so your alertness and concentration are put to the test. This goes young and older players.
Finally, playing ping pong is great for improving cognitive awareness. The studies suggest that playing ping pong promotes blood flow to the brain and may even prevent dementia.
If ping pong sounds like the solution for you, make sure you check out this list of ping pong tables by Erica Young at GiftWits. I also recently came across this in-depth article on best ping pong paddles if you want to go for the whole set.
Sudoku is a puzzle game based on the order of numbers. Every number you enter has a direct consequence on the next. For example, if you put a 6 in one box, then this other box must be a 5, etc. These decisions help to improve your short-term memory and overall concentrations. If you don’t concentrate on what numbers are where, you won’t be able to complete the puzzle.
Play sudoku on a mobile app, online or in the newspaper. The paper has regular puzzles to complete, with the solution available in the next day’s issue.
Sudoku puzzles come in different levels of difficulty. Start off easy to familiarise yourself with the rules and work your way up. Use a pencil if you’re playing paper as you will likely make a mistake here and there.
Lumosity is a well-established brain-training site. It’s free to sign up and you can play a maximum of three games a day. Alternatively, you can sign up to the subscription service and unlock more features. But no matter if you have a free or paid account, you can keep track of your results.
The great thing about using the games at Luminosity for mental health is that their offerings are backed by science. Take them on the go via the app or play them online via the website.
Crosswords are such a classic game for mental health. They can require you to go deep into your general knowledge bank, are highly engaging and will help you learn new words. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, they are excellent for keeping the brain active.
There are plenty of ways you can do a crossword. As with sudokus, they are common in newspapers with different levels of difficulty available depending on how confident you are.
You can also play crosswords across various websites and apps. For example, if you go to the AARP website, you can play a free daily crossword, even if you’re not a member.
Elevate has 35 brain-training games for you to enjoy. Not only are they incredibly fun to play, but they are also educational. The app is free to download and has generated lots of positive reviews.
The games focus on skills like math, reading and writing, and speaking. You can customize your training based on what you want to improve. Again, you can track your progress and see your improvements.
Peak provides games to help with your mental health but is only available as an app. Improve your memory, focus better and feel more confident in your problem-solving skills with this app.
For those of you that are more on the competitive side, you can see how you fare against your friends and others. This provides extra motivation to improve your brain’ ability and mental health.
7. Happy Neuron
Happy Neuron categorizes its games into five key areas: language, memory, executive functions, attention and visual. The games and activities are personalized to you and like Lumosity, they are backed by science.
However, you must pay to access its features. You can sign up for a free trial if you’re interested in what they have to offer. There is also a simplified app that is only available for Android users.
Braingle is amazing for helping with mental health. As noted by Marina Turea, editor at Cool Things Chicago, “it has over 15,000 games to play, covering puzzles, brainteasers, optical illusions, cyphers, quizzes and more. In fact, they claim to have the largest collection in the world. Braingle gives you the opportunity to create your own games too, supercharging your brain and improving cognitive function.”
Next up is Queendom. It has thousands of tests and surveys to take that improve your mental health. Browse through the “brain tools” like logic puzzles, quizzes and aptitude tests and give your brain a good workout.
Create an account to save your results, however, some only give you a small glimpse you’ll need to pay to access the full report.
10. Brain Age Concentration Training
The Brain Age Concentration Training game was built for the Nintendo 3DS. Its purpose is to train your brain with games tailored for concentration, calculation, memory and more. It's a lot of fun, you can take the games on the go and by the time you’re done, your brain will have either learned something new or improved a certain skill or two.
You can get Brain Age Concentration Training on the Wii U system but it’s not available on their most recent system, the Nintendo Switch.