Games for Mental Health: 3 Titles To Calm Your Mind

Games for Mental Health: 3 Titles To Calm Your Mind


Feeling anxious? These indie titles might just help you feel a little calmer and reduce that stress.

As someone who suffers badly with anxiety, there’s nothing quite like a good, low-impact, high-reward gameplay session to make me feel a bit more normal again; offering your mind something calming to focus on and easy to achieve while keeping your hands busy and your brain engaged.

So when it comes to games for mental health, there’s more to it than simply switching to something stressful or competitive – though if that works for you, go right ahead. These titles offer me the perfect way to calm myself, spend some ‘me’ time and reduce that anxiety to something more manageable – so maybe it will help you too.

Stardew Valley


From the first notes of the opening screen, Stardew Valley has the power to help me relax in seconds. The definition of a game that’s low-impact, set in a world that’s generally very upbeat and cheerful, is the perfect way to while away sometime in the evenings after work or on weekends, and you can set your own achievable goals along the way.

Whether you simply enjoy looking after your farm animals or tending to your crops, or you enjoy foraging or fishing, Stardew Valley features countless ways to enjoy yourself without even a hint of combat; though that’s available too if you choose to take yourself off to the mines. The perfect way to unwind after a long day, there’s nothing like this Harvest Moon-style hybrid to bring some peace to your play style.



The biggest success to come out of indie studio Re-Logic, Terraria offers a gateway to your own world in the way its spiritual successor, Starbound, hasn’t quite achieved. One of the main benefits of this title is its multiplayer functionality, allowing you to create your own world as you see fit, and bring some friends along for the ride too via the internet.

For those of us who feel isolated, this connection to friends and loved ones can be the perfect way to stem anxiety and provides the ideal platform for the creation of fantastical structures and buildings, as well as all the rewards of beating Terraria’s most powerful bosses with a full armoury of ridiculous weapons. While Minecraft is an excellent alternative, Terraria was always my title of choice for the sheer variety in what you could do, build and discover.



If you’re a fan of indie titles and you’ve never heard of Undertale, you’ve likely not been on the scene for quite a while. A darling of YouTube lets-players and highly debated by fans and interested parties alike, Undertale is, at its heart, a game that favours positivity and doing the right thing. What’s not to love about that?

For those who prefer a non-combative style of gameplay, Undertale offers a somewhat therapeutic alternative to the typical hack-and-slash, allowing you to talk your way through combat and learn more about the world and monsters you’re facing. There’s nothing quite like it for those who enjoy their games on the pacifist side, and even replaying Undertale multiple times can feel like coming home to familiar friends.

Do you play games for your mental health? What titles benefit you when it comes to reducing anxiety, or improving your mood? Let us know in the comments below.

About author

Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Creative Digital Copywriter by day, Indie game fan by night. Give me a rogue-like, simulator or RPG to play and I'm happy.

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