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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 8th, 2023

Stress relief games? Can they really help me reduce my work and family stress and relive my end-of-day tension? Gaming creates addiction, doesn’t it?

Playing games during working hours can be classified as cyberslacking, right? The answer is “yes, but…” to all of these questions.

There are several games with a stress relief effect. Some may cause addiction, however. Thus, playing some games requires significant self-control. 

You should not use your work equipment for personal purposes. Nevertheless, playing a short game before an important presentation or a difficult meeting to reduce your overall tension is not cyberslacking.

Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with playing games on the plane, at airports, during lunchtime, or after work at home.

Stress relief games offer you a new way to combat the mental pressure you experience every day. But please do not treat gaming as the only way to reduce stress. There are many other stress relief methods to apply in your daily life.

70+ Ways to Relieve Stress (Permanently!) That Really Work


What Exactly Is a Stress Relief Game?

A stress relief game is a simple game that is able to reduce your overall stress and anxiety level as well as improve your mood.

A short gaming activity takes your mind off your daily life problems and lets you escape from work, and social and relationship pressure.


Did Science Prove the Effectiveness of the Stress Relief Games?

Yes, it did! Some psychological studies indicate that causal video games assist in treating stress-related medical disorders.

Moreover, research confirms that temporarily losing sight of real life and relaxing are associated with games, allowing them to relieve stress for many players.

Another scientific publication suggests that work-related fatigue can be countered by playing games, especially for individuals lacking social support.


What Should You Know Before Playing Stress Relief Games?

Before you start playing these games, there is one very important piece of advice for you. In many cases, the basic level of these games is very simple and relaxing. Please use them to release tension and do not progress too quickly to the next level.

The last levels, due to their complexity, can be frantic and stressful. They may, in fact, increase your stress level. Be aware of this consequence! Again, self-control is key when playing stress relief games.


Which Are the Stress Relief Games?

A list of games prepared for you:

1. Flow Free

This is one of the most soothing games that can be found on the internet. The objective is to pair the same colors with a “pipe.” By connecting the colors, you create a Flow®. The puzzle is solved when the pipes cover the entire board. Don’t cross or overlap the pipes, however.

Note that the higher level, the more challenging and frenetic it becomes. To get the real stress relief benefits from this game, please stick to the lower level.

Available on:Web, iOS, Android.


2. Candy Crush

This is one of many puzzle games you can find. Candy Crush is one of the most famous stress relief games that has been played all over the world.

It involves connecting the same colored candies and crushing them, thereby giving the user the best experience. Stress release is further enhanced by lining up the candies to the upbeat music.

In a scientific papers we read that because the timed levels are not sequential, players can work at their own leisurely pace.

Note, however, that Candy Crush is one of the most addictive games. In this article you can read why.

Available on: Web, iOS, Android.


3. Wordscapes

This is another famous stress relief game. It appeals to anagram and corsswork lowers and anhyone who loves word search challenges. A few minutes is all it takes but you can do it for hours if you like.

Here is how it works. You build words from your given letter without a time limit. You can create more than one. You are not scrutinized as there is no timer or pressure from a countermove.  It is about your time, so no stress is involved.

Available on: iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android.


4. Pigment

If your favorite activity as a child was to color a book, then this is your best pick. In this game, you have to color the designs you choose from a huge set of coloring pencils. Give it a try!

Some researchers say that this kind of activity boosts mental acuity. In fact, coloring is great to pick up your mood and lower stress.

Plus, it is highly creative. In just ten minutes or more, you can relax as if you were meditating to reach mindfulness. You are in the moment with full concentration.

Available on:  iOS and Android.


5. INK

 This is a very unconventional puzzle game concept. It works on levels like most games and the point is to conquer the enemies in the room. There are goals at each level.

But you don‘t really know where you are going as the environment is invisible. Therefore, you need to explore a bit before applying any paint. How cool is that!

Neuroscientist Daniel Bor explains why we feel so good when solving puzzles. Most people activate the pleasure center of the brain as they seek to comprehend patterns and complexities.

Available on:  iOS and Android.



6. Push

Push is a great stress relief game to consider as it is quite different. You press buttons to unlock switches. Sounds simple, right? In the very beginning, it’s easy and relaxing, but soon things become more challenging. 

 Available on:  iOS or Android.


7. Tetris

Tetris is one of the oldest computer games around designed by a Russian engineer in Soviet times. It takes you back to your childhood, thereby giving you a good feeling.

Like all games, there is a goal. Here it is to gain points by eliminating the horizontal lines you see in the blocks. You can do this by moving and rotating the “tetriminos” inside the playing field, called the matrix. When no empty spaces are left, you are done.

Some studies classify Tetris as a stress relief game as it seems to work wonders on mood. It is a great form of distraction for anxiety. People get so involved that they lose sight of their stress.

Some researchers from University College of London found that playing Tetris for ten minutes reduces stress better than using a mindfulness app. There is no doubt, then, that this game has proven stress relief properties!

Available on:  iOS and Android.  


8. Super Mario Run

 If you are not much of a puzzle game person, then Mario may be a good option for you. It is super popular and an all-time classic.

This stress relief video game not only reduces stress but it also makes you happy. This is what one study confirms. Results show that in-game success boots one’s mood and eliminates traces of anger.  The classic game is the answer to a stressful life.

Available on iOS and Android.


9. Prune

This is a game with a simple goal. You prune the Bonsai tree, creating the desired shape.

You do it by cutting away anything unnecessary. It is a relaxing exercise without any competitive pressure. The game’s design is monochrome, which calms the mind. This is a highly recommended form of stress relief.

Available on:  iOS and Android.


10. Blue

Even if blue is not your favorite color, you will love this game. The rules are extremely simple: you just need to change the screen color to blue. 

Blue is very enjoyable although quite short in comparison with other games. The puzzles are challenging, but not frustrating. Plus, the soothing music makes Blue a relaxing and calming form of stress relief.

Available on: iOS and Android.


11. Word Cross

Did you know that scientists have found that people who do word puzzles regularly have brains that are ten years younger than their real age?

Solving crosswords is a very popular leisure activity. Some researchers from the University of Calgary believe that leisure activities play an important role in stress reduction.

Word Cross, particular, offers the opportunity to do newspaper-like crosswords on your smartphone. It is extremely easy. There are over 2,000 challenges and every day you get a bonus.

Crosswords are an all-engrossing world you can do every day. You become engaged quickly and stress fades away.

Available on Apple and Android.


12. Harmony: Melody Mirror

 People who love this game say it is easy. It is a smart music game much like Guitar Hero. Observe the notes and tap the free squares at the right tempo to active a glow. Soon you have created a bit of a melody. You will feel like a real life musician and composer.

This has been a major anxiety reducer for players. Problems like stress and OCD disappear in a jiffy. Some say that you will note a reduction in your heart rate the more you indulge.

No timer, no stressful competition or countermoves. Just relaxing fun on your own.

Available on: iOS and Android.




Stress relief games are fun and relaxing. They allow you to divert your mind from the tensions of life as entering another realm.

Try the games listed, and if they prove to be an effective stress relief strategy for you, please feel free to share this article with others to help them deal with their stress. After all, sharing is caring!

Also, please tell us in the comment section below what other games you play to reduce stress.

Interested in Other Highly Effective Stress Relief Tools?

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