Ideally, mental health should be a priority for everyone. However, not everybody can afford therapeutic services, so there are alternative ways to enhance one’s mental health. For instance, exercising and socializing with friends can help maintain your mental well-being.
Another potential way to boost your mood at home is by focusing on your hobbies or passions, such as video games. There are games for practically every kind of person, including horror, action-adventure, puzzle, and even visual novel genres. Some games may provide a sense of calm and relaxation.
For example, there are dozens of Pokemon games, dating back to the late 90s, in which people who grew up playing these games still love them because they feel nostalgic and familiar. Games may be best combined with seeing a therapist to greatly help improve your mental health. If you want to learn more about how a therapist could help you, check out the MyTherapist catalog of blogs and online professionals that may be perfect for anyone wanting to start counseling.
Below are four more calming titles that can help you focus on improving your mental health.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
Animal Crossing New Horizons was released on the Nintendo Switch last March and broke many sales records. It was the perfect game for many people wanting to find a sense of peace during the beginning of a global quarantine.
The newest installment in the franchise has you arriving on an uninhabited island, where you are responsible for creating a village through crafting projects, welcoming new residents, and beautifying your tropical paradise.
The game’s feeling of calmness and serenity derives from the daily routine of checking up on your town, talking to residents, collecting and gathering materials for crafting items, and the list goes on. Additionally, the game’s online features allow friends and family to visit each other’s islands when they cannot see each other in person during regular times and under pandemic restrictions.
Ultimately, Animal Crossing is a feel-good game that helps you stay focused on your own goals when making your village and makes you feel satisfied when you finish constructing the town hall, or when you plot out spaces on your island for residents’ homes. The game gives you control and freedom, making it one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch.
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby stands tall as one of the most lovable and wholesome characters in Nintendo’s catalog of gaming franchises. The latest release, Kirby Star Allies, is one example of a Kirby game that is designed to make you feel at ease.
Kirby Star Allies is the first traditional Kirby console release since Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, which came out on Wii in 2011. Star Allies exudes serenity through its colorful level designs, fun and wacky powers you get from enemies by swallowing them as Kirby, and an energetic soundtrack. You can also play with up to three people, where they control other iconic Kirby characters, such as Waddle Dee and Meta Knight.
Kirby multiplayer offerings have always been incredibly fun, especially since it is more fun playing in the Kirby world with a good friend than alone. Kirby’s adorable sounds, the cute enemy designs, and extra content all come together in a compelling package that can help anyone breathe a sigh of relief after a hard day at work.
If you want to play a game that’s not only relaxing but filled with dozens of hours of content, then Stardew Valley might be right up your alley. Available on all major consoles and PC, Stardew Valley has you controlling an office employee who is bored of the 9-to-5 grind.
The main attraction of Stardew Valley is maintaining your farm by going through various objectives. These include tilling the field, planting your crops, taking care of farm animals, and going out into the woods, and gathering resources. But if you don’t want to start farming, you can enjoy the game’s other activities.
You can fish, enter a local cave and fight monsters while gathering rare minerals, or mingle with the townsfolk. Every single resident has a backstory, and you can even choose to start a relationship and begin a family if you so desire.
The appeal of Stardew Valley lies in the game’s freedom and exploration. People feel most calm when playing this title because it’s easy to get lost in the charming world and engaging gameplay. At the beginning of the game, you have to manually take care of your farm, but as you unlock more resources, you can automate some of the farming processes. However you play this game, you are likely to have a good time.
Wandersong is a niche indie-developed title. Available on all major consoles and PC, you play the role of a wandering bard who wants to use his singing ability to unify the world against a world-ending threat.
The game’s simple art style, witty and deep writing, lovable cast of characters, and unique setting all contribute to its relaxing nature. The music is soft and heartwarming and the story pulls at your heartstrings time and time again. The game is divided into chapters, each one with a different setting that slowly advances the story.
The gameplay itself is simple. You can control the bard’s singing in various ways, which helps in solving various puzzles or trying to communicate with various residents.
Wandersong is a 10-hour experience that is highly worth your time. The main character is a gem who goes out of his way to treat everyone and everything with respect. His kindness gets paid back as the story unfolds and you continue the quest.
The game is filled with wholesome moments, so if you are looking for a good time, then consider picking up Wandersong.
These games are only a small sample of the number of games that can help you remain calm during a stressful time. Simply put, video games are an incredible medium. Many developers put in so much work to create experiences that you will not experience anywhere else.
Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and indie game developers contain incredibly hard-working individuals who strive to make the best games for their audiences. Pick a game that looks somewhat interesting to you, and you will have a great time and hopefully a respite from your current stresses.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with mytherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.