Some Games That Help Me With My Anxiety – Stress-Free Games That Help Us Relax

Some Games That Help Me With My Anxiety – Stress-Free Games That Help Us Relax

As we all know, games can be an incredibly powerful force for good, and that includes times when anxiety gremlins take up residence in your head. Here are Zoe Delahunty-Light’s best personal picks for games that offer gentle guidance without pressure, fun distraction in a safe environment, and a creative outlet without judgement or the need to beat a high-score. Let us know your picks for games that help with anxiety in the comments! #Eurogamer

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50 Comments

  1. Vinemaple on April 5, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Wow, Zoe! Thank you so much! I have been wishing I had a guide like this, as I’m in the market for just this kind of thing as my life and my perceptions have changed quite a bit in the last 6 months. And like others, I’ve had Return of the Obra Dinn on my wishlist for a while… I’m buying it. Again, thank you for both opening up and sharing!

  2. Alain on April 5, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    It’s a card game on Steam, but Wingspan is calming.

  3. Nelson Ruger on April 5, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve always dived into Skyrim or a Fable game to relieve my anxiety but this list…oh man. THIS LIST. This is everything. Thanks, Zoe. You’re a lifesaver.

  4. DL McKay on April 5, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    Gorogoa is amazing. for this. Especially on the Switch.
    I"ve also found Flower by thatgamecompany good for anxiety , at least the first few levels. floating on the breeze fora a few minutes really helped to bring things down when they were boiling over.

  5. Dreams Squad on April 5, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    Riding your bike on a sunny day in GTA V. That helps.

  6. cactustactics on April 5, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks Zoe! Great video and you can tell how much it’s appreciated in the comments

    One game I always thought was nice and chill is Steep – it’s a skiing/snowboarding game but really it’s more of an open-world mountain simulator. You can do challenges and whatever, or you can just set off from anywhere and carve through the snow at your own pace, going whichever direction you feel like, swishing across the landscape, finding forests and glaciers and little villages while the sun sets. Or you could do some paragliding and cruise over some mountain vistas, or just walk around and take some photos. There’s even a chilled, minimal soundtrack option with lots of quiet piano and sparse vocals – they knew what they were doing!

  7. gabrielle raul on April 5, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Good video, please do a reverse as well. Right now days gone is giving me severe anxiety even when I’m not playing.

  8. Sam Butler on April 5, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Great list, thank you Zoe. Can I request that future videos have timestamps? Or the games are listed in the description?

  9. Clint on April 5, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Does anyone know what the bumper music is at the very beginning?

  10. Lys of Rivia on April 5, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Another game that felt utterly relaxing and calming to me was Shadow of the Colossus. Even though you have to find and fight the Colossi, simply riding aimlessly and free through the breathtaking landscapes, with no side quests or goals except stumbling upon another boss made the open world aspect so much better for my anxiety. Even the boss fights felt somewhat calm due to the way you have to tackle them.

  11. ApexPenguin on April 5, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Are there any games or game mechanics that really trigger your anxiety? For me, trophies and achievements really destroyed my ability to enjoy games. Seeing all of those progression bars and percent completed stuff, it makes my brain itchy.

  12. Roachan on April 5, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Gaming makes anxiety worse. Because you stuck at home doing nothing productive. Its like depression drugs. You think it helps you but in fact its making you addicted.

  13. Zanite on April 5, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    "Becalm" a free game on Steam helps me. You basically sit in a boat and watch the pretty lights go past. Its weird but works.

  14. Amaritudine on April 5, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Gorogoa’s a short but pretty incredible experience. The sheer creativity and depth in the art and design is worth the (already pretty minimal) price tag.

    I’ll definitely pick up Eastshade next time I need something new. This is the second Eurogamer video that’s expressly recommended it as a relaxing fantasy experience, and there’s real appeal in roleplaying as an artist for a change.

  15. emmyj78 on April 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Really loved this, thanks. I suffer with anxiety & depression and especially over the last 16 months video games have been the main way I’ve coped through the pandemic (especially the first UK lockdown, I live alone & had my Birthday, so that was pretty bad for my mental health).

    I’m not a fan of combat games (they stress me out and I’m really really bad at them) so I generally only play calming, as stress-less games as possible. I love Eastshade and is one of my platinum trophies. I was so happy I found it (I think I found it on Twitter!). I know it will be a game I revisit. I also love the games Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (so great, uplifting, warm, happy, bright), Call Of The Sea (which I got really immersed in and I finished quite quickly (for me anyway)) and Spiritfarer (which is amazing but can be a little sad at times). I’m currently playing Walden, a game (which I think is another lovely looking game, crafting, slight survival in the woods storyline. No horror though) and Where The Heart Leads (looks great, immersive story, narrative driven). My favourite game though is still Everyone’s Gone To The Rapture. So beautiful & the soundtrack is so so good! Such a great story, a weird, relevant, game to first play whilst in lockdown. It was my first ever platinum trophy in June 2020.

    I will def check out the others you mention and will also look at the comments for anyone else’s recommendations. Always on the hunt for new stress-less (not necessarily stress-free) games.

  16. Paul Baker on April 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Immortals fenyx Rising really helped my depression and anxiety.

  17. Tank Nation on April 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Absolutely love this vid , I suffer from anxiety and in a similar symptomsto you Zoe , games also help me quite a bit , I like GTA V, Burnout Paradise and Lego games for just being able to travel around with good music or just being whimsical 🥰 x

  18. Pedro Duarte on April 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you, very very much. For the tips, and for assuming publicly this tabu condition which so many people suffer in silence.

  19. Drakoolbnight on April 5, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    i love this; normalizing anxiety and ways to help through what we love GAMING! i have ocd and i think i just have general anxiety as well and every day can be a fucking struggle. Oddly enough, like 75% of the time when I game to ease anxiety, I like to play games like Left4Dead2 because I like the campaign mode and i like being scared and adrenaline induced by something else that isnt my own mind

  20. biseinerheult78 on April 5, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Games were my way out of anxiety.

    Then I became a game developer.

  21. Laura Anne on April 5, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    This is wonderful because, unlike some other recommendations for anxiety I’ve seen, it’s clear you really do know what you’re talking about here. I will definitely be checking out some of these suggestions.

  22. essexboy2006 on April 5, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    I’d recommend The Pedestrian and Carto.

  23. QueenOfFabulous on April 5, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    "Anxiety" *jazz hands*
    Same

  24. Nick Headley on April 5, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    I’m really enjoying the recent angle towards games that are kind to our brains – videos like this and lo-fi games to relax to.

    Thank you and please don’t stop!

  25. wtf chuck on April 5, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Great video! Watching Zoe talk about dealing with anxiety through choice games helps me deal with my anxiety very much.

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  27. Abby Rice on April 5, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    This is exactly the content I needed tonight

  28. Kung Fu Panda on April 5, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    My go to game is probably one of the more obvious ones, Journey it just calms me down and I can just relax and enjoy the game and the soundtrack. Not played Eastshade though that looks really good.

  29. Lys of Rivia on April 5, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    I LOVE The Room! Such a meditative yet mystical game.

  30. Fernanda Vieira on April 5, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Omg, you have no idea of how good the timing of this video was. I need these games right now!

  31. pacer1705 on April 5, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    No love for “A Short Hike”?

  32. Stephanie Rose on April 5, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    I love that intro!

  33. Michelle Franklin on April 5, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    Highly recommend Eastshade, Gorogoa, Alekon, Littlewood, Astrologaster, I Am Dead (which is very positive), Down in Bermuda, Alba, and of course Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Breath of the Wild for all anxiety destruction.

    EDITED: and of course, A Short Hike.

  34. Anders Waldo on April 5, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    “I’m sure we’ve all played Where’s Waldo…” yeah, but I’ve been on the wrong end of it all!!

  35. Tom Nook on April 5, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Very creative use of "multiplayer" mode!

  36. Vitalis Obidi on April 5, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    It’s the Touryst for me

  37. GARY O'NEILL on April 5, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    amazing video

  38. Jianimal Gaming on April 5, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Bastion’s kind of nice for that, too:)

  39. kity Noir on April 5, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    Is fallout 3 and fallout new Vegas good for helping with calm anxiety?

  40. QueenOfFabulous on April 5, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    Puzzle games distract me from stress by making me stressed about the puzzle instead

  41. FunkoEditor on April 5, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    I played the Room on mobile and it was really fun with touch controls.

  42. Jan Pales on April 5, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    here is another thing which helps me with anxiety – Zoes voice. :3

  43. Andy Turner on April 5, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    How is Zelda BOTW stress relieving? Those Guardians stress me out and the weapons breaking raises my blood pressure.

  44. Arec on April 5, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Bless Zoe. Bless this video. I’m sobbing

  45. Hyung Kyu Lee on April 5, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Brit chick super cute. anxiety is hot.

  46. Jorge Alves on April 5, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks for making me feel less alone. Anxiety haunts me too.

  47. FistOfFiori on April 5, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    I’m finding Townscaper a fun little toy to play with after a friend recommended it to me. Less than a fiver on Steam, and so relaxing making a "town"/island, and you can make utter monstrosities of buildings in it, ha.

  48. Macho Fantastico on April 5, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Awesome video, would love to hear more recommendations from folks.

  49. Paul Fagan on April 5, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    What’s the name of the song at the beginning? Great video Zoe, love exploring Bioshock 2

  50. MadAlice on April 5, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Hades is my current go to anxiety and adhd bad day game, and good days too. The loop is soothing to me, chasing my favorite boons, talking to NPCs, flieting with Thanatos, all make me smile a give my livewire brain a bit of a rest, while the combat is challenging enough for me to get some much needed focus and stability on brainbounce days. Also enjoy playong Yakuza Like A Dragon, just exploring the city when I don’t feel like progressing the story or grinding with my party to level up my bond with the characters or doing activities to level the personality stats. I always appreciate games that let you do as you please between story beats.
    Dishonored is another go to game for hard days because I’ve played it so many times, I can turn my brain off and zip through my favorite levels and just enjoy the ride. Same with Dragon Age Inquisition. I tend more towards action games than puzzle games, as you can see, but I’m going to try Obra Dinn. It looks like it would be a lot of fun.

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