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10 calming games to relieve your stress and help cope with anxiety

By Kara Santos Published May 09, 2022 6:09 pm

The past few months have been stressful for many people. A lot of Filipinos have been dealing with various forms of anxiety caused by current events and are feeling stressed out about the future of the country and with good reason.

Want to escape real life and the chaos of the world for a while? Take a break from your social media feeds and get lost in virtual worlds.

Here are some of the most calming and relaxing games that can help you unwind and escape even for just a little while.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a non-linear story-based game that takes place in small English village whose inhabitants have mysteriously disappeared. While the concept may sound stressful, the game actually offers a very relaxing and soothing take on the end of the world. You won’t be battling any zombies or monsters here. Instead, your goal is simply to walk around, trying to figure out what exactly happened, which is more calming and relaxing than it sounds

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is available on PS4, and Steam

Journey

Since its original release back in 2012, Journey has been praised for its beautiful visuals, minimalist but captivating story, and interesting multiplayer mechanic. Your goal is to explore an ancient, mysterious desert world as you soar above ruins and glide across sands to discover its secrets. You venture through the desert with a random co-op partner given to you by the game which leads to some truly unique experiences.

Journey is available on iOS, PC and PS4.

Flow

In the independent video game Flow, you play as one of five creatures, each in a unique environment. You lose yourself in the crisp “deep blue” abyss where bioluminescent creatures swim above and below you as you explore, evolve andd survive. Your aim is just to glide, flit and flow through the universe. 

Flow is available to play online on a browser. It’s also available on PC, PS3, PSP, PS4 and PS Vita.

Flower

The award-winning game Flower is a meditative game that was designed to provide positive emotions in the player. The game lets you take control of the wind as you explore and accumulate flower petals onscreen while navigating beautiful, lush environments. Story-wise it may be simple, but the game offers an immensely satisfying and relaxing zen experience.

Flower is available on PS4 and Steam

Abzu

For those who love the water, snorkeling or scuba diving in real life is one of the most relaxing activities. In Abzu, you explore a vast ocean minus all the gear. The game makes it simple and beautiful to explore watery depths. Again, while the story itself is very minimal, just swimming around with all the sea creatures can leave you feeling calm and relaxed after a long day.

ABZU is available on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Switch. 

A Short Hike

Too busy to go take a walk in real life? A Short Hike is a game about taking a short hike up a mountain. The name, and the game itself, are very simple and self-explanatory, but that doesn’t stop this hike from being one of the most charming and relaxing gaming experiences.

A Short Hike is available on itch.io and Steam.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The social simulation and pandemic hit Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been praised for its rewarding gameplay that has been known to soothe the anxious minds of players. Whether you’re just hunting seashells on the beach or fishing in a river, Animal Crossing offers gamers a chance to forget the real world and take a mini-vacation to an island, offering a break from the stress and unpredictability of life.

Stardew Valley

Starwdew Valley is another fun escapist game where you can virtually move to greener pastures and forget your worries for a while. In the game, you have inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot and armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. 

The game allows you to fully customize everything from character to home decoration, making it a relaxing experience for those who want a semblance of control in their life.

Untitled Goose Game 

Untitled Goose Game is a slapstick-stealth-sandbox, where you play a horrible goose let loose on an unsuspecting village. All you have to do is make your way around town, from peoples' back gardens to the high street shops to the village green, set up pranks, steal hats, honk a lot, and generally just try to ruin everyone’s day. Doesn’t that just sound like the ultimate form or relaxation?

Untitled Goose Game is available via Steam, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds is a critically acclaimed and award winning open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. The game received heavy praise after its release. It features an expertly design world hand-crafted to deliver a constant feeling of discovery. There are plenty of secrets to find and tricks to figure out, with a unique time mechanic tying the whole game together. Overall, Outer Wilds offers a peaceful and calming expeience for gamers.

 Outer Wilds is available on PS4, PC and Xbox One.