Games for mental health: A journey through emotions and healing

Dive into games designed for mental health. Uncover their therapeutic power, aiding emotional healing in captivating digital worlds.
a scene from the game GRIS where the girl is standing in a forest

Gaming has long been seen as a form of entertainment, a way to escape the real world and dive into fantastical realms. But what if games could do more than just entertain? What if they could help process emotions, take players on a mental journey, and contribute to mental well-being

Here are seven games that do just that:

1. ABZÛ 

Published: August 2, 2016 

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Amazon Luna, Xbox One

Dive deep into the heart of the ocean with ABZÛ, an underwater adventure that explores the dream of diving. The vibrant colors, the majestic sea creatures, and the serene ambiance of the ocean depths offer a therapeutic experience, allowing players to connect with nature and find tranquility.

2. Journey 

Published: March 13, 2012

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, iOS, Microsoft Windows

Embark on a mysterious adventure in a vast desert. Journey is not just a game; it’s an emotional experience. The bond formed with anonymous players and the challenges faced together create a unique narrative about companionship and personal growth.

3. Celeste 

Published: January 5, 2018 

Platform: Linux, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Google Stadia

This is not just a challenging platformer; it’s a deep dive into the struggles of a young woman named Madeline as she confronts her inner demons. The mountain she climbs is a metaphor for her own mental health challenges, making Celeste a touching story about resilience and determination.


Published: December 13, 2018 

Platform: macOS, Nintendo Switch, Windows, iOS, PlayStation 4, Android, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Experience a serene and evocative narrative that deals with the painful process of grief. As the world of GRIS becomes devoid of color, players navigate challenges and puzzles to bring vibrancy back, symbolizing the protagonist’s emotional journey.

5. Kind Words (lo-fi chill beats to write to) 

Published: July 6, 2019

Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS

In a world where negativity often takes center stage, Kind Words offers a haven of positivity. Players write and receive encouraging letters, reminding everyone that sometimes, all that’s needed are a few kind words.

6. What Remains of Edith Finch

Published: April 24, 2017 

Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Xbox X ve S Serisi, Xbox One

Delve into the mysterious Finch family history as Edith explores her ancestral home. Each room tells a story of a family member, allowing players to experience their lives and, ultimately, their deaths. It’s a poignant reflection on life, death, and the stories left behind.

7. A Taste of the Past 

Published: March 11, 2022 

Platform: Microsoft Windows

Grief, culture, and hope intertwine in this emotional sidescroller. After losing her mother, Mei embarks on a train journey with her ancestors, rediscovering her Chinese heritage and her mother’s traditional recipes. It’s a touching tale about loss, connection, and healing.

In an era where mental health is increasingly recognized as paramount, these games offer more than just a pastime. They provide comfort, understanding, and a way to navigate the complexities of emotions. So, the next time someone says games are just for fun, remember that they can also be a path to emotional healing.

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