Using Smart(phone) Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

A smartphone can be a great tool to help improve health and wellness. There are apps to help you make healthier food choices, train for a 5K or teach you to meditate and manage stress. There are even apps targeted directly at boosting your mental well-being to help you cope with symptoms of PTSD or learn and practice the behaviors and thinking patterns of happier people.

But there’s another, more surprising, way you can use your smartphone for better mental health: Play more video games.

East Carolina University published a study suggesting that playing games (such as popular smartphone games Bejeweled® or Bookworm®) for 30 minutes each day can help alleviate clinical depression and anxiety. There’s also evidence that playing video games in older years actually promotes a more positive aging experience and helps alleviate depression in older adults.

So go ahead, break out that smartphone on the bus ride home from work, or get a phone and download some apps for grandma. No need for it to be a guilty pleasure, because now you know that playing games (in moderation, of course!) can actually help boost your mental health.