Turning off negative news is easy but maintaining positivity can still be challenging. Well-intended advice can add to the stress by giving you more things to do, like change your diet, manage your stress, or get more exercise. So, what if we could make mental health activities more like games we can play? The apps below will help you keep your positivity high while you have fun nurturing your well-being.

Perpetuating Joy

The Japanese word ‘Ikagai‘ is a concept that means “a reason for being”, but it is more about identifying something that you do without much thought or decision, something you just find yourself doing because it brings you joy and a sense of accomplishment. This can be a hobby, a chore, your work, an activity, or something else entirely. Take time to identify your own Ikagai with apps like Your Ikagi, and then make sure you make time for it regularly in your life. Once you recognise your joy, find and join groups about your interests on your social media platforms and engage in their discussions. This also has the added benefit of connecting with others by broadening your social life—even better for those of us less mobile or still in lockdown.


Gaming Positivity

There are many apps for positivity, but Happify stands out with its true gamification of well-being games, including medals and power-ups to motivate you to train your brain for positivity, learn how to lift your mood, and change your habits. After choosing what area of your life you want to work on, Happify’s AI asks you a few questions to tailor a path of games and activities to help you achieve your desired goal. Happify also offers you a choice between casual mode and arcade mode—a fast-paced mode with a timer. So instead of killing time with mindless games encouraging addiction, why not play a few games designed to boost your positivity and well-being?


Easy Sleeping

A good sleeping pattern is just as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Sleep gives the body time to repair for the next day, can help reduce weight gain, and improves concentration and productivity. But stress and anxiety can deteriorate your sleep quality and impact your waking hours. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your sleep.

Calm Radio and Relax Melodies allow you to personalise your own ‘audio sleep therapy’ with ambient sounds. Choose from water and nature sounds, animal sounds, white noise, city sounds, and meditation sounds.

Or if listening to a story helps you drift off to dream time, choose from stories or meditations with Slumber. Slumber also lets you adjust the backgrounds sounds to create the perfect soundscape for falling asleep.

And for those who like to analyse,  Sleep Cycle and help you monitor your sleep patterns to identify issues so you can address them. 

For more ideas to get you waking up more refreshed, check out 5 innovations in sleep technology to help you get a better night’s rest.


Reinventing habits

There’s no denying it, habits are hard to break. If anything needs to be made more fun, it’s the ordeal of changing habits. Habitica applies a unique video game inspired experience to track your habits and goals. Habitica also lets you join your friends on missions and quests. Or try Streaks for iPhone, an award-winning app with a design that makes staying motivated fun, while also integrating with the IOS Health App. 


Time out

Of course, time out from your digital devices and unplugging from the virtual world can also help you reset and recharge. Find the right balance for you between screen time and natural and free ways to elevate your positivity and well-being, like getting regular sunlight, fresh air and exercise. For more ideas on work-life balance, check out Get your work-life balance perfect with everyday technology.


If you or anyone you know would like more information regarding mental health, contact Beyond BlueBlack Dog Institute, or Lifeline.

Photo by Dylan Sauerwein

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Damien Lutz

Senior UX/UI Designer at Vodafone

Damien Lutz,
Senior UX/UI Designer at Vodafone

Damien Lutz is a Senior UX Designer for Vodafone and a contributor to Red Wire. He has published two science fiction novels, and his short stories have been included in several anthologies. Damien writes about future tech to explore its potential and pitfalls, and so he might design better human-machine experiences today.