The Games I Play Based On The Type of “Bad Mental Health Day” I’m Having

Different games work for different feelings.

Nicole Kenney


Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

There is truly nothing more therapeutic to me than playing video games. But of course, there are a million different kinds of games and it’s crucial to pick a genre that will bring me back to Earth on a bad day.

And I’m not the only one, VeryWellMind has done a study claiming video games have been proven to help emotional regulation, reduce rumination, and evoke joy. While it isn’t a fix-all solution, it may be enough to keep your head above water when you need it the most.

That being said, I’ve curated a list of my favorite games that work best for the type of “bad mental health day” or emotions I’m feeling that day. Additionally, all of these games can be found on several different platforms.

Loneliness: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” or “Disney Dreamlight Valley”

“Animal Crossing New Horizons: (Photo Source: Polygon)

Games from the “Animal Crossing” series and “Disney Dreamlight Valley” feel like a warm hug when struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Both simulation games have their own living breathing ecosystems, complete with a lineup of adorable and funny characters. On the days I feel like (or think) I have no one on my side, I’ll go visit my island and say hi to all of my villagers. And in games such as these, your villagers are always happy to see you. Animal Crossing has cute, friendly little animals while in Disney Dreamlight Valley, characters like Mickey Mouse and Princess Elsa are your neighbors.

Aside from the adorable aesthetics, both games provide a relaxing experience that can be played at your own pace. The gameplay consists of little errands like fishing, foraging, crafting, and decorating the spaces.

These are great games for not only the days that you’re feeling lonely and isolated but also a great way to unwind after an emotionally exhausting day.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on Switch. Disney Dreamlight Valley is



Nicole Kenney

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