There are a lot of pointless apps in the App Store. Some are merely time-wasters, while others actually do a disservice to your brain. But did you know there are apps available that are good for brain health? If you want to improve your focus, concentration, and education, then you’ll want to start using them as soon as possible.
There are many wonderful games and apps on the market, but one of the best for your brain is a staple that dates all the way back to the beginning of video games. Tetris, which is 32 years old, has withstood the test of time. This is partly due to its addictive nature, but also has something to do with the fact that it’s good for the brain.
A 2009 study, according to the Boston Globe, showed “that Tetris can actually transform your brain…just 30 minutes of Tetris a day can ‘thicken’ your gray matter by forging tighter connections between your neurons,” which in theory can help you solve non-Tetris problems more effectively too. Another study even suggested Tetris might be able to reduce PTSD-related flashbacks.
Peak is one of the more aesthetically pleasing and intuitive brain training apps around. It has a collection of mini-games that cover a variety of subjects related to memory, mental agility, and attention. Games take just a few minutes and are marketed as daily brain “workouts.”
The free version offers many different options, and you can unlock the full features by paying a small monthly fee. As a member, you also get personalized statistics and recommended workouts.
Elevate, another brain training app, offers a lot of the same features and games as Peak, albeit with a slightly different interface and look. The app encourages users to log in every day by keeping track of “streaks” and rewarding users who exemplify consistency. If you’re interested in comparing Peak and Elevate, this head-to-head review may help.
Lumosity, one of the more advanced apps on the market, was specifically designed to improve tailored memory. After you tell the app what you want to focus on, it gives you daily sessions of three games in a variety of categories, including memory, problem-solving, attention, flexibility of thinking, and processing speed.
Lumosity is free for limited access, but comes with a monthly or annual charge if you’d like to access the entire app. It may be well worth the investment.
Words With Friends
While not as popular as it was three or four years ago, Words With Friends is still one of the leading games in the App Store. Similar to Scrabble, it lets you build word chains with your friends and gain points based on the letters. But does it make players smarter?
“Scrabble doesn’t make you ‘smarter,’ but the dedicated practice that people put in to mastering the game does shape the way that they spot words,” says Ian Hargreaves, a leading researcher on a study that looked at the psychological impact of playing Scrabble.
Forget a Book – Pick Up Your Phone!
Next time you find yourself waiting at the bus stop, sitting on the train, taking a lunch break, or lying in bed scrolling through social media, take a few minutes and do something productive.
Pick up your phone and access one of these brain-changing apps. Over time, you’ll begin to notice what a difference regular practice and exercise can make.