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Pace yourself for inner peace

The act of nurturing can be therapeutic in itself. Sure, it can also be frustrating at times, but watching as something grows in your care is an overall gratifying experience that can also help counter anxiety.

The following apps tap into this process, each a portal into a tranquil world for you to cultivate. They don’t need much attention; just check in when you have some spare time. Whether it’s raising succulents or a pond of koi – even your own utopia – nurturing something offers comfort to the mind, body and soul.

Relaxing roots

They’re not colourful and kind of bulbous-looking, but that’s part of what makes succulents so chill. Experience the benefits of raising these plump plants with Viridi.

Start by choosing your favourite flowerpot and a name for your plant. You’re then given a succulent seed. You can either buy more plants from the in-game nursery or wait for a new, random seed from the game every week.

Seeing your succulents grow nurses a sense of accomplishment.

Plant care is really easy: just make sure to weed and water regularly, and they’ll do the rest. Caring for your succulents comes with other simple pleasures, such as singing to them. Then there are the little snails that come to visit – their slow and steady pace serves as a reminder for you to do the same.

    Viridi

    Games

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Reflective moments

For centuries throughout East Asia, koi ponds have been places designed for meditation. They are also deep with symbolic meaning. Zen Koi 2 reflects this tradition.

Soak it all in as your koi glide across the screen.

But it’s not all passive postulation: tap the screen to guide your fish through the water and help them feed. Of course, some prey is quicker than others, so a little chase may be in order. Catch enough and your pond expands. Tending to it while soaking in the rippling music is such a peaceful experience, it’s no wonder the tradition has survived the ages.

    Zen Koi 2

    Ascend your Koi into a Dragon

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Secluded lagoons

Sometimes true relaxation can only be found in an out-of-the-way place all to your own. A floating desert island, perhaps?

My Oasis starts things off simple: tap to collect hearts, the game’s currency for upgrades. Then slowly transform your desert into a greening oasis for plants, animals and yourself.

There’s also a fun rhythm game element. When a musical note bubble appears, tap out the melody you hear for a reward. Every now and then, your animals impart words of wisdom and encouragement. Add the tranquil background music, and you may sense your stress floating away.

    My Oasis: Anxiety Relief App

    Best relaxing game

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