Everyone loses their keys every so often, but you know there’s a problem if you can’t find them every morning. Or if you often leave at home the project that’s due that day, something must be wrong. The point is, if you’ve been having some problems with your focus and memory, it’s probably high time to do some brain training.
What’s brain training you say? Traditionally speaking, it’s doing small daily exercises that hone your mind. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your mental performance— your focus, memory, problem-solving skills, thinking skills, and even language skills— this article is for you. Or if you’re looking for means to de-stress and to keep your mental state fit during hectic weeks then, you must keep reading.
We’ve covered today the best brain training apps that do just that! Below are 6 unique and useful apps that improve your cognitive abilities from those that help you improve your language skills, the ones that train you how to handle negative emotions better, to those that allow you to memorize entire paragraphs! You can train your brain to do these things today and more! Try them all and see which ones suit you best.
Lumosity by Lumos Labs, Inc.
Best Feature: Lumosity is one of the more popular brain training apps out there as well as one of the first of its kind. It mainly uses quick but timed brain-training games that you can schedule for a daily dose of mental exercise. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be asked to identify which of the following areas you’d want to improve on: memory, attention, problem-solving, processing speed and flexibility of thinking. Afterwards, it’ll automatically create your daily program of games suitable to your chosen cognitive areas.
Suitable for: If you are dedicated to have a daily regimen of mental exercises that improves your general mental performance, this app is for you. It doesn’t promise to increase your IQ points by 20, but it does help you function better in your everyday life, granted that you’re religious about doing your daily sessions.
Free or Paid: It’s free for three games per day or for one session at the App Store. Users with monthly subscription get to play the full spectrum of games daily.
Elevate by Elevate, Inc.
Best Feature: We would be remiss if we actually forgot to mention an App Store’s App of the Year pick from this category, won’t we? Just like Lumosity, Elevate is a brain training app that features multiple games that train your brain to be better in some cognitive tasks. In particular, it deals with five major categories: Listening, Writing, Reading, Speaking, and Math, all of which are skills that have real-world applications.
With Elevate, as you pass more tests, the difficulty increases, keeping you on your toes so you can stay sharp and not unlearn what you’ve gained. Needless to say, Elevate uses a highly pragmatic approach to brain training as opposed to other apps out there.
Suitable for: What sets Elevate apart from the rest of the competition is its emphasis on training individual skills as opposed to general mental abilities. For example, rather than just simply training your brain to be better at Speaking, it gives you options to train sub-skills like eloquence and brevity using a particular set of games. If you want to focus on intensively training a chosen skill, give Elevate a try.
Free or Paid: The app is generally for free, but with moderately priced monthly premium, you can upgrade to Pro version and gain access to all 40+ games in the app.
Peak by brainbow
Best Feature: Don’t have time for serious brain training, but want to do it on your spare time? Peak might be more your peg. Like Lumosity, Peak uses brain training games to help users improve their cognitive abilities. But unlike its predecessor, it features simpler minute-long games that cover a broader range of subjects including language, coordination, and emotion control.
Suitable for: If you don’t have much time to spend on training your brain but would like to get real results, you must try Peak. It’s also helpful for those who want to acquire more advanced thinking skills with its comprehensive types of training games.
Free or Paid: You can have free access to the majority of Peak's games. And paying for an inexpensive monthly subscription lets you access all the games in the app and have a personalized regimen of daily games depending on its assessment of your “problem areas”.
Cognito by Tidepool, Inc.
Best Feature: It uses a different approach on brain training: a more game-like set of mental exercises or “missions” that create a real player experience. These missions are weaved together by a broader spy-themed narrative, involving secret agents and criminal organizations. It’s a clear departure from the obvious types of games offered by many brain-training apps, which are essentially Lumosity-clones.
Like the other apps, Cognito boosts your memory and attention in addition to enhancing your logic and reasoning as well as recording your stats. But unlike the others, it's also designed to let you discover your psychological traits such as your personality. These are made possible through the use of the novel formula of neuroscience plus gaming.
Suitable for: Are formal brain-training apps not your thing? Want something that improves your memory but runs more or less like a real game? If you want to enjoy a full gaming experience as if it’s not a mental exercise, Cognito might be your app of choice. Who says you can’t be entertained while you’re training your brain?
Free or Paid: This app is totally free from the App Store! But you can also avail of a monthly or annual subscription to enjoy more customised and detailed features of the app.
Eidetic by Steven Waterfall
Best Feature: Having difficulty memorizing who did what or which formula to use for what equation? Eidetic will help you remember the right things through a special method called spaced repetition, which sets intervals between subsequent reviews of pre-learned material. The method itself has a high success rate, and has been clinically proven to increase memory retention.
Eidetic basically creates a platform where the method is conveniently automated and can be customized to make you remember anything that you need to NOT forget.
Suitable for: Students, you’ll love this app! Eidetic is a specialized app specifically designed to improve your memorisation, so you can perform better at school. It’s pretty useful when you need to remember information that's difficult to retain like historical names and events or a lengthy equation. But it’s also helpful in helping you not to forget mundane stuff like a new phone number or password.
Free or Paid: You can download it for free on the App Store, but you can upgrade to Pro mode and unlock more features for a measly one-time payment.
Happify by Happify, Inc.
Best Feature: So far, we’ve talked about apps that could make your brain perform better. But what about apps that train it to be happier? Happify is a unique app that trains your brain to achieve greater emotional wellbeing. The app is built upon the principles of positive psychology, which upholds the importance of optimism as well as focuses on the individual talents and virtues of individuals.
Instead of games, the app uses a unique combination of guided quizzes, meditation sessions and a “gratitude journal” to aid self-reflection. Those on the platform also have the option to interact with the app’s sizable community of users, adding a social element to the experience.
Suitable for: Try Happify if you want to train your brain to be more adept at handling your anxieties, thoughts and feelings. It’s most useful during those stressful times and is suitable for anyone who would like to keep their minds fit.
Free or Paid: The best part of it is Happify is free to download from App Store, but unlocking extra features would require in-app purchases.
So test and improve your cognitive abilities now with these apps! Enhance your general mental abilities with Lumosity but get better on a specific cognitive skill with Elevate. Try Peak when you can train your brain only during your free time but have a full gaming experience while exercising your brain with Cognito. Eidetic is your best choice for memorisation, and Happify is your app not only for intellectual well-being but, most importantly, for emotional fitness. Choose your app according to your needs or try them all! You can never have too much of brain exercise!