While bubble baths and going on walks are great, I’m always looking for a new way to unwind. Enter jigsaw puzzles: The quarantine activity I didn’t know I needed, but am now completely in love with. And I’m not the only one.
This past year, many people have turned to puzzles as a way to beat boredom. So much so that there’s been incredible growth in the category: One game maker was selling 20 puzzles per minute, putting sales at a record high in its 136-year history as a company. The market as a whole is on the rise, too, and it’s estimated that it will reach $730 million by 2024. Putting your concentration into the quiet activity is also a great way to practice mindfulness, and you can reap many mental health and cognitive benefits in sitting down and having some puzzle time.
“Putting a jigsaw puzzle together has many health benefits and can help reduce stress and improve memory,” said Jill Riley, MSN, RN, senior clinical operations associate at Baylor College of Medicine, in a blog post. “Puzzles are also good for the brain. Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem solving. Spending time alone with a puzzle is also a great way to unwind and reset from a busy day.”
With all the mental health benefits of jigsaw puzzles, it’s no surprise that the meditation app Calm decided to hop on the trend and create six landscape puzzles to take your relaxation to another level. All of the puzzles are available for under $10, and they come with an extra bonus: a 30-day subscription to the app, which allows you to listen to peaceful audio while doing your puzzle.
If you’re looking for a calming new activity, shop these meditative puzzles below. By the time you secure the last piece, you’ll be feeling like a new person.
The best jigsaw puzzles for relaxation
1. Calm Hidden Waterfalls Puzzle, $10
Calm has many different landscape puzzles to grab, from mountains to this scenic waterfalls with 300 pieces.
Shop now: Calm Hidden Waterfalls Puzzle, $10
This vibrant 1,000-piece puzzle from Apostrophe Puzzles, a Black-owned and woman-led company dedicated to celebrating the work of contemporary artists of color, features the art of Marianne Angeli Rodriguez.
Shop now: Apostrophe Puzzles Island Hopping Puzzle, $36
3. Puzzledly Main Squeeze Puzzle, $19
This glossy 500-piece puzzle features all your favorite fruit: kiwis, lemons, melons, and more. Extra bonus: It’s made with 100 percent recycled material.
Shop now: Puzzledly Main Squeeze Puzzle, $19
This isn’t your typical puzzle. There are more than 50 easter eggs to find as you’re doing it, and you’ll get to experience a magic trick after you finish. And you’re never too old for magic. This puzzle for relaxation has 1,000 pieces.
Shop now: Magic Puzzle Company Mystic Maze Puzzle, $44
This colorful abstract puzzle was inspired by Spanish Surrealist artist Joan Miró. With 250 pieces of bold swoops and swirls, it’ll keep you interested from start to finish.
Shop now: Anthony & Stork Abstract Faces Jigsaw Puzzle, $22
Jiggy Puzzles features emerging female artists worldwide. This 800-piece puzzle from Slovenia-based artist Alja Horvat is nothing short of stunning.
Shop now: Jiggy Puzzles Bathing with Flowers Puzzle, $49
Celebrate some of the most inspiring women in history—from Malala Yousafzai to Angela Davis—with this 1,000-piece puzzle.
Shop now: Cobble Hill Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle, $27
Unleash your inner plant-lover with a 1,000-piece puzzle that features different types of cacti and succulents.
Shop now: Cavallini & Co. Reference Succulents Puzzle, $20
9. Piecework Full Blush Puzzle, $36
I mean, have you seen a prettier puzzle? The pretty dew-covered flowers and fingers were printed on recycled high-quality art paper, making it hard not to frame afterward. This puzzle has 1,000 pieces.
Shop now: Piecework Full Blush Puzzle, $36
Since you’re unwinding, you might as well have mocktail, too:
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