June 21, 2024


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Apps That Exercise Your Brain and Keep You Sharp

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Keeping your brain sharp is just as critical as staying physically fit—especially as you age. Doing puzzles, brainteasers, card games, dancing, and learning new skills are all ways you can flex and strengthen your brain muscles.

If you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can use brain training apps to get a mental workout. Try any of these brain-boosting apps that feature fun games to help sharpen your mind.


Peak is a brain training app that challenges memory, problem-solving, math, coordination, mental agility, language skills, and more through various games and puzzles. A typical brain training session is 10 minutes per day. The app features 45 regularly updated games. Peak tracks your scores and notes your best performances. The app offers a free trial and extra features with a paid subscription. Available for iOS and Android.


Elevate earned Apple’s App of the Year Award. The popular brain training app boasts over 40 games that aim to improve writing, memory, speaking, reading, and math. There are reading comprehension tests, simple math, games to expand your vocabulary, and more. Elevate analyzes and tracks your improvement and customizes a training program just for you. You can monitor your performance and compare yourself to other users. The app offers a free trial and extra features with a paid subscription. Available for iOS and Android.

Clockwork Brain

Clockwork Brain offers a series of fun games that challenge attention, dexterity, memory, and language. The game play is fast, so gear up to tap quickly. Puzzles are divided into mini-games. Anagrams is a classic scrambled word game. Chase the Numbers requires users to recall a sequence, etc. As the difficulty level increases, the speed at which a user must answer increases– so dexterity is a huge factor as you advance. Available for iOS and Android.


Luminosity offers a tailored brain training program for individual users that focuses on memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem-solving. The science team behind the app partners with 100 researchers from across the globe who develop cognitive training exercises and then turn them into 50-plus “easy-to-learn” brain games. Luminosity’s efficacy was even tested in a cognitive study in Plos One Journal.

Like similar apps, users can track their performance and compare themselves to others. Users can play a new set of games each day. Pricing plans vary for monthly or yearly subscriptions. Available for iOS and Android.


Photo: Fly View Productions via gettyimages.com


Gaining new skills is an integral part of maintaining cognitive health. Learning a foreign language (or languages) is a fun and fascinating way to do that. Duolingo is an app that teaches users new languages via a series of mini-games and short lessons. You can learn more than 35 languages at your own pace, including Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Dutch, and more. The app also features fun, engaging characters to help build language skills. The app is free, but a paid subscription to Duolingo Plus unlocks more features. Available for iOS and Android.

Words with Friends 2

Words with Friends 2 is an updated version of the classic game of the same name. Like Scrabble, users create words with randomly chosen letters. The game helps build vocabulary and flexes concentration skills. It also promotes socialization as you can connect and compete with friends and family members anywhere to play the game. The app is available for iOs and Android. It’s free but features in-app purchases and paid extras.

CogniFit Brain Training

Developed by neuroscientists, CogniFit Brain Training measures 23 different cognitive skills, including spatial perception, response time, visual perception, shifting, planning, working memory, and more. The app offers multiple training programs through various games and exercises. Focus areas include memory, reasoning, concentration, coordination, and more.

Users can take an assessment at any time to evaluate their general cognitive state. Games are fun and engaging. Developers recommend doing training sessions for 20 minutes at least two to three times a week. Four games are free. Monthly or annual paid subscriptions give you access to all games. Available for iOS.


Memorado sets itself apart from other brain training apps in that developers designed the 20-plus games to improve memory and focus. Users set training goals after identifying areas they wish to improve. After taking an initial assessment, users follow a personalized training schedule that matches their individual goals and skills. Available for iOS and Android.

Overall, giving your brain a regular workout is one of the most critical things you can do to keep your mind sharp as you actively age. Playing games on any of these engaging apps will exercise your brain and give you hours of fun.



The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.

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