Published On: Wed, Jan 16th, 2019

The Best Brain Training Mobile Apps of 2019

With a new year comes the inevitable lists of resolutions for self-improvement. Something about the calendar flipping to 2019 makes us all spend extra time assessing where we are and where we want to be. Of course, we all yearn for the good stuff in life: great health, more money, and satisfying relationships.

The key to achieving these resolutions lies in the power of the mind. The brain behaves like a muscle, and the more we exercise it, the stronger it becomes.

Modern technology has gifted us a great convenience for brain training in the form of mobile apps. To enter the gym of the mind, we can simply reach for our smartphones.

With this in mind (rim shot please!), here are five of the best brain strengthening apps available right now.


Luminosity is an undisputed heavyweight in the arena of brain training apps. It was also one of the first to embrace mobile as a medium for users to improve their cognitive skills. We think Luminosity offers a lot of value given the design and how long it has been around.

The app works by presenting games that target attention, problem solving, memory, and flexibility of thinking. Each playing session consists of three games played against a timer, and the games (there are over 60) are different for every session. Users can track their performance over time and even view the results of other players.

Luminosity is available for iOS and Android. Basic membership is free. Unlimited access costs $11.99 a month or $59.99 a year.

Mobile Poker

Poker is often associated with the glitz and glam of casinos or as a social game best enjoyed over drinks and pizza. Those ideas might be fitting, but poker is also a game of skill that requires keen logic and strategy. In fact, poker was declared a mind sport, meaning a game of skill where competition is based on intellectual ability, in 2010 by the International Mind Sports Association.

The mind science behind poker determines that regularly playing the sport establishes high levels of focus, emotional control, and even intuition development. It’s also a great way to hone your strategic decision-making skills and battle test those decisions during real-time competition. Poker games were at one a time a rather burdensome activity to find. You either had to travel to a casino or organise an in-person game with friends. Fortunately, the growing emergence of online poker games and apps solves these problems. In fact, mobile platforms like the PokerStars app make it easy to test your mental mettle while playing interactively.

The PokerStars app is available for iOS and Android and is free to download.


The news is filled with stories about the addictive nature of today’s technology and its potential to lead to depression, social isolation, and other woes. Is it then possible that an app might actually make you happy? That’s the mission behind Happify, an app taking a scientific approach to games and activities that help you overcome worries and stress.

Happify gamifies mindfulness, positive psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy via 1,200 engaging activities. There are 60 tracks from users to choose from. Each one effectively represents a customized experience with the app. Users can also partake in spirit-lifting quizzes, polls, and a gratitude journal.

Happify is available for iOS and Android. Basic options are free. Advanced options are $11.99 a month.

Sudoku Quest

If you’re looking for a sleek, ultramodern mobile game, it’s probably not Sudoku. We include it in our roundup of top brain games because this number puzzle game that first appeared in 19th century France requires intense logic and pattern recognition to solve. The goal is to fill numbers into a partially completed 9×9 grid (one that closely resembles a crossword puzzle) so that each column, row, and 3×3 subgrid contains the digits 1 to 9.

Sudoku apps make it easier than ever to challenge your mind while on the go. We especially love Sudoku Quest thanks to its enormous collection of over 1,000 puzzles and 600 levels. The app also serves up eight fantasy worlds to keep puzzle solving fresh. A tricks and tips feature is there to help you build your attack strategy or just in case you get stuck.

Sudoku Quest is available for iOS and Android. The app is free.

Fit Brains

From language learning leader Rosetta Stone comes Fit Brains, a fun mental stimulation app that promises to enhance an impressive, all-star line-up of brainy functions: logical thinking, spatial recognition, memory, cognition, and problem-solving ability. The heavy lifting of sharpening your mind the app undertakes is accomplished by over 60 games and 500 unique training sessions.

What’s especially cool about Fit Brains is the way it adapts to your performance. The games may become more difficult as you progress. This adaptability ensures the app challenges you at the right level when you need it, giving you the maximum training benefit.

Fit Brains is available for iOS and Android. Premium subscriptions are $9.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

Do yourself a favor by trying one or all of these apps. You’ll feel smarter, make decisions faster, and grow your confidence. Here’s to a great year of mental health in 2019!

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