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Your Phone, Your Playground: Awesome Apps for Work Breaks

We all need a mental break during the workday. Stepping away from your tasks for even a few minutes can boost productivity and creativity when you return. Your phone offers a portal to mini adventures that recharge your brain. Whether you have five minutes or a full hour for lunch, check out these awesome mobile apps to enjoy on your next work break.

Quick Diversions

Sometimes, you just need a quick mental palate cleanser. These micro-break apps provide bite-sized fun in just a few minutes.

Bingo Games

For fast-paced, randomly-generated entertainment, try a bingo game app like Bingo Pop, Bingo Bash, or even a bingo for cash. These apps simulate the classic game of chance, but instead of passively watching numbered balls drop, you actively daub virtual cards as numbers are called. Features like power-ups and collections keep gameplay lively. Most bingo apps have in-app purchases but allow free play with reduced payouts. A few short rounds during your break will sharpen your focus for the remaining workday.

Simple Puzzle Games

Apps like Words Crush, Two Dots, and Dots Game provide approachable yet engaging puzzles that briefly divert your mind. Trace lines to connect dots, swipe to form words or relax into other simple logic challenges resized for mobile play. Most puzzle apps adapt their content and difficulty to your skill level. Achieving micro-goals in these games delivers little bursts of feel-good dopamine. Plus, exercising spatial reasoning and pattern recognition areas of your brain improves flexibility. Easy to pick up and put down again, these causal games fill spare minutes with mind-stretching entertainment.

Apps for Short Breaks

On longer breaks of 10-15 minutes, explore more immersive apps that transport you further from work mode while still refreshing your mental energy.

Guided Meditation

Apps like Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer provide short guided meditations for any schedule. Whether you’re an experienced practitioner or completely new to mindfulness, these apps make meditation more approachable. Select a theme like creativity, relationships, or concentration and listen to gentle prompts that direct your breathing and focused awareness for 5-10 minute sessions. By briefly quieting your inner chatter, meditation returns you to work more centered and intentional.

Mini Music Sessions

Sometimes, hitting an emotional reset or cranking up your energy is as easy as listening to an uplifting song or two. Streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music all offer quick playlists for any mood or mindset. Search for categories like “Focus,” “Workday Pick-Me-Up,” or “Happy Vibes,” and let some tunes shift your outlook. Discovering new featured artists can also expand your musical palate so you return to tasks with fresh ears.

Bite-Sized Books

Whether plot-driven page-turners or self-help guides, bite-sized fiction, and non-fiction ebooks provide rich yet concise reading material perfect for breaks. Apps like Kindle, Kobo, and Apple Books allow you to store hundreds of titles and sync your place across devices. Search for short story collections and novella-length works for beginnings, middles, and ends you can finish in 10-15 minutes. Self-development categories also offer quick reads on life skills like focus, productivity, mindfulness, and success.

Lunch Break Adventures

When you have a full hour for lunch, explore the expanded possibilities of your phone’s app portfolio. These downloads can whisk you away or make your real-life surroundings more vibrant.

Interactive Fiction

The latest generation of choose-your-own-adventure stories serves up rich episodic fiction condensed into 5-10 minute interactive sessions perfect for mealtime escapism. Apps like Choices, Episodes, and Storyscape cover imaginative genres like fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror, and more. Just swipe to shape branching storylines that respond to your choices. Continuing serialized tales also enable easy pickup on subsequent lunch breaks.

Augmented Reality Games

Your work neighborhood likely harbors virtual fun just waiting to be unlocked by augmented reality (AR) apps like Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. These location-based mobile games overlay magical objects, virtual creatures, and real-world checkpoints onto the landscape around you using your phone’s GPS and camera. Hunt magical artifacts, capture fantastic beasts, and battle at virtual locations while getting fresh air and exercise. AR games transform even quick walks around nearby blocks into miniature quests, making your lunch break more rewarding.

DIY Life Hacks

Another way to shift your outlook is by using pragmatic apps that improve daily living. Lifestyle apps offer concise guides for home organization tricks, kitchen shortcuts, fashion formulae, vehicle maintenance, personal productivity, and more DIY solutions. For example, apps like Tasty and Cookpad inspire new recipe ideas from your on-hand ingredients, while home organization apps like Apartment Therapy offer quick tips for decluttering small living spaces after work. Discover new life skills in bite-sized instructions during lunch for fresh confidence.


Whether used for distraction, rejuvenation, or imagination, mobile apps unlock new dimensions perfect for filling work breaks. With so many options just a tap away, make the most of your downtime and return to tasks energized. Think of it as rewarding yourself by expanding your playground. Those reports and emails will still be there later. Unlike lunch breaks, working hours don’t expire. So go ahead – take a break and play!