The Best Jigsaw Puzzles to Keep You Busy (and Less Anxious)
Nothing is more satisfying than pushing in the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle that you’ve been working on for the past four days. And because you’ve probably had some, uh, extra time on your hands lately, we bet you’ve gotten the process down to a few hours flat with your current collection. But it seems to be a worthwhile pastime, as some experts believe puzzles can help with anxiety relief. “In our hyperconnected world, if you’re physically doing a paper or cardboard puzzle, you are, by definition, disconnected and engaged in a task that’s immersive, away from the interruptions and stresses of day-to-day life. And that, of course, is good for your brain health,” says Susan Vandermorris, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist based in Toronto. That’s all the justification anyone needs to spring for a new one. Here are the best jigsaw puzzles to keep you busy (and feeling less anxious).
1. Areaware Cereal Little Puzzle Thing
Do you feel like you barely have time to relax, much less tackle a 500-piece endeavor? Don’t worry. Areaware guarantees that this puzzle can be completed in 20 minutes or less. And the cute cereal picture is one you’ll actually want to show off (at least on Instagram) when you’re done.
2. Maple + Lake Monterosso al Mare Cinque Terre Italy Beach Photo Jigsaw Puzzle
As you place each piece, you’ll be transported out of your living room and onto the warm beaches of Cinque Terre. The 11 x 14 beach landscape is built from just 252 pieces, so it’s pretty manageable.
3. Ravensburger Krypt Silver 654-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
OK, so this puzzle is definitely not for the impatient, but you will definitely feel proud of the finished product. Each piece is the exact same shade of silver, so you’ll have to rely on shape alone to figure out what goes where. “This is the ultimate challenge puzzle. It is something to brag about finishing,” writes one reviewer. He notes that the Ravensburger Krypt has a reputation for being the most difficult puzzle on the market. Impressive.
4. Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle
This 100-piece puzzle features images of and quotes from 24 notable women throughout history, including Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A fun activity with a side of inspiration from some badass women? Don’t mind if we do.
5. Areaware Gradient Puzzle
Tired of spending hours completing busy puzzles you don’t even like? Same. This simple gradient design is easy on the eyes. And the 500 pieces will keep you busy for a while.
6. NFL 500-Piece Find Joe Journeyman Puzzle
It’s a mashup between a jigsaw puzzle and Where’s Waldo (but with Joe Journeyman, the only person to ever play for all 32 NFL teams). Pick your favorite team and get to work.
7. Boobs Jiggy Puzzle
This one is a personal fave of ONE37pm style editor Madison Russell because, she notes, “Jiggy uses female artists’ work for all of its products.” This one, aptly titled “Boobs,” was illustrated by Brooklyn-based artist Julia Heffernan. It even comes with puzzle glue so that you can easily frame it when you’re done. New wall decor, coming right up.
8. 540 Colors 3-D Puzzle
Who said puzzles had to be flat? This 3-D globe comes with 540 pieces, each in a slightly different shade, that fit together to create a beautiful sphere. It even comes with a base so you can proudly display your finished product.
9. ‘The New York Times’ Custom Front Page Puzzle
Listen up, history buffs. Choose any day in history (dating all the way back to 1851) and you can get a custom puzzle of The New York Times cover from that day. We have a feeling you’ll want to frame this one.
10. ForeverWeddingCrafts Personalized Puzzle
Upload an image of you and your boo (or the whole fam) and this Etsy seller will turn it into a keepsake puzzle. You can choose from a couple of sizes, but this 210-piece set seems like a good place to start.