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11 Mental Health Group Activities for Adults

May 10, 2024

Taking part in a mental health group can change your life. With multiple types of group therapy to choose from and the option to meet up online, there’s never been a better time to make this type of support group a part of your life.

Below, we’ve put together a list of the best mental health group activities to do with leadership from a therapist. Some of these activities can also play a role in individual therapy as well. 

How Group Settings Can Promote Better Mental Health

Connecting with a group can help you boost your mental health and overall wellness by connecting with others, building your self-esteem, and more. Mental health groups give you validation of how you feel while challenging you and helping you grow. 

These groups also allow you to bond over shared experiences healthily and give each other accountability as you pursue shared goals. With support from a professional facilitator, you and other group members can encourage each other with check-ins throughout the week.

What Group Exercises Aim To Promote 

Group exercises focus on building problem-solving skills, trust, mindfulness, self-awareness, vulnerability, pursuit of goals, and mutual support. 

Problem-Solving Skills

Group therapy sessions often involve learning new skills with support from a mental health professional and the other members of your group. Some of the activities you might do with your group can help you learn to collaborate, think strategically, and solve problems while keeping a clear head.

Trust-Building Skills

Group therapy activities can help you build trust by establishing healthy relationships between you, your therapist, and other group members. The exercises and activities you do with your group promote trust and teamwork while giving you a deeper sense of belonging within a community of like-minded people.


Mindfulness exercises can help group members become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, which can, in turn, lead to better emotional health and emotional regulation. Over time, practicing mindfulness in a group can help you learn valuable coping strategies to use in moments of stress and frustration.


Group activities can also deepen your self-awareness by giving you opportunities to build your social skills and empathy. Sharing the experience of mental health treatment with others requires compassion, patience, and a deep awareness of your own thoughts and attitudes. 

Group activities can help you see your own behavior more clearly — and how it affects other members of the group.

Vulnerability and Open Communication 

A mental health group builds your communication skills and pushes you to be more transparent with others about how you feel. Being willing to share negative thoughts and feelings and process them constructively can change how you view yourself and give you access to a life-changing support system. Opening up can be hard at first, but it’s worth it.

Motivation and Achieving Goals

Goal-setting is often a part of the template for a mental health group. You, other group members, and your therapist can look for key areas for personal growth. Then, the group can give you accountability to act on the goals that you set.

A Safe, Supportive Environment

Sometimes, what you need most is a safe place where you know you can be yourself and open up about where you’re at. That’s exactly what a mental health group can give you. The activities you do with your group are all means to build a better relationship with yourself and others.

Group Therapeutic Activities for Adults

Below are some of our favorite therapeutic activities for adults to try with support from a therapist or other mental health professional:

1. Icebreakers

Icebreakers can help you get to know the other members of your group without hitting any personal or sensitive topics. Mental health groups venture into some difficult emotional territory for the sake of growth and healing, so it can be helpful to start the conversation with something fun and light. 

Examples include:

  • “What’s your favorite movie?”
  • “What’s your favorite game?”
  • “If you were a fictional character, who would you be?”
  • “What’s one food you love and one food you hate?”

Questions like these help group members ease into the conversation and learn some fun facts about each other.

2. Role-Playing

Role-playing is another way to break the tension and get group members more comfortable with each other. To define our terms, role-playing is essentially the adult form of playing pretend. It can be based on just about any premise, but in therapy, it’s best used to help a group member plan for how they might act in a real-world stressful situation. 

3. Vision Boards

Vision boards can help group members get to know themselves better, set goals, and get a clear visual representation of what they care about most. A vision board can be as small and simple as a piece of paper, but it can also be a bigger project with printed-out photos, illustrations, and more.

4. Video Games

Video games can play a huge role in mental health groups. You can even join a support group that meets within therapeutic online games like Minecraft, Animal Crossing, or Stardew Valley. Led by a professional Guide, Hero Journey Club’s groups meet weekly within games like these, helping members connect with each other, break through personal obstacles, and build a strong support system.

5. Drawing

Creative expression is one of the best ways to get in touch with your emotions and process how you feel. Drawing based on a prompt is one of the best ways to incorporate art into a mental health group session. Even if members claim not to have artistic ability, they might surprise themselves with what comes out on the paper!

6. Knitting

Knitting is an often-overlooked hobby that’s both extremely relaxing and extremely rewarding. It’s also an amazing way to break the tension in a group by giving members something soothing and constructive to focus on. Some therapists even make knitting the basis for entire support groups.

7. Life Stories

Once group members know and trust each other, sharing life experiences is one of the best ways to deepen the connection between everyone attending a session. It’s often best to limit these stories with a prompt to avoid triggering or overly sensitive content. For example, a therapist might ask group members to share a story about a time when they felt proud.

8. Crafts

As you can tell based on some of the other entries on our list, anything constructive and creative can make a fantastic addition to a mental health group. Crafts like origami, collages, and more can break the ice and give group members something fun to focus on as they settle into more personal topics.

9. Cooking

Cooking can be creative, too, and it’s another way to make a mental health group more exciting and rewarding. Cooking often brings out the best in people and helps them get to know one another, which is exactly the type of atmosphere you want to cultivate in a support group.

10. Reflection Exercises

Self-awareness is a key aspect of the support group experience, and one of the best ways to build self-awareness is with a reflection exercise. Whether it’s journaling, a moment of quiet, or a mindfulness practice, it can help the group become more empathetic, compassionate, and present as a whole.

Find the Right Support Group for You With Hero Journey Club

We take a one-of-a-kind approach to support groups by combining evidence-based practices with beloved video games. That’s what makes Hero Journey Club so unique — you get support and care within the calming, welcoming environment of a game like Minecraft or Animal Crossing.

Schedule your first 80-minute session today to see what Hero Journey Club is all about.

Video Games as Therapeutic Techniques

Video games can be an incredible therapeutic tool. They can improve social and emotional skills, building confidence, self-esteem, and empathy. 

At the same time, the games we play at Hero Journey Club also foster an incredibly supportive community, bringing players back to spend time together after they connect in one of our groups. In fact, over 90 percent of our members say they’ve built some of the most valuable relationships in their lives through HJC!

The Takeaway

With Hero Journey Club, you get a completely unique support group based in one of your favorite video games. With support from a professional therapist, you’ll connect with others, overcome obstacles, and get help and encouragement in between sessions. It’s a life-changing supplement to therapy that we recommend to anyone who loves to have fun, build relationships, and get closer to reaching personal goals. 

If that’s you, start your journey today.


Mindfulness exercises and tips |

The Use of Electronic Games in Therapy: a Review with Clinical Implications | PMC

Goal Setting Techniques: Ways To Effectively Set and Achieve Goals | NSLS

Psychosocial Benefits of Cooking Interventions: A Systematic Review | PMC