Sound sensitivities and Calmer® - Puzzle Bored

February 7th, 2024

Meet Mark and Denise from Puzzle Bored!

Hello we’re Mark and Denise from Puzzle Bored - we love hanging out together and hanging with Denise's kids enjoying as much time outside as possible - forest walks, beach walks and bbq's (in the summer). We love to discover new places, we go dancing and African djembe drumming. 

We enjoy reading, being silly and laughing.


Denise loves spirituality and anything paranormal and I love sports. We’ve signed up for the London to Brighton Bike Ride in 2024 raising funds for Ambitious About Autism & ADHD Aware. 


About Puzzle Bored

Puzzle Bored is a cosy, three-storey jigsaw puzzle cafe in the centre of Brighton. As well as offering a selection of brain boosting teas and coffees we have partnered with local artists to sell art in the form of jigsaw puzzles. This is where the name Puzzle Bored was derived from, we were bored of the usual jigsaw puzzles available in the marketplace and decided to bring more modern, street art style designs to the public.


We’ve created a space where puzzle lovers of all ages and skill levels can come together to enjoy their favourite pastime with puzzles available to use by paying customers. The idea to create our own line of jigsaw puzzles and incorporate a cafe was born out of our passion for puzzles, our desire to create a unique and immersive community experience, and our recognition of the growing demand for activities that provide an escape from overstimulation.


Having recently been diagnosed as autistic herself, Denise is aware of sensory triggers associated with the condition. We realised Brighton was lacking spaces in which autistic people's needs have been considered so we saw an opportunity.


Puzzle Bored is a neurodivergent and sensory aware cafe. We don't use noisy espresso machines and instead opt for keeping the noise down by serving filtered coffees only. On the first floor we have a quiet room available designed with autism in mind. We hope that Puzzle Bored will have some involvement in the wider local autism strategy currently in consultation. We are excited to have Calmer® for sale at Puzzle Bored!




Denise has suffered with misophonia for many years (possibly since childhood) but after a prolonged period of stress following covid and other life 

hurdles, plus having a young family, it had become much more noticeable. On days where Denise experiences anxiety or overwhelm it is more 

noticeable and the family noise, chewing and high-pitched noises are more of a problem but we are able to find ways of coping with it. Flare's Calmer® 

(in-ear stress reducers) have really helped manage her misophonia and classical music seems to help with everyone's mood in the house which in turn 

leads to less anxiety and family noise.

Favourite moments on the Puzzle Bored journey

Favourite moments on the Puzzle Bored journey

We really enjoyed the creative process from the very start to where we are now.

Our next favourite moment was receiving our first five-star review - we have such lovely feedback from those that visit. 

Check out Puzzle Bored here:


  • @puzzlebored 

  • @PuzzleBored

  • @puzzlebored

And if you’re in the area…

27 New Road, Brighton, BN1 1UG

  • Comfortable and discreet

  • Takes the edge off stressful noises

  • Reduces stress and keeps you calmer

"Love that I can wear them all day in the office without anyone noticing!" - Sebbastian