Staff blog: Nature sounds and mental health

photo of a duck like bird.

The latest staff blog from our Comms Assistant, Ed Peston, on drawing from nature to help manage mental health.

There has recently been some research and publicity about the benefits to our mental health of listening to nature sounds.  For examples of what has been written, see the following:-

I decided to try listening to nature sounds for myself to see how I responded to this activity. I will describe what I found below, in the hope that this is of some use to others who may like to try listening to nature sounds themselves.

First of all, there is a very wide range of these types of sounds available online for streaming, or potentially to purchase as MP3s or on CDs if you prefer.  YouTube, Soundcloud, as well as paid services such as Amazon Music offer them.  You can also find a good selection at the following website:-

I have tried sounds of thunderstorms, rain on a tin roof, sounds of the sea, forest sounds with birds singing, and whale sounds.  When I listened to these sounds, they certainly made me feel much more in the moment, and I was able to get the benefit of feeling like I was out and about somewhere, whether in a forest, tropical location or by the sea. Positive memories came back of time spent in such locations.  I found that I could put these sounds on for extended periods of time whilst I was doing something else, even working, and got the benefit of feeling like I was in a calm setting. Doing this also didn’t strain my ears in the way that looking at a computer screen can strain one’s eyes. I also found that if I put nature sounds on when trying to get to sleep, I tended to sleep better and felt happier the next morning.

So, in my experience, listening to nature sounds might be worth a try, particularly if for whatever reason you are not able to get out into nature as much as you would like, or if the effect of being out in the open wears off as soon as you get back indoors.  You may find this is something to add to your list of activities that help you to feel better.

Happy listening!

 

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