According to many studies, listening to relaxing music with nature sounds has a profound effect on our mind and body.
Research at the University of Utah shows that listening to soothing music activates the brain to produce oxytocin, among other things.
This hormone is also released when touched, cuddled and when having an orgasm. Oxytocin ensures that you feel connection, recognize like-minded people and that you experience trust. That is why oxytocin is also called the ‘cuddle hormone’. This makes it easier for you to relax and deal with emotional situations.
Furthermore, it has been shown, that playing music in the background while we are working, seemingly unaware of the music itself, reduces stress on the work floor. That’s why you hear music while shopping in many medium-sized stores.
It has also been discovered that music reduces the heart rate and causes a higher body temperature – an indication of the beginning of relaxation. Combining music with relaxation therapy has proven to be more effective than just doing relaxation therapy.
The Power of Nature Sounds
A British study (*) has shown that stimulating sounds such as thunder have a calming effect on people suffering from anxiety disorders. Setting up a soothing background noise also helps to better understand sleep. Because you relax deeper, you can also switch to a deeper, and therefore better, sleep.
In this research they had subjects listen to various sounds and came to the conclusion that sounds like these do indeed calm down:
– Breaking waves
– Rustling wind
– Ticking rain
– Chirping birds
– A babbling brook
Listening to these kinds of soothing sounds from nature appeared to bring the body into a state of rest and recovery and to lead to the kind of brain activity associated with calm contemplation.
Artificial sounds, such as the ticking of a clock or a blow-dryer, on the other hand, resulted in restlessness: the body entered the ‘fight or flight’ state and brain activity showed patterns that are also visible in anxiety and depression.
(*) ‘Mind-wandering and alterations to default mode network connectivity when listening to naturalistic versus artificial sounds’, Nature Scientific Reports, March 2017)
According to British researcher Cassandra Gould, the study shows that humans still feel most at home in nature. So look it up. Preferably really in the woods or on the beach? Or does the sound of raindrops gently tapping the window soothe you too? Maybe you are more into Thunder Therapy – listening to thunder sounds to relax – which is a more recent trend to relax.
However, it is not possible for everyone to take a walk in nature every day or enjoy the natural sounds in their backyard. Luckily, even in the heart of the city, you can fool your brain by putting on soothing sounds. We’ll give you a hand in finding the right tools!
On YouTube you can find thousands of videos with nature sounds. Fancy rain, beach or forest sounds? Choose whatever you like! Nice extra: A lot of music sounds a lot better with some nature sounds in the background. In the comment sections of those movies you’ll find a lot of nice suggestions.
There are also a lot of apps available that you can download. Take a look at the Rain Rain Sleep Sounds app (download here for iOS and here for Android). You’ll discover there are many more nice apps out there.
We can advise you the following ones:
– Android apps with nature sounds
Would you rather have an endless stream of soothing sounds? From the plucking of rain on a plastic barrel to a breeze on the beach, you’ve come to the right place. You can create your own favourite lists with nature sounds. I can also highly recommend this Spotify-list.
Do you prefer a mixture of sounds? That’s also possible! With NatureSoundsFor.me you can mix, store and replay up to four different sounds together. You can even save or export a great mix for later re-use.
Really fun, who knows, maybe you’ll discover true DJ talents 😉
Do you find all those sounds the max, but do you also want to learn something about the origin of the sounds? Then the ‘sound walk’ of The Oakland Museum of California might be something for you. During that walk you will make the journey from the California coastline to the desert with matching text and sounds.
You can also have a look at Walk-Listen-Create. Their website shows a comprehensive catalogue of walking pieces.
RecordTheEarth.org is a project that aims to map the soundscape (the acoustic landscape) of each region. If you’ve had enough of listening, you can do your bit by recording something yourself!
Radio Aporee also creates the opportunity to search for nature sounds recorded at specific locations.
Tickle Your Ears Now
So, what’s holding you back? Start right now and feel the soothing effects of relaxing music with nature sounds for yourself. I hope you can find what works for you among the aforementioned suggestions.
This will allow you to start incorporating nature sounds in your daily life, no matter where you are.
I kindly advise you to build up a new solid routine, by listening daily for at least 3 till 6 weeks.
What’s your secret to spending hours outdoors every day while you get all your work done anyway? If you have a great recipe for making the most of the sounds of nature packed on a busy day, I would love to hear about it!
Did you find a great playlist or a great Android app that I missed? Share it below in the comment section!
With love ,