50 Hours of Nature Sounds to Bring You Calm and Joy

BBC Earth created five 10-hour "visual soundscape" videos after researchers found that nature footage boosts bliss.

Ippei Naoi / Getty Images
Ippei Naoi / Getty Images

With a growing body of research linking nature and happiness, it's becoming increasingly evident that a dearth of trees and fresh air does not do a mind and body good. Alas, not everyone has a forest in their backyard for a daily dose of Mother Nature. While even a local park or a bird-filled urban tree can help, is it possible that just watching nature on a screen could have similar positive outcomes?

According to a 2017 study from BBC Earth and the University of California, Berkeley, the answer is yes. Now, of course, BBC Earth is in the business of bringing the natural world to the screen, but nonetheless, the research revealed that watching nature documentaries not only "inspired significant increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement and curiosity, but that it also acted to reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress."

Related: How the Sounds of Nature Affect Your Well-Being

While it may be hard to imagine that seeing mountains on television could have the same effect as seeing mountains right in front of you, maybe there's something to it. Regardless, it was the impetus behind BBC Earth's Real Happiness Project, a mission to "bring real happiness to as many people as possible by improving their connection to the natural world."

One of the initiatives in the project was the creation of "visual soundscapes," which are comprised of soothing footage from Planet Earth II outtakes. Think of them as long meditative journeys through specific landscapes. And while they don't really demand attention in the watching-a-documentary sense, they provide another way to have some nature in your day. I don't know about you, but I can tell you right now that 10 hours of relaxing jungle sounds is a whole lot better than 10 hours of new-condo-being-built-across-the-street-from-my-apartment sounds.

Bottom line: If you can't soar across the mountains in person, an armchair adventure might be your next best bet. Given the extraordinary power of nature, it's surely worth a shot.

10 Hours of Relaxing Jungle Sounds

10 Hours of Relaxing Island Sounds

10 Hours of Relaxing Mountain Sounds

10 Hours of Relaxing Desert Sounds

10 Hours of Relaxing Grassland Sounds

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