A Listener’s Guide to Nature Sounds

We all experience moments of stress and anxiety in different ways, and sometimes it feels like there is no escape. But what many of us don’t realise is that there is a source of calm and relief that surrounds us all, in the form and shape of nature and its natural sounds.

Before you read any further…

A little experiment

Take a moment, and notice how you are feeling right now.

Once you’ve done that…

Imagine water running over pebbles in a mountain stream, the wind rustling through the trees.

Imagine the sound of waves on a beach and the surf running through the sand as it returns back to the ocean.

And now a meadow of long grass waving back and forth in a gentle breeze and the chirping of bird song from the surrounding woodland.

Take a deep breath… How do you feel now? 

More relaxed? More centred and a clearer head?


Well, you are not alone. Our connection with nature goes deeper than you might think.

It’s been scientifically proven that nature has a powerful effect on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Listening to natural sounds can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and bring a sense of inner peace and balance. The sound of water can be particularly soothing, and it can help us to relax and find our equilibrium. By taking a few moments to listen to the calming sounds of nature, we can experience a healing connection with the natural world and cultivate a sense of inner harmony and clarity.

OK, so why is that? 

         Well it’s because of…

Our primal connection to nature

Being in nature is in our DNA. Living amongst busy city streets or urban areas is not natural and is certainly not where we evolved from.  

Throughout the long evolution of our species, we have been embedded in and surrounded by the many natural sounds of our planet. 

As a result, human senses and human nervous systems are exquisitely tuned to respond to the sounds of the natural world at both conscious and unconscious levels. 

By listening to those natural sounds that bring us states of calm and stillness and relaxation, we can find a much-needed antidote to our busy modern lifestyles, lifestyles which so often continually trigger our body’s fight or flight responses, sending us spiralling into ever increasing levels of adrenaline and heightened tension.


What Science tells us about the impact of Nature’s Sound

Numerous studies have revealed that listening to nature sounds has a positive effect on our neurological wellbeing, our physical bodies and our emotional states of mind.

The biological, psychological and neurological effects of natural soundscapes on humans can be far-reaching and profound. The sound of birds chirping has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve our mood. The sound of running water has a calming effect and can boost our creative thinking. Listening to recordings of nature sounds has also been found to reduce stress levels and blood pressure, making it a powerful remedy for restoring balance in the body. Furthermore, exposure to natural soundscapes can improve cognitive performance and increase alertness levels. Studies have shown that regular exposure to the sound of wind and rustling leaves can improve both short and long-term memory, while exposure to the sound of rain and thunder can enhance problem-solving skills. Finally, exposure to natural soundscapes can also increase brain wave synchronization, leading to improved concentration and enhanced cognitive function.

Dive a bit deeper

A ground breaking study conducted by Sussex University used MRI scanners to monitor participants brain and autonomic nervous system activity while they listened to sounds recorded from natural and artificial environments. The researchers found that the activity in the brain’s network changed depending on the different sounds playing in the background. ‘Natural sounds’ had the greatest affect on the bodily systems that control the ‘fight-or-flight’ and ‘rest-digest’ autonomic nervous systems, resulting in resting activity of the brain. To achieve this calming state the body activates the parasympathetic nervous system (a network of nerves) that relaxes your body by lowering blood pressure, promotes digestion and helps eliminate waste from our bodies.

Why listen to Nature Sounds?

Although we don’t have the continuous connection with nature that our ancestors once did, we can use relaxing nature sounds and music to help trigger our body’s natural response to these sounds. Whether you’re using them in a meditation practice, working in the office or creating a relaxing space for sleep, nature sounds can help keep your mindset in a state of calmness and cognitive clarity.

The benefits of listening to Nature Sounds

Listening to natural soundscapes can deliver an immediate calming effect, helping us to change our biological, psychological and neurological systems in the following ways:

Improves Mental Health and Wellbeing – Immersing yourself in nature soundscapes can provide an immediate escape and help alleviate negative emotions, such as anxiety and depression. When listening to nature sounds we can focus on the present moment and become more mindful. Source

Helps You Relax and Recharge – Taking a break to listen to nature can help you unwind, recharge your batteries, and get the clarity needed to tackle everyday tasks with renewed energy. Source

Relaxes Muscles and Reduces Stress Hormone Levels – Studies have found that listening to natural sounds reduces muscle tension, lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate and slows breathing. It’s even been found to lowers cortisol, a hormone related to stress. Source


Helps You Focus – Not only do nature sounds reduce stress and anxiety, but they can also increase focus and attention levels. Studies have found that students were better able to focus on tasks when white noise, such as rushing water, was present in the background. Source


Improves Concentration Levels – Nature soundscapes are often used therapeutically in educational settings due to their calming effects on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other conditions that may hinder learning. Source

Enhances Creativity – Listening to nature sounds can also help boost creativity. Nature’s influence on creative thinking – Many of us struggle with creative thinking when we are stuck in an environment that doesn’t stimulate us. Nature has an incredible influence on creative thinking and can help us break out of our mental blocks. Listening to nature can awaken our imagination and help make new connections in our brains.  A study found that office workers who listened to nature sounds while doing tasks saw an increase in their level of creativity compared to those who worked in silence. Source

Improves Quality of Sleep – Listening to natural sounds can help create an ideal sleeping environment and establish better sleep routines and patterns. The rhythm that natural sounds provide can help calm the mind and body while lulling people into a deep sleep and drown out any disruptive noises. Source

Nature as a Source of Healing – Nature can also be a powerful tool for healing and mental health. There is evidence that nature sounds can induce different moods and states of relaxation, which can aid in managing depression, stress and anxiety. Source

Medicine with no Side Affects – Nature Sounds is one of the easiest self prescribed medicines you can give yourself, with absolutely no side affects .. only positive vibes. Source

Create a Moment of Mindfulness – Using our sense of sound, with our brain’s ability to trigger memories and imagination through association, the sounds of nature have the power to transport us away, out of our chaotic heads and into a place of calm and tranquillity. Source

Try it yourself

It’s a personal choice, finding what works best for you may take a while as you explore different soundscapes. What works for you will depend on your personal preferences and how you find you react to different types of sounds.

Here are a few suggestion to help you find the right nature soundscapes for you.

1. Water – whether it’s the sound of a gentle stream gurgling, the crashing of waves on the shore, or a rainstorm pelting against your roof, the sound of water is perfect for calming your mind.

2. Birdsong – birds chirping in the trees can be a soothing experience. The sound of bird song is quite unique in the range of sounds we experience and it can be a clear memory association for the brain of calmer times when we’ve been for a walk in a park or relaxing in the sun.

3. Insects – the buzzing and clicking of insects is strangely reassuring. Crickets are especially good at lulling people to sleep. The soft hum of crickets will lull you into a serene mood.

4. Wind – the soothing sound of wind rustling trees and blowing through grass is an excellent way to relax.

5. Ocean Waves – the sound of waves crashing against the shore is a classic nature sound for relaxation.

6. Rain and Thunder – Try listening to a thunderstorm in your living room for a refreshing and calming effect.

7. Waterfalls – The sound of water cascading over rocks is perfect for those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

8. Forest Sounds – The sounds of animals and leaves rustling in the woods can provide an ideal soundtrack for meditation or yoga.

9. Wind Chimes – Listen to the gentle tones of wind chimes for a peaceful and calming effect.

10. What about Silence? Absolutely, give it a try! Tuning out all noise can be surprisingly difficult, but is worth trying out. Simply focusing on your breath can help to clear the mind.

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Take relaxation to the Next Level

Combining gentle harmonies and melodies with the soothing sounds of nature can be a truly transformative experience.
The combination of nature sounds and music holds the power to create a profound sense of peace and relaxation. Studies have revealed that harmonies and melodies increase the production of calming neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, promoting feelings of happiness and relaxation. Soft melodies have been shown to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, enhance sleep quality, and offer solace during challenging times.
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Symphony of healing sounds

By blending gentle harmonies and melodies with the soothing sounds of nature, a tranquil ambience is created that clears the mind and fosters a profound sense of peace. The harmonies’ low tones provide a calming backdrop, allowing the high notes of nature’s own music to shine through. As the music intertwines with the sounds of birds chirping, ocean waves crashing, or wind rustling through trees, a unique and calming atmosphere is formed, transcending ordinary relaxation.

Listening to this symphony of sounds establishes a deep connection with nature, evoking a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquillity often elusive in our busy lives.

The combination of natural elements, such as crashing waves, flowing rivers, and rustling leaves, with soft piano chords, soothing harp arpeggios, and calm vocal harmonies, creates an immersive and hypnotic listening experience. Whether employed as a tool for meditation, to calm the mind and body, or simply enjoyed as an escapism, this remarkable blend of sound and nature possesses transformative properties that alleviate stress and anxiety, allowing relaxation to attain new levels of beauty and emotional power.

10 Earthscapes to explore

Discover your own space for relaxation and peace of mind.

Using the the power of melody and the emotional response to harmony to further enhance the calming affect of nature sounds.

Each Earthscape track is a blend of nature’s rhythms and world instruments to create a calming and meditative soundscape. The instruments have been tuned to the 432Hz healing frequencies for a more natural vibration that enhances the body’s healing system. 

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A final thought to summarise

Nature offers us a multitude of emotional and physical benefits. By listening to nature sounds, we can reduce stress, anxiety, and enhance our creativity. Taking a break from our busy lives to connect with nature has a profound impact on our mental well-being. By immersing ourselves in the beauty of nature, observing its intricate details, we can redirect our minds to a state of relaxation. Nature’s healing and grounding energy bring inner peace and harmony. Being mindful of nature’s wonders deepens our connection with ourselves and others, promoting overall well-being. Additionally, it can improve physical health, boosting immunity and lowering blood pressure.

So, make it a habit to explore nature daily, whether through observing seasons, walking in parks or simply listening to nature sounds. Experience the calming power of nature and restore balance to your life.