With God and Mother Nature as masterful Creators and Conductors of nature’s symphony, some of the best music around exists in nature. From the cicadas, frogs, and crickets of summer to birds’ songs, each of these creatures adds to nature’s symphonic soundscapes. And the moving water of ocean waves, rivers, streams, and waterfalls can also be soothingly therapeutic. A rich mixture of nature’s sounds might include the following:
- Rain in an exotic lush rainforest/jungle;
- A thunderstorm with pelting rain;
- A Zen water fountain, gently bubbling forth;
- A country meadow with birdsongs, cicadas, and crickets;
- A lake or pond with crickets chirping, loons calling, and frogs croaking;
- The wind whistling through melodic wind chimes and the canopies of trees;
- A rolling river or flowing stream with birds singing;
- A crackling bonfire at the beach;
- An African pridelands safari with safari animals and buzzing insects.
Research is documenting the healing benefits of sounds from nature that are supportive and beneficial to health and well-being. Listening to nature sounds is not just relaxing, but can also legitimately contribute to relieving stress and anxiety, as well as help improve chronic pain. It has been found that water-related sounds, like a babbling brook, the gentle lull of ocean waves, or a soothing fountain, are linked with the most positive effects of joy and passion, and research has also noted that melodic bird songs are able to lower stress. Increasingly, researchers, music therapists, and psychologists think of music as a kind of medicine that can improve patient health.
Whatever the season, whether indoors or out, we can embrace our ears and soothe our senses and souls with the sounds of nature’s symphony. This fall is an ideal time to head out on a nature walk, hike or bike, and camp out in the mountains or at the beach.
In addition to expanded audio awareness, engage your other senses as you view the splendid visual scenery of the colorful fall leaves; breathe in deeply fresh air and the scent of fir, pine, and evergreen trees, or salty sea air; soak up the sun and synthesize vitamin D3; and feel the rush of cool water around your feet in a forest stream, lake, river, or in ocean waves.
Our ancestors in ancient times may have been stressed from being in survival mode with fight-or-flight responses intact while braving the elements and fending off bears, but at least they could benefit from nature sounds with a calming effect!
The next time you encounter writer’s block, try increasing your concentration and focus by opening your ears to soothing songs containing the natural elements of nature. Nature sounds might assist in the flow and let the words come forth by themselves!
The ever-evolving emergence and musical merging of the broad genre of New Age music, ambient soundscapes, and nature sounds offer an eclectic fusion of soothing sounds, ranging from binaural beats with their finely tuned frequencies to a combination of more traditional, culturally-rich, and folk-inspired songs from around the world, to modern soundscapes utilizing synth and other electronic elements.
Some suggestions for enjoying and benefitting from healing nature sounds, whether indoors or out—so you can relax and restore your mind, body, and spirit after a long day, during your break from work and as you drift off into sweet slumber—might include trying free phone apps with soothing sounds, like Noisli and Slumber.
Or you can organically capture your own nature sounds, recorded with a field recorder or app on your portable device. Then, play, produce, and mix nature’s sounds with your own creative EP or album. You can also add in melodic, ambient, rhythmic elements, pairing your instrument(s) with other elements, or just employ nature sounds.
You set the standard and decide the direction. No hard and fast rules. No limitations to hold you back. No boundaries to make you feel confined. Instead, open yourself and your imagination to be free-spirited. Explore and experiment, using your senses and letting them guide you to creatively crafting the sounds that feel right.