I’m sitting outside working in the cool morning air as the summer sun casts an inviting orange light on everything. It’s completely silent, except for the sound of birds singing all around me—mostly Northern Mockingbirds, House Sparrows and Mourning Doves.
Although I’m lucky enough to be able to work around the comforting song of birds, not everyone enjoys the luxury of being in a place where they can hear birds sing.
Fortunately, for those stuck in an office or the middle of a large city, there’s Birdsong.fm. Birdsong.fm is a very simple site that lets you enjoy the sounds of nature from your browser, whether you’re at work or home. If you’re on the go, there’s also a free app for the iPhone and iPad and an MP3 you can download from the site.
Why would you want to listen to bird songs at certain times of the day? Bird songs actually help you in many ways. Here are three things listening to bird songs can give you.
The creator of Birdsong.fm, James Mulvany, said that he was inspired to create the site because he finds bird songs a way to unwind from the day.
“I found myself working really long hours and have often found listening to birdsong to be a great way to relax. Living in the city however, if I open my window at the end of a long day, I am more likely to hear roadworks!” he said.
In lieu of going on Facebook, the Internet or even watching TV, listening to bird songs is a great way to let go of all your worries and relax. Bird songs have such a calming effect that some hospitals have piped in bird songs to help soothe patients. One children’s hospital had success playing bird songs to kids before giving them shots as a way to put them at ease.
Julian Treasure, an author and a chairman of a noise consultancy, said bird songs not only relax people physically but they also stimulate people cognitively, according to the BBC. I’m the kind of person who gets easily distracted while working around too much noise, but listening to birds sing makes me more focused and less tired.
Here’s more about this from Julian Treasure:
“People find birdsong relaxing and reassuring because over thousands of years they have learnt when the birds sing they are safe, it’s when birds stop singing that people need to worry. Birdsong is also nature’s alarm clock, with the dawn chorus signalling the start of the day, so it stimulates us cognitively.”
Even though bird songs are a good way to de-stress from a busy and overwhelming day, the songs don’t necessarily make you sleepy. In fact, if you get tired or hit that mid-day slump, hearing birds singing is a great way to give yourself a little boost.
The afternoon, after you’ve had lunch and blood sugar levels are low, is a common time for getting very tired, but researchers have found that playing bird songs to students after lunch makes them much more focused and alert. One of the reasons is that bird songs are usually random, so there’s nothing in the noise to really focus on.
So the next time you need to de-stress, focus while working or give yourself a mental boost, head outside and listen to the birds.