Hearing bird calls linked to lasting mental health benefits

October 28, 2022

Taking some time out to listen to birds chirping can help improve your mental wellbeing for up to eight hours, according to a new study.

Researchers from King’s College London found that people who reported being in the presence of birdsong or birds reported experiencing better moods, relief from depression and other mental health benefits for up to eight hours after hearing birdsong.

The researchers used a smartphone app called Urban Mind to ask participants to report hearing birds and then report their mental wellbeing. The study also collected information on existing diagnoses of mental health conditions.

The researchers found that hearing or seeing birds was associated with improvements in mental wellbeing in people with mental health conditions, like depression, and those without.

“There is growing evidence on the mental health benefits of being around nature, and we intuitively think that the presence of birdsong and birds would help lift our mood. However, there is little research that has actually investigated the impact of birds on mental health in real-time and in a real environment,” said study lead author Ryan Hammoud, research assistant at King’s College London. “By using the Urban Mind app, we have for the first time showed the direct link between seeing or hearing birds and positive mood. We hope this evidence can demonstrate the importance of protecting and providing environments to encourage birds, not only for biodiversity, but for our mental health.”

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Hearing bird calls linked to lasting mental health benefits