Birds are good for our mental health, study finds
October 27, 2022 — Birdsong has always delighted poets, who have often written about its calming effect. Now a new study says birdsong is good for mental health.
Scholars from King’s College London found that hearing birds, seeing them and having ordinary encounters with birds improved the mood of people with depression, as well as the general population.
The study tracked around 1,300 people through their daily encounters with birds over the past year using a smartphone app called Urban Mind. People were in Britain, Europe, the United States, Australia and China.
Using the app, study participants recorded how they felt, if they were stressed or happy, if they could see trees, and if they could see or hear birds.
Average mental well-being scores increased when people saw or heard birds, even for people who had previously been diagnosed with depression.
“We need to create and support environments, especially urban environments, where bird life is a constant feature. To have a healthy bird population, you also need plants, you also need trees. We need to nurture the whole ecosystem within our cities,” said Andrea Mechelli, a professor at King’s College London. The Guardian.
He said it was important to learn that birds have a positive effect on people with depression because many treatments “that help so-called ‘healthy people’ don’t work for people with depression. mental health problems”.
Adrian Thomas, author of Guide to Birdsong from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birdssaid the report makes sense, as people generally report that birdsong brings feelings of joy.
“It’s anchored somewhere deep in our psyche,” he said. “It is associated with spring, renewal and the good times to come… We must deal with this crisis of nature and ensure that nature does not fall silent.”