Listening to birdsong could ease anxiety and paranoia, reveals study

14 November 2022
Nikitha Warriar Written by Nikitha Warriar
Nikitha Warriar

Nikitha Warriar

Nikitha Warriar writes a lot on healthcare and wellness. She is also one of LifeWordsmith’s...

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Birdsong is a pleasure to listen to and now new research says it can be healing in many ways too.

The Max Planck Institute for Human Development and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf conducted a randomized online experiment on 295 participants to examine the impact of traffic sounds and birdsong on their mood, paranoia, and cognitive functioning. 

Participants filled out questionnaires before and after they listened to birdsong and researchers analyzed the results, which they published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’. It revealed that birdsong, irrespective of bird species, reduced the severity of mental health issues like anxiety and paranoia. 

Per the authors, this is the first time someone has documented the impact of birdsong on paranoia. They believe that birdsong distracts the listeners from paying attention to other stressors that might be normally viewed as acute threats. 

Emil Stobbe, author of the paper and a predoctoral fellow at the Lise Meitner Group for Environmental Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute, said in a university press release, “Birdsong could also be applied to prevent mental disorders. Listening to an audio CD would be a simple, easily accessible intervention. But if we could already show such effects in an online experiment performed by participants on a computer, we can assume that these are even stronger outdoors in nature.”

The results make way for interesting avenues for further research on the active manipulation of background noise in different situations as well as the testing of its influence on patients with diagnosed anxiety or paranoia.

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