Birdwatching may offer a mental health boost

Nature experiences improve wellbeing, but birdwatching is particularly effective

For people seeking to improve their mental health, a potential answer may be right outside their window: birdwatching.

A study published in Environmental Psychology found that people who have nature-based experiences report better well-being and lower psychological distress than those who do not. Birdwatching in particular yielded promising results, with higher gains in subjective wellbeing and more reduction in distress than more generic nature exposure, such as walks.

“There has been a lot of research about well-being coming out through the pandemic that suggests adolescents and college-aged kids are struggling the most,” said Nils Peterson, an author of the study and a professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University.

Read more from NCSU.

Header Image: Researchers found that nature experiences, particularly birdwatching, can improve mental health. Credit: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS