The 3-Day Effect

Narrated by: Florence Williams
Length: 3 hrs
4 out of 5 stars (16,031 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Can nature really make us feel better? The 3-Day Effect takes a look at the science behind why being in the wild can make us happier, healthier, and more creative. Whether it’s rafting down Utah’s Green River, hiking in Utah’s wilderness, or walking through Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, scientists are finding that the more exposure humans have to nature, the more we can benefit from reduced anxiety, enhanced creativity, and overall well-being.

Join science journalist Florence Williams and other researchers as they guide former war veterans, sex trafficking survivors, and even a nature-hater on three-day excursions into the wild. The crews don brainwave measuring devices to test nature’s direct effect on intelligence, creativity, and emotional health. 

As it turns out, being outdoors can be a miracle cure for an array of serious and everyday ailments. The astonishing results of this understudied phenomenon inspire action…and definitely a walk in the park 

©2018 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

Go Behind the Scenes of The 3-Day Effect

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Essential reading for all humans who are stressed out, mentally and physically.

- M.J., Audible Listener
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Our favorite moments from The 3 Day Effect

The morning after the third day...
His relationship to the world shifted.
The brain itself has been trickier to study…
A week on the river is a year of therapy for me.
Being in nature is especially helpful with trauma.

  • The 3-Day Effect
  • The morning after the third day...
  • The 3-Day Effect
  • His relationship to the world shifted.
  • The 3-Day Effect
  • The brain itself has been trickier to study…
  • The 3-Day Effect
  • A week on the river is a year of therapy for me.
  • The 3-Day Effect
  • Being in nature is especially helpful with trauma.

About the Creator

Florence Williams is a journalist and the author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative, which the The New York Times calls fascinating and JP Morgan named a top summer read of 2017. The Wall Street Journal calls her writing exceptional...droll and crisp, which makes her feel like a pastry. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and she wrote and hosted Outside's podcast series, The XX Factor. Her six-part Audible Original series based on The Nature Fix, The 3-Day Effect, won a 2019 Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media, as did her previous Audible Original series, Breasts Unbound. Her first book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, won an Audie Award for best nonfiction title, and the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science and Technology.

What members say
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Lots of opinions

I was expecting a lot more of the science behind what happens at a cellular level when in nature. Instead, this book is mostly personal experiences about people going through hard times and how camping in the woods for 3 days helped them.

325 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this

Clearly a compiled podcast but excellent story. Very poignant in places, found myself getting teary eyed. That said, there was quite a bit of repetition and it was a bit disjointed. Still, I'd recommend it as a good, quick read. I was hoping for a clearer outcome on the science part... It ends up being much less scienc-y than I thought it would be, which is found disappointing.

151 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A good example of bad experimentation

This is a good example of how if the variables of a experiment aren't well controlled, the results can be very misleading. In this book the author test her idea of nature being good for health; but introduces so many uncontrolled variables that the result although is the expected, is not clear to be thanks to nature.

24 people found this helpful

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anecdotes without a proper rationale.

a waste of time. the idea of getting away for 3 days obviously helps irrespective of where you go so her idea of nature is not proven at all and all this becomes is a 3 hour journey of anecdotes with no real value.

70 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Lots of Potential, But Missed the Mark

Had the potential to be a little better. Everything with the veterans and battered women was incredible, but I found myself very annoyed when the investigator kept comparing her divorce to a similar level of suffering as the before mentioned groups. While I know divorce is challenging and it can feel like everything is ending, I can't entertain a conversation where it is being compared to those who were physically or sexually abused or suffer from PTSD post war/battle.

49 people found this helpful

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firat few minutes.

incoherent and felt more like pseudoscience, in my own opinion, felt subjective and biased, not properly trying to disprove the thesis.

14 people found this helpful

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Little substance

A few stories that got repeated/ Author is going through a divorce FYI. Based on the title I was expecting more scientific facts, What I got was a story about what the author did for 3 days a few different times
In a nut shell being out in nature is good. No meat to this book

41 people found this helpful

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Listening to people who don't like nature go there

This is a highly underwhelming listen. It's 90% people who don't have experience in nature being uncomfortable with the idea of going there, then going there, and then being like -- "oh this is (ok/not bad/great)" ... "but I still want a toilet and fridge, here listen to my chugging a fizzy drink" ... "This nature thing might have helped me a little bit (with my fill in the blank problem)" ... Repeat 7x. I don't know why I'm still listening to this after chapter 5.

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful exploration of nature and us

This is a in depth and caring look at how we relate to nature. With a host who’s open about her own vulnerabilities and characters who are present and alive, this podcast really explains the complex way we relate to and learn from the world outdoors.

39 people found this helpful

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This Ecotherapist loved this series!

I just loved this audio series. I couldn't turn it off and haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

I spent part of my 20s working in southern Utah at a wilderness survival school for troubled teens. I've been all of the country, but Utah is by far my favorite place. I could see the amazing views and smell the juniper while listening to the series. I have read many books on the nature-health connection including The Nature Fix (which I love!) but the audio book is such an interesting and wonderful way to connect deeper to the story. I loved listening to the voices of the folks interviewed, hearing the emotion and the rawness of the experience. Listening to the sounds of nature. I felt like I was there.

Plus the 3 day effect concept really resonated with me. I teach a graduate level class on Ecotherapy for future mental health practitioners. I've been trying to figure out how and what to incorporate into my Ecotherapy class for an immersive experience. I will definitely be adding a 3 day outdoor excursion for future courses.

I also commend Florence's bravery with sharing her pain and vulnerability throughout the series. I connected on a deeper level to the series based on her honesty.

I have shared this series with everyone I know. Thank you!

104 people found this helpful