The Nature Fix

Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (877 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature's positive effects on the brain. From forest trails in Korea to islands in Finland to groves of eucalyptus in California, Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health, and creativity. Delving into completely new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas - and the answers they yield - are more urgent than ever.

©2017 Florence Williams (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Nature Fix

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Great Book, Poor Performance

I listened to this book with great interest in some important information. However, eventually I was driven to purchase a hard copy book because the reading on the audio book was probably the most over-dramatized and infantile reading of any book I have ever bought through audible. It was annoyingly distracting. So, I recommend the hard cover book but suggest you bypass the audio book.

52 people found this helpful

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Yes!...and No!

The sheer breadth and depth of information presented in this well-organized work was impressive. The arguments, backed at times with a blizzard of statistics, plowed through various scientific and academic circles to present an argument that intuitively seems correct: we evolved outdoors and our increasingly indoor, screen-obsessed culture is wreaking an awful toll on us, and particularly on our children. Fair enough.

But the author, abetted by a way too chirpy, sing-song narrator, struggled to cover her lack of science street cred with cringeworthy puns and swipes clothed in condescending asides at more fringe views of our relation with nature. The result leaves the reader unsure of what to take seriously, what is a joke or what is between the two? The narrator's forced joviality and unnecessary excursions up and down the sonic scale seriously detracted from the substance of the work. I needed to take frequent breaks from listening, during which I wondered if buying the print version of Nature Fix would not have been a better choice.

Bottom line: a good work and well worth the time to read but perhaps not to listen to.

90 people found this helpful

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I've always felt better being outside

What made the experience of listening to The Nature Fix the most enjoyable?

This book hit many nerves for me. I've always felt better being outside. I've always loved to stand beneath trees, to linger at the edge of the sea, to touch the cool water of streams, to walk upon soft leaves instead of pavement. It has always calmed me down, perked me up, made my worries and pressures feel like nothing. After reading The Nature Fix, I know why. There is a vast amount of scientific study showing that all of these things reduce our stress hormones and blood pressure, elevate our internal disease-defeating processes, stimulate the body to fight off toxins, excite the happy centers of the brain and subdue the negative reflexes in the brain. Did you know that many trees emit immune responses into the air when attacked by insects and other animals? Humans have adapted over millions of years to benefit from these 'phytoncydes,' too. We evolved in nature, amid the trees, fresh air, soil and sea -- these elements promoted our well being. Have you ever thought about why you love the smell of fresh Christmas trees? -- conifers produce oils that are highly beneficial to breathe in. Penicillin is a miracle drug, right? -- but there is a vaster mix of fungi in our environment that our bodies and brains respond beautifully to. What's the most beautiful place you've ever been? Chances are, it involves sunsets, clear water or mountains, and that is because these kinds of settings are literally making us healthy. Far more so than urban environments -- though urban parks and 'daylighted' streams do wonders for our health too. Is your screensaver a photo of a landscape or of your children smiling in your yard or at the beach? There is strong medical and biochemical evidence that being outdoors in nature makes us stronger, healthier, happier and more creative, from average adults, to PTSD-impacted military veterans to children with developmental issues, and certainly all children, from the youngest age to the oldest among us. Wonderful book. I'm sure it will help you lead a happier and healthier life!

27 people found this helpful

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Stimulating and Beyond My Expectations

I freely admit that I only purchased this because it was a Daily Deal, but I'm really glad I did. Funnily enough, I'd just finished reading The Smartest Kids in the World... by Amanda Ripley, and this book is an almost perfect companion to. In fact, the author focuses on some of the same issues concerning education, and ever references Ripley's book. I mention this because the secondary and tertiary messages in The Nature Fix... (education and child development) were actually far more compelling to me than the central message about the general health benefits of being in nature. I also found the cultural anecdotes (e.g., Japanese forest bathing) interesting. As far as recommending this book, I'd say that if you're looking for a book that validates your belief in the healing effects of being in nature (so to speak), then you'll get what you want. If you're otherwise looking for a book that you'll find intellectually stimulating and good food for thought, then you'll likely won't be disappointed.

5 people found this helpful

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Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More C

What made the experience of listening to The Nature Fix the most enjoyable?

The best book I have read on the diverse elements that make Nature our healer of choice.
The research and data are worth the purchase and the many reasons why you should incorporate more time in Nature or garden or forest or ocean is convincing to say the least.

7 people found this helpful

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This is a must read!

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that made me so happy!

We intuitively know that nature is good for us! Now Science is proving it! And this book does a brilliant job of proving it over and over again!

We have to share this with the leaders of our communities! Our lives, our health, and our happiness depend on it!

Thank you for this brilliant, fun and essential book! Bravo bravo!

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REMINDER: We do best in nature

This book is a collection of stories that retells how we do better in nature. Even though Williams physically went to each event to record what happens, she is personally not in the stories nor does she pull threads together to deduce the final suggestion. Eventually she recites a formula for a best lived life, how much to experience daily, on weekends, and during yearly trips. Gardens, parks, forests, and large bodies of water. The only reason to believe it is because it makes only sense.

Even though Williams is a fine writer and a good journalist researcher, I became disenchanted the further I went into the book. There is something missing or perhaps mismatched.
- The stories don't build on each other.
- Williams doesn't relay what was at stake for her during this literary research project.
I would like to know what she experienced as she joined up with the wildly different groups of people healing themselves out in nature. I was left to form my own opinions about each person, like I was on the bus with each group. Frankly, I wished I hadn't joined up with half of the groups.
I guess there's a temporary satisfied feeling at the end when we learn a final word of advice. I felt vindicated, or maybe just satisfied to have planted so many fruit trees and flowering bushes in my yard. I was happy that I didn't have to meet more random groups of people and that I finished the book.

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nature fix was fascinating!

loved it! enjoyed wide lens that revealed how nature breeds health and wellbeing worldwide. insightful and probing.

6 people found this helpful

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Narrator is unbearable

Unless you are a young child you will be unable to listen to this narration. I had to buy the book and return this. I like the book, which I haven't finished yet but I had to warn others that this narrator is very perky. I'd listen to the sample first (which I usually do but did not do in this case). Irritating and distracting. She should read books to very young over-protected children. That or just tone it back a bit. Sorry. It was that bad.

4 people found this helpful

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Laborious Read

While I agreed with most everything in the book, it is a long and laborious read (or listen in this case of audible). Much of the material should have been condensed. And why do today’s authors need to use profanity? Do they think it adds color? Profanity in a nature book? Even so, I give the low rating because of content even though she is right in so many ways.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 10-03-18

Rerecord it!

Its an interesting subject, just read with more silly voices than a child's book, I'm not sure if I'll be able to listen to it all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-21-17

a bit disappointed

the book wasn't to bad. however I found that she repeated herself many times. which I found boring. she did make some good points but over all it all could have been said in two chapters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. Customer
  • 08-05-20

enlightening and nourishing.

very interesting and insightful. easy to read and I learned a lot. HIGHLY recommended.

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  • Ruth Cassidy
  • 05-26-20

Great book TERRIBLE narration

Loved this.title but horrendous.narrator.who kept giving interesting research ironic inflections RUINED the book seemed pointless to read some interesting science like a bad soap???!*##

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  • enya Lachman-Curl
  • 05-22-20

Love this!

Great story telling and engaging! Perfect way to pick out different relevant study’s to do further research & reading!

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  • Clara Caplice
  • 08-09-19

too long, very repetitive

Great narrator but ended up skipping chapters as the subject matter was repetitive and waffley. Although the topic is exciting and some of the studies fascinating, this could have been better as a series of articles. Or a book half the length.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-19

the book repeats itself, annoying narrator.

it's a very interesting book but halfway through you get the feeling it's just repeating itself. Each study comes to the same conclusion. In addition to that the writer tried to be funny with cheesy jokes but the narrator tells them in such a way they become very cringe worthy. Maybe American humour?

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  • Claire B
  • 07-01-19

Get outside now!!

Very informative and meticulously researched, this book provides compelling evidence that we are happier and healthier when we spend time in nature

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  • Gavin
  • 03-30-19

A great reminder to get out there

A though provoking reminder of the benefits of getting in to nature. A Light yet ell scripted and narrated book.

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  • Andrew
  • 11-02-18

Get Outside

Insightful and hugely important, The Nature Fix is an impassioned cry for more time outdoors.

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  • Chris Howard au
  • 11-16-18

Great book spoiled by over-performed narration

If this book was on cassette or CD I would have thrown it out the car window simply because of the over-performed and animated narration. And the cringe-worthy voices when other people are quoted.

e.g. Listening to a chapter on how city noises affect out mental health, and then during a calm reading about nature's effect, having the narrator hypocritically screech an exclamation nearly made me run off the road.

I have the print version now and the author does use exclamation points, but this is not Hamlet, this is non-fiction. Add a little brightness but keep your voice down.

I want to take in the content, I don't want to be distracted by screeched exclamations and cringey voices. It makes it very hard to take in the content with those distractions.

Can we please get narrators who don't over-perform works of non-fiction??

Highly recommended book. But buy the print version.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Katy
  • 06-14-17

Fascinating research presented in an enjoyable manner

While the benefits of nature to humans seems blind, bleedin' obvious to many of us, this is great stuff to see shown in different kinds of research that can translate into urban and wilderness policy and planning. No longer can we dismiss this as just whining from 'tree-huggers'. The benefits are wired into us through our neurological and physiological responses. One of the most fascinating benefits of nature is for people with ADD and PTSD as balancing and healing. The only downside of audiobooks like these is that you want to see the references list. I'll likely listen to this a few times as there's a lot of great information in here and the author has a good sense of humour. Very well narrated, with emotive, enthusiastic expression.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kristine
  • 08-27-19

Great book, shocking narration

If you can get over the ridiculously overdone narration there is actually a lot of really good content in here. Such a shame. I don’t need a female reader to put on a stupid male voice of a scientist to understand it. It feels like it was read by a first year drama student who felt ‘they could bring something extra’ to the reading. Yes they did, shear irritation. Great info drowning in a sea of dramatic interference.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-12-19

Precious. To be hugged to your chest.

This book tells us truths we all know in our very soul: We are children of nature. We forget this at our peril. But nature always waits to welcome us home.
Forget the virtual reality goggles and walk outside.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J. Frost
  • 05-15-20

Fascinating insight into research studies

A great way to get an introduction to the myriad research studies on nature and health. Narration was occasionally jarring, but mostly appropriately expressive to enhance the content. in this format. This book makes me want to track down some of the studies mentioned.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-20-20

I loved this book.

An excellent summary on why we need to get outside more than we do- I loved the chapters on sight, small and hearing and also the one on ADHD in children. The narrator was a little too enthusiastic at times , and the volume is up and down a lot requiring adjusting often, but the content is great. Well researched and well worth re-reading!

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  • Chris Ward
  • 01-13-20

Biophilia!

Very insightful audiobook! I have always wondered why a reconnect with nature helped me out of a very deep low in life.

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  • Kelvin Furze
  • 12-05-19

The Nature Fix<br />

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams is an over-elaborate, but probably necessary, statement of the blindingly obvious.

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  • Michael H
  • 07-14-19

Fascinating and throughly researched

Most of us probably know getting out into nature makes us feel better,this incredible book clearly explains the science of why nature is so important to our wellbeing.

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  • mjeik
  • 05-25-19

Nice book horrible story teller

I like the content but the story teller has no clue what this is about and puts into where they don’t belong which makes it hard to listen and annoying. Pitty!!!