The Calming Properties of Rain

Maya Tabije

More stories from Maya Tabije


Maya Tabij

Raindrops on a window with muted colors evoking a sense of warmth and relaxation.

The recent thunderstorms in Hawaii reaffirmed the love of rain for many.

The wellness trend of 2019 is ‘thunder therapy’: a mindfulness practice where you listen to the sound of thunder or nature for a calming effect on anxiety.

There are many apps and popular YouTube videos with soothing rain sound having millions of downloads and views. The app Sleep Sounds by Sleep Pillow says, “The way these sounds are created will induce sleep even for difficult sleepers or in the noisiest environments.” Using these tools will allow you to get into a relaxed headspace before you sleep.

Selma Studer, the founder of meditation studio GONG recommends, “whenever you feel about of stress or anxiety, go outside and really focus on listening to everything you hear around you.” Studer says that the practice of tuning in and noticing what sounds are around you strengthens your ability to focus and observe without being caught up in your own thoughts.

There is a connection to science to back up this claim- sounds have a direct effect on brainwave activity and on your nervous system. A 2016 study by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School reveals that natural sounds like rainfall physically alter neural pathways in our brain, helping us to reach a calmer state of mind.