Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Feeling anxious, or distracted? Research shows that listening to natural sounds can improve your mood, and even your productivity.
Whether you want to make nature sounds a part of your day or clear your brain with white noise, today’s Cool Websites and App has you covered with 5 free resources for sounds that will help calm you down so you can get things done – or even just relax. Let’s get started.
CalmSounds (Web, MP3s for sale): Simple Collection of Relaxing Sounds
Sometimes you just want to hear waves crash against the shore, or the sound of a forest on a sunny day. If you can’t afford a beach-side office, or a cabin in the woods for writing, CalmSounds.com is worth checking out.
There are six main audio tracks to pick from, and a few videos including Niagara Falls (somehow without the sound of tourists in the mix). The site offers MP3 downloads of all tracks if you’d like to listen offline, but you can just as easily open up your web browser whenever you need to relax.
Nature Sounds Map (Web): Free Nature Sounds from All over the World
We live in an incredibly diverse planet, and much of the world has unique soundscapes. Whether you want to experience something new, or feel nostalgic for sounds from a previous time in your life, Nature Sounds Map is a great way to explore nature sounds from around the world. Just click any point on the map to hear sounds from the corresponding area.
You can create a playlist of sounds to hear, or just take some time to explore natural sounds from all over the world.
Noisli (Web, Chrome): Mix and Match Sounds
Want more control over your soundscape? We’ve talked before about how Noisli offers an excellent selection of background sounds, and their new Chrome extension means you don’t need to keep a tab open in the background to use it.
Create your own mixes, then quickly start them from Chrome’s extension bar. There’s even a built-in Pomodoro timer to help you manage your time better.
If you’re not a Chrome user you’re not left out – just head to Noisli.com – but know that the extension is nicer in some ways.
A Soft Murmor (Web, Android): Another Site For Mixing Nature Sounds and White Noise
This one is similar to Noisli in many ways, with a minimalist web interface that lets you mix in as many sounds as you like, but a few of the sounds are pretty different. I recommend combining crickets with fire.
Unlike Noisli, A Soft Murmor offers an Android app – a big plus for anyone who wants to relax on the go.
If you’re an Apple user who prefers native apps, check out Noizio, a similar service that offers an iPhone app and a Mac desktop app.
Listen To Wikipedia (Web): Relaxing Sounds Prompted By Every Wikipedia Edit
It doesn’t sound peaceful: hearing a sound every time someone makes an edit to Wikipedia. Turn this site on for a while, though, and you’ll find it strangely soothing.
The sounds chosen are no small part of this, but maybe just as soothing (to me) is the idea of Wikipedia itself. Here’s a massive open source project that anyone on earth can participate in, and for the most part it runs smoothly. People are constantly creating accounts, making edits, and overall making this site more useful – to the benefit of humanity. And with this website open, you can literally hear this happening, in real time. Give it a shot.
Which Natural Sounds Relax You?
Image Credits: woman listening to music via Shutterstock