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Many of us love listening to things as a means of relaxation – and when times are at their hardest, reliance on audio becomes more important than ever.

According to recent research, our preference in terms of sounds that make us feel more relaxed is complex and varied, but there are a few common factors. With such a wide range of sounds to enjoy, it’s only right that you relax using your favs, and we’re here to show what listening loves made the grade.

Boots Hearingcare takes a look at 10 of the top sounds people find most relaxing…

1. Whispering

mum whispering to her child
Although it may seem like an odd choice of relaxing sound, whispering has appeal (just ask the 4% who say it’s the sound that soothes them best). Maybe the familiarity of another’s voice is the source of whispering’s popularity, or it could simply be the soft quietness people enjoy – perhaps as an escape from the noisy realities of the digital age. Either way, whispering well and truly earns its place among our most relaxing sounds.

2. A clock ticking

clocks ticking
On average, 10% of us can’t get enough of the sound a ticking clock makes. This is most likely because of the comfort a metronome-type sound can give. The repetitive, rhythmic pattern may help create a sense of order, which in turn leads to feelings of peace and relaxation within ourselves. Never tried relaxing to a ticking clock before? See how it compares to your usual calming methods; the experience might pleasantly surprise you.

3. Podcasts

podcasting
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the years; unsurprising, given that they are a cost-effective, highly accessible way to make content engaging as well as instructive. And such is their appeal, around 4% of us use podcasts as our go-to means of relaxation. You can listen to podcasts on almost any subject; you choose what you want to hear, from comedy, to cooking, to news, and more. So, next time you need to relax, put a podcast on and immerse yourself in the soothing sounds of topical entertainment.
 

4. Audiobooks

audiobooks
Are you a bit of a bookworm? Then you’ll understand how relaxing while looking at the page sometimes isn’t enough. Which is where audiobooks come in. When asked about their favourite relaxing sound, approximately 7% of people said listening to an audiobook. With this in mind, whether you’re a fantasy fiend or biography buff, there are plenty of audiobooks to choose from that will help you relax in no time.
 

5. Radio

radio being turned off
Who doesn’t love listening to the radio? It got our grandparents through WW2, and many of today’s young people wouldn’t be without it en route to and from school. It shouldn't come as a shock, then, that 14% cite listening to the radio as their favourite relaxing sound. And seeing as the airwaves are full of fantastic shows at the moment, you may as well try winding down with the radio tuned in and the volume just right.

6. TV

Watching TV
Ah, TV. Our dear, sweet friend. The distraction from all the world’s problems, most of the time. And, according to 26% (one in four) of us, the most relaxing sound out there. Because there are so many channels, and indeed so many ways it can be watched, TV is the gift that keeps on giving with regard to calming audio. Whether you’re a binge-watcher or you prefer your weekly doses, TV serves as a relaxing sound everyone can enjoy.

7. Mindfulness apps

mindfulness apps
Relaxation is a fundamental part of letting your mind rest when you’re not working, and listening to mindfulness apps can be very therapeutic. Averagely speaking, 7% say that mindfulness apps are the preferred sound they relax to. Helping clear headspace, control breathing, meditate and more, the use of mindfulness apps enables us to create a deeper sense of peace, calm and serenity. You can find plenty of them available to download at various app stores; remember to choose one that’s right for your relaxation needs.

8. Music

outdoor music concert
Almost half of people (46%) claim that listening to music helps them relax the best – and it’s easy to see why. From classical to country, rock to rap, and everything in between, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to music – no matter what songs you like relaxing with. As we listen to music, our muscles respond, the pace of our breathing changes, and our stress levels often reduce. If you’re looking to relax with the sounds you love, listening to your favourite music is an obvious choice.

9. Loved ones’ voices

Loved one voices on the beach
Family is important, which is why close to a quarter of us (24%) say hearing a family member’s voice is their favourite sound of all. Likewise, laughter is said to be the most relaxing sound for approximately 15% of people. Bearing this in mind, you should try spending extra time with your family and making magical moments you can laugh about forever; it may very well help relax you more than you can imagine.

10. Nature sounds

quiet water scene
It’s official: nature relaxes as well as nurtures. For over fifty percent of the population (53%), listening to natural sounds provides a sense of relaxation and comfort, with waves crashing, birdsong and a crackling fire being the most popular. What’s clear, though, is that nature sounds can transport you to a calm, tranquil oasis where all your problems melt away. Looking for immediate audio relaxation? You can’t go wrong with soothing nature sounds
Everyone needs to relax, and it’s vital you enjoy your downtime to the fullest with a few great sounds, as well as a clean bill of hearing health. Take our free online hearing test and then visit a Boots Hearingcare audiologist for a thorough diagnostic check-up.
Do you want to make the most of relaxing sounds that help calm you down? Ensure your hearing is healthy by booking an appointment with Boots Hearingcare