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8 Mental and Physical Benefits of Audiobooks

Social distancing and self-isolation in the face of coronavirus can take a toll on our mental health. Fortunately, audiobooks are a helpful tool to combat negative thoughts and feelings. 

Here are 8 ways audiobooks can boost your emotional and physical health—all you need to do is press play. Need some listening inspiration? Check out bookseller-recommended audiobooks.

Coronavirus is impacting independent bookstores near and far, but you can make a difference with a Libro.fm membership. When you start a membership with code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW, you’ll get two audiobooks for the price of one and 100% of your payment will go to your local bookstore. You can also purchase a one-month audiobook gift membership.

Audiobooks Build Crucial Listening Skills for Children 

According to the Audio Publishers Association, audiobooks help “build and enhance vital literacy skills such as fluency, vocabulary, language acquisition, pronunciation, phonemic awareness, and comprehension—skills that often boost reading scores.” Need some audiobook recommendations for kids? Head to the Kids page.

Photo by @childrenslitlove

Audiobooks Help Reduce Negative Thinking

Audiobooks have the power to boost our moods and disrupt negative thinking patterns. Psychology Today notes that for “those of us prone to anxiety and depression . . . listening to someone else read aloud can help by replacing negative thoughts with something else.”

Audiobooks Have the Same Benefits of Reading

Don’t let anyone tell you that listening to audiobooks is cheating. Discover noted that “in a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley scanned the brains of nine participants while they read and listened. . . Looking at the brain scans and data analysis, the researchers saw that the stories stimulated the same cognitive and emotional areas, regardless of their medium.”

Audiobooks Help Relax Our Eyes…

Most Americans spend over seven hours a day looking at digital screens, which can lead to blurred vision, eye strain, and long-term vision problems like nearsightedness. On top of that, studies have suggested that there’s a link between social media use and feelings of loneliness and depression—another reason to put an audiobook on and the phone down.

…Which Directly Impacts Our Sleep

The blue light from screens is a disruption to our circadian rhythm, which makes nodding off at night difficult. Listening to an audiobook allows your eyes and mind to relax while ushering in a good night of sleep.

Photo by @jennareadsbooks

Audiobooks Improve Time Management

Being able to work our brain and read books while doing tasks like driving, cleaning, or exercising is a win-win—and allows less satisfying chores to become more enjoyable, reducing stress.

Audiobooks Help Build Literacy Skills

The Audio Publishers Association notes that “readers with learning disabilities and English Language Learners who listen to audiobooks demonstrate increased literacy skills and reading ability.”

Audiobooks Immerse You in Another World

Psychology Today cites audio as “one of the most intimate forms of media—listeners work together with the narrator and author to create mental pictures of situations and characters. Audiobooks can captivate the imagination, allowing listeners to create a whole world at once within and outside themselves.” Being able to escape our daily worries is a powerful tool that we can easily tap into through the wonder of audiobooks.

Photo by @outofthebex

Local bookstores need your help now, and you can support by choosing to #ShopBookstoresNow.

Jenna Homen works on all things related to social media and the Libro.fm community. When not reading and listening to books, she can be found painting, drawing, going to museums, and enjoying the Los Angeles sunshine.

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8 Mental and Physical Benefits of Audiobooks

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