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.
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.
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.
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. (P. S. Need tips on making a cozy space for reading and listening? Check out this post on how to create the perfect book nook.)