Despite best intentions, sometimes it’s harder to put on the rain boots and jackets and leave the abode, especially during a pandemic and a rainy season.

But there are few better salves for the soul than the sounds of nature. Spending time in nature has been shown scientifically to lower stress levelsimprove working memory and help us feel more alive, according to a 2016 Washington Post story about the Japanese concept of forest bathing.

But for all of us who can’t travel, can’t forest bathe and may be having trouble leaving the house at all, here is a low-commitment, low-energy option to get some of those good juices flowing. has sounds from forests around the world recorded by people who live near them. There are forests filled with the sounds of rain and rushing water, others with scores of birds and some that seem near silent.

“People around the world recorded the sounds of their forests, so you can escape into nature, while in lockdown or unable to travel,” the creators of the site say. “Use this site to chill, meditate or do some digital shinrin-yoku.”

Visit the Sounds of the Forest sound map to find the ones near us — including Olympic National Park and the Pratt Connector Trail near North Bend — and find a link on to donate to organizations that plant trees in nature.

Enjoy your mini-reprieve and take heart: The days are getting longer even when it still seems dark.