Live Life Better: A guide to hearing more

In the third episode of the Live Life Better podcast, we learn about how to hear more, and how sound can have an impact on our moods and our wellbeing. The episode also explores listening closer to different sounds and how we can use sound in different ways.

Host Melissa Hemsley was joined by Dr Kelly Snook, former NASA scientist who is now reimagining the solar system as an immersive musical instrument, Nick Ryan, multi-award winning composer, sound designer, artist and audio specialist, and Trevor Cox, author of Sonic Wonderland and Now You’re Talking, and one-time holder of the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest whoopee cushion to discuss all things sound.

It’s time to take the earbuds out

Part of hearing more is giving yourself the chance to actually listen. But to do that, you have to take some actions to get away from distractions.

As Trevor Cox said during the episode: “All you need to do is shut up, turn your mobile phone off, turn you MP3 player off and just listen.”

Listen for the dawn chorus

If you’re someone who sleeps in, you could be missing out on some of nature’s greatest hits.

“Listen to the dawn chorus. It exists in urban and rural places. England is one of the most amazing places to listen to the dawn chorus – even in London,” Nick said. “The dawn chorus is triggered, it is thought, by light levels so birds at the top of the tree who receive more sunlight than birds at the bottom will start it and as the sun brightens and falls through the branches birds further down will join them in what is this magnificent song between all sorts of species. And it’s about an hour before the sun rises.”

Melissa Hemsley in the studio with Professor Kelly Snook and Nick Ryan

Get away from noise to feel better

Nick reminded us all of the importance of silence and reducing the amount of noise around us. “Restaurants are one of the worst; in London it’s absolutely horrendous,” he said. “I went to a restaurant the other day and I said, ‘do you realise how painful the sound is in here?’ And the waiter said to me, ‘We all have migraines at the end of every shift.’ And I said, ‘All you need is some acoustic treatment.’ But that hadn’t occurred to them. So I think just moving away from noise for how the absence of sound can make you feel better.”

You can listen or subscribe to Live Life Better on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

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