As a child, I used to like it when it rains.
Now, I hate it.
When it rains, I have a hard time going outdoors to write, my dogs’ feet get wet (and they leave dirty paw prints on white floors), and more.
But I discovered millions of people love it when it rains.
So I researched further on the subject.
What’s with the Sound of Rain?
The sound of rain can be calming and soothing for many people. It can create a feeling of relaxation and help to mask other sounds, making it a popular choice for white noise to aid sleep or concentration.
Rain can also have a more profound psychological effect. They evoke feelings of nostalgia or melancholy.
In literature and poetry, the sound of rain is present. The goal is to convey a sense of introspection or contemplation.
In addition to its psychological effects, the sound of rain can also serve a practical purpose. For example, it can help to mask other sounds, such as traffic or construction noise, or provide a natural soundtrack for activities like reading or working.
Overall, the sound of rain can have a variety of associations and effects. Often, this is because of its calming and soothing properties.
Whose Idea Was It to Listen to Rain?
Rain is a natural occurrence. It has been present on Earth for millions of years, and people have likely been listening to rain for millennia. The sound of rain has a link with feelings of relaxation and calm.
The idea to specifically listen to the rain as a way to relax or fall asleep may have emerged more recently, as technology has advanced and it has become easier to access recordings of rain sounds. However, people have likely been listening to and enjoying the sound of rain for much longer than that.
Rain Sounds as an ASMR Trigger
ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a phenomenon in which certain sounds or other stimuli can trigger a feeling of relaxation or tingling in the head, scalp, and back. Some people experience ASMR after hearing certain sounds, such as whispering, tapping, or crinkling.
Rain sounds can potentially be an ASMR trigger for some people, as the sound of rain falling can be soothing.
You can also hear the sound of rain in ASMR videos and recordings. Its role is to create a relaxing atmosphere or to help people fall asleep.
However, not everyone experiences ASMR. And different people may have different triggers.
Some people may find the sound of rain calming, while others may not have any reaction to it at all. Whether or not rain sounds are an ASMR trigger for you is a personal experience that can vary from person to person.
The Effects of Rain Sounds on the Brain
The effects of rain sounds on the brain can vary from person to person, but in general, rain sounds have a link to relaxation and a sense of calm. The sound of rain falling can be soothing and masks other sounds — making it easier to concentrate or relax.
Research shows that certain sounds can affect brain activity and alter brain waves.
For example, a study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that listening to natural sounds can lead to a decrease in alpha brain waves — elements associated with relaxation and a state of rest.
Rain Sounds and Anxiety
Listening to rain sounds may also help stimulate the production of the hormone oxytocin (known as the "love hormone"). It also has links to feelings of relaxation and calm.
Overall, the calming effect of rain sounds may help reduce anxiety in some individuals. And if you struggle with anxiety and want to use rain sounds as a coping mechanism, consult a mental health professional for guidance first.
What’s the Best Rain Sound?
The best rain sound is subjective — the choice varies from person to person.
Some people find the sound of light rain on a metal roof soothing. And others prefer the sound of heavy rain against windows.
Some people even prefer the sound of rain mixed with other natural sounds, such as birds chirping or thunder in the distance.
Ultimately, the best rain sound helps you relax and fall asleep.
You may want to try out a few different sounds to see which works best. You can find rain sounds on various websites or apps that offer ambient noise tracks, or you can use a white noise machine or a smart speaker with a built-in sleep sound feature to play rain sounds while you sleep.
I guess there’s something lovable about rain.
Rain sounds? I can get behind.
But rain itself? I don’t have a penchant for them.
I probably will like rain in an alternative universe — in a realm where I didn’t write outdoors and didn’t live with dogs.
- National Library of Medicine | The impact of music on the bioelectrical oscillations of the brain by Domantė Kučikienė and Rūta Praninskienė
- Discovery of Sounds in the Sea | Sounds of Rainfall
- Main Line Today | Why We Adore the Sound of Rain
- YouTube Channel | Want to Hear Rain