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New BBC Sounds Mindful Mix featuring David Attenborough in support of Mental Health Awareness Week

By David Saunders | UPDATED: 08:28, 20 May 2020

A new Mindful Mix special launches on BBC Sounds today Monday 18 May featuring a blend of sounds from nature and calming classical music introduced by David Attenborough in support of Mental Health Awareness Week as part of the BBC’s Covid-19 Collection.

The Mindful Mix is a popular mix on BBC Sounds which aims to provide a positive impact on people’s wellbeing during these unprecedented times.

David Attenborough says in his introduction: “There are times when more than ever it helps to steep ourselves in the music of the planet, the sounds of the wind and the water, the forest and the fields. For all of those who can’t be outside breathing in the beauty of the natural world.

We want to bring some of its soothing sounds to you, blended with calming classical music which we hope will bring some much needed tranquillity.”

It has been produced to help alleviate anxiety in people recovering from Covid-19, their families and healthcare professionals.

Evidence shows that music is helpful in reducing stress, anxiety and agitation, and sounds from nature can have a positive impact on wellbeing.

The accompanying Covid-19 Collection will feature a wider range of relaxing music, from classical to world music, to natural soundscapes from the BBC’s natural history archives. Chris Watson, the renowned wildlife sound recordist, will also be curating a special natural soundscape collection for the website.

The project is a collaboration between BBC Music, BBC Sounds and BBC Archive Editorial, working with the Natural History Unit archive and supported by Dr Dorothy Wade, Principal Health Psychologist at UCLH’s Critical Care Unit, the Intensive Care Society and the British Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Rebecca Sandiford, Commissioning Executive, BBC Music says: “This project has been a true collaborative effort. In a short space of time the amazing teams at BBC Archive Editorial, BBC Sounds, BBC Music, the Natural History Unit, as well as academics, doctors, psychologists, BBC programme teams – and Sir David Attenborough – have all helped bring this project to life. We hope the Covid-19 Collection and the Mindful Mix make a real difference to people in the current crisis.”

Dr Dorothy Wade says: “Many patients with severe COVID-19 have a long stay in an intensive care unit. They may wake up feeling delirious, scared and unsure where they are or what is going on. They feel very alone without their family by their side.

As a psychologist working in intensive care, I need to find ways to help our patients quickly calm down and connect with reality, to help their recovery.

I have often seen how calming music and nature sounds or videos help patients slow down their breathing and relax in the day, and get some much-needed sleep at night.

A few recovering patients listened to the BBC Sounds collection today and told us that they found it really relaxing and planned to listen to it at bedtime to help them get to sleep.”

The Mindful Mix is available on BBC Sounds.

View the Covid-19 Collection here.

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