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Nature boosts your mental health, and you don’t even have to leave the city to reap the benefits

Good news, urbanites! New research suggests that you don’t have to leave the city to reap some of the benefits of being in nature.

Simply listening to the chirping of birds, glimpsing the sky and even noticing a scrawny city tree can boost your mental well-being, according to a report published Tuesday in the journal Bioscience.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers used data collected by a smartphone app they created called Urban Mind. The app is free to download and available for both the iPhone and Android platforms.

Seven times a day for seven days, self-selected volunteers answered questions such as, “Are you indoors or outdoors?” “Can you see trees?” “Can you see the sky? “ “Can you hear birds singing?” “Can you see or hear water?” and “Do you feel in contact with nature?”