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Here’s the Wild Idea

Florence’s Wild Idea: To show why being in nature makes us feel so good, with science to back it up.

If you are a regular listener to this podcast, chances are you love spending time outside in nature, and you’d love to spend even more time in it. Today’s guest, Florence Williams, knows all about this feeling, and the science behind it. Her book The Nature Fix proves why being in nature makes us happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. We talk about the research behind it, new research she’s discovered since she wrote it, policy and workplace decisions that have been informed from the book, and how you can squeeze in more time outside, even if you work a 9-to-5 desk job. We also talk about the best places to travel to be in nature, what sounds in nature are the most appealing and advice on writing books. We even delve into some other fun topics including breasts, which Florence wrote about in another book (it’s not a picture book) and some of her favorite authors.

Florence is an accomplished writer and speaker. Her writing has appeared everywhere from the New York Times to Outside Magazine, and she’s even hosted a few podcasts herself, so this conversation flows fast. She loves what she does, and you get a sense from listening to her that she really wants others to get more joy in their lives from nature.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You love spending time in the outdoors.
  • You want to know why it feels so good to be outside in nature.
  • You care about leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • You want some stats to show your boss/teacher why you need more breaks, more time outside or a window nearby.

Key Takeaways

  • 2:00 – The kind of influence Florence’s book has had.
  • 3:40 – Why being outside can help us with productivity and health.
  • 6:55 – How office workers can add more nature to their life.
  • 9:10 – How the sounds and smells of nature can affect you.
  • 13:20 – What some businesses are doing by using tree wallpaper, faux scents, and bird sounds.
  • 14:30 – How grounding might work.
  • 16:40 – The impact that water can have on you.
  • 19:35 – How Florence got the idea to write about science and the environment.
  • 23:10 – What environmental toxins to look out for.
  • 29:10 – Tips and tools to write a book about science or the outdoors.
  • 30:30 – What books Florence recommends.
  • 32:00 – The challenge of finding balance as a working mom.
  • 35:15 – Why it’s so hard to be a teenager these days.
  • 33:35 – Florence’s advice for how to write a book (or just get your voice out there).
  • 38:40 – Why Florence would move to Scandinavia.

Florence in REI’s Co-op Journal

Florence’s Books

The Nature Fix
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

Awesome books Florence recommends

Michael Pollan’s books
Mary Roach’s books

Other podcasts you might love

Hike It Baby Founder Shanti Hodges


Deep by James Nestor
Florence’s article in the NYT
Florence’s article in Outside Magazine
Florence’s article in National Geographic
8 part podcast series The XX Factor on Outside Magazine’s Podcast
Original podcast series on Audible called Breasts Unbound

Connect with Florence




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