According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in nature has immediate and long-lasting benefits to your mental health and overall wellbeing. It improves your mood.
So what do you do when you can’t spend quality time in nature but need to relax or improve your mood? You bring nature to you. Perhaps you’re right in the middle of work and starting to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or burnt out. Maybe you’ve spent all week on Zoom meetings and staring at emails and spreadsheets—time to have a quick reset.
We’ve compiled a watch list of nature documentaries to relieve stress and anxiety that you can watch at home or your desk. Listening to ocean sounds and seeing sea life swim beautifully in the clear blue water is bound to calm you. Or perhaps it’s the ethereal voice of Sir David Attenborough that replaces the anxious voice in your head and gets you to relax your shoulders.
Here’s what you’re going to do, watch each of the trailers on our list. The moment you get to a trailer that evokes a feeling of calm or relaxation, even a second, hurry over the streaming platform to watch it. Take a break from work to watch one of these nature documentaries or have it play in the background as you do light tasks.
We have a few recommendations of nature documentaries from each major streaming platform, so there’s something for everyone.
NATURE DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Our Planet is arguably one of the best nature documentaries out there. Frame after frame will leave you stunned and in awe. Beautiful oceans, the deepest jungles, almost extinct animals, Our Planet shows Earth in an unprecedented way.
Our Planet was filmed entirely in Ultra High Definition in over 50 countries.
My Octopus Teacher
This one is a little weird. At first, you might wonder why this grown man refuses to leave this Octopus alone. But it grows on you and draws you in with excellent storytelling, powerful visuals, and a very charismatic and intelligent octopus.
Watch as divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to revive them.
Down to Earth with Zac Efron
This is a nature documentary + travel show. Actor Zac Efron journeys around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to explore health, wellness, sustainability, and how different communities around the world approach these important topics.
Dolphins are incredibly intelligent creatures. This documentary takes you on an underwater adventure full of beautiful and calming imagery.
Secrets of the Whales
National Geographic does an excellent job of capturing the magnificence of Whales. They are gentle yet formidable creatures. Filmed across 24 locations over three years, Secrets of the Whales reveals life and love from their perspective and explores the cultures of orcas, belugas, narwhals, sperm whales, and humpback whales.
This is a nature document accompanied by beautiful soundscapes. Viewers are transported and transfixed by colorful imagery accompanied by calming sounds.
A Beautiful Planet IMAX
Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, A Beautiful Planet shows the beauty of earth from the vantage point of Space. It’s a must-see.
Chasing ice is a documentary made with time-lapse cameras to show a unique view of the Earth and gather evidence of climate change. It’s brilliant and thought-provoking.