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Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do
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Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  521 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
A landmark book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols on the remarkable effects of water on our health and well-being.

Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In BLUE MIND, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, u
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ebook, 352 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David
Jan 23, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Martha Love
Marine biologist Wallace Nichols has written a marvelous book about the connection between people and water. Why do we put so much value into being near bodies of water? Lakes, rivers, and the ocean have a remarkable pull on all of us.

Nichols tells this story about a group of Native Americans who live in the Sonoran Desert. Nichols took a a group of young teens to the Gulf of California. Many of them had never seen the ocean before, and they had no idea of what they were about to experience. The
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Wallace Nichols
Based on five years of research and exploration, preceded by a lifetime of thinking about our "brain on water", I'm so happy to share this work with you.

Countless friends, colleagues, researchers, and mentors contributed to this book and their voices are heard throughout.

I greatly enjoyed this project and we will continue to hold annual Blue Mind Summits (the fifth in Toronto) and a sequel book is in the works due to the wave of new "Blue Mind" research underway and the request for even "more s
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Jean
Jul 25, 2014 Jean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Humans love water and water is good for us. That's about it. Lots of personal stories of people in water, fishing in water, boating in water, etc. And lots of statistics. Pretty basic.

For example:
** People love living by water. Lots of statistics and studies.
**Water and the color blue have positive effects on our human brains. Lots of stuff on the brain and neuroplasticity how the brain works (very basic stuff) and more statistics and studies.
**Water makes us happier. Lots of information on h
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Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Disclaimer: This ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

A star deducted because author rated his own book 5 stars. Tacky.

Review to come.

Edit: The science was pretty good and I learned some new things. I still found that people prefer water over forest pretty subjective. I like the water just fine, but I prefer forests and mountains to them. Again, we all have our unique preference.

Elyse
Aug 06, 2014 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author, Wallace J. Nicohols has written a masterpiece about the benefits that WATER has on our health and happiness. (and explains WHY).
Its packed filled with interesting information.
As a 'WATER-LOVER', I felt 'empowered', 'inspired' and 'moved-to-tears' a couple of times.

I found myself remembering: A lifetime of memories of either being in the water -near water -or on the water:
....the Creek, the ocean, the lakes, swimming in a pool, water skiing, mud-boarding,
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Sarah Pekdemir
I found the topic of this book extremely fascinating and the research very thorough. Unfortunately, I couldn't finished reading because I was so turned off by how frequently the author repeated certain points that he wanted to drive home. It felt as though he was trying to fill up extra pages and did so simply by reiterating certain important points over and over. Overall, I think fascinating topic, comprehensive research, interesting read, but really could have benefited from being condensed so ...more
James (JD) Dittes
Wallace J. Nichols's thesis couldn't more simple: humans love the water!

But this book doesn't stress the simple things about water. Nichols aims higher, crafting a carefully researched case for water as a cure for many modern travails and for water as the key to understanding mankind's place on the planet and its need to preserve all life.

Focusing on the mental benefits of water, Nichols cites studies that have measured the impact of water scenes, including those with cutting-edge fMRI technolog
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Jeanne
Aug 06, 2014 Jeanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is some interesting material here, but for a book about water, I found the presentation somewhat dry~
Ryan Dejonghe
Aug 19, 2014 Ryan Dejonghe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
There’s only one way to read a book that touts the benefits of water: IN the water. It took me a little longer to get through this book because I literally read the entire thing while either floating or sitting in water. (Pictured proof on my blog, including a picture of this book floating.) Why? Let’s see…



“As children we delight in water. As we grow older, water also becomes the matrix for sport, relaxation, and romance.” As the author Wallace J. Nichols points out, water enlarges the price tag
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Lizzi Larbalestier
Love it! I am already now reading it for a second time. The narratives ignite powerful water based memories & a childlike curiosity to further explore mind / body consciousness & our relationship with Blue. The book (like the ocean) provokes a contrast of awe, calm contemplation & a sense of timeless connectedness between people & place.

The discoveries this book creates have every day practical implications which enable us to actively utilise our outdoor environment to enhance w
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Rikki Irwin
This book was all over the place. Overly detailed at times while weirdly still being generic. I didn't learn much.
Wes
Dec 23, 2014 Wes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book starts off in a strong fashion for popular science on how brain activity is measured with its various instruments. Then unfortunately it delves into an accumulation of anecdotal persons who have experienced benefits of being around water. The author tries to make a case for Blue Mind (artistic, meditation, aesthetic) vs. Red Mind (analytical, preservation of self), but I believe he tried and did not succeed in making a new name for the right hemisphere/left hemisphere nomenclature of ot ...more
Bookworm
Nov 13, 2014 Bookworm rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed. I was a swimmer in high school and have almost always lived near some body of water (the ocean, a river, a creek, etc.) This book sounded like it was for me. What do we love the water so? What compels people to have pictures or art of water?

Sadly, the book definitely did not live up to the hype. It started off well, with the author (and with a forward from a relative of Jacques Cousteau) writing about their experiences with the water and what it meant to them. But it quickly meande
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Martha Love
Dec 22, 2015 Martha Love rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly excellent book and a very enjoyable way to learn more about cutting edge neuroscience studies concerning our relationship to water.

I purposely retired to Hawaii for many of the reasons cited in this book and relate to the author's interest in this important subject of how water affects us. One thing that I felt as I read this book is how much a body of water like the ocean, feels like we are in a womb like container, mother or Home. Living on an island, one can feel the impermanence of
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Ellen
Jan 07, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads

Good: I enjoyed the narrative style writing-- complete with anecdotes, and more specifically, scientific evidence that was cited to back up any claims that the author was making. This novel accomplished its aim-- it expounded on the title, 'why being near water is helpful', and was mostly interesting while doing so, reminiscent of Freakonomics.

Bad: It was MOSTLY interesting, like I said, but some parts fell short because it could have been summed up more succinctly or I knew the information alr
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Formalplay
Jul 29, 2015 Formalplay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In case you were wondering why you find yourself drawn to water or nature, this book lays out the science and tells some really wonderful stories along the way.
Holly
I appear to be one of the only readers not to care for this book, but the high-star reviewers haven't changed my impressions. I grew bored repeatedly by the rehashing of neuroscience research summaries and general "Blue Mind" approach: long passages on the variations in real estate prices for homes on the water vs not?; descriptions of fMRI studies measuring responses to other phenomena but then dubiously extrapolating to human-experiences-with-water? I was listening to the audiobook read by the ...more
Justin
Aug 25, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, I finished another one. My 'goodreads' review: Do you have a 'Blue Mind'? Had periods of 'Blue Mind' experience? Of course you have. But like me you may have not realized what it was and how important that is to our existence. It's as essential to your body as water is. This wonderful book tells you why and how to know when you've found it.
I found it recently and I never want to leave it. Of course it rolls in and out of your brain but once you know it, you can bring it back. Nichols tells
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Peter Mcloughlin
The book is a little unfocused but if one goes through it will find enough meat among the filler and see why we crave to be near water and why beach front property has such seemingly ridiculous price tags attached to it. Being near water enhances psychological and physical health and increase happiness. It seems to also enhance creativity. The author talks a lot about cognitive and neurological information on why we do so well in the presence of large bodies of water. He doesn't spend much time ...more
Lauren
Oct 27, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary of Blue Mind in one sentence: Being by the water is good for you, as demonstrated by several studies.

Only extend that out over almost 300 pages.

That sounds depressingly cynical, and it is, but that’s the thought that kept circling through my head while reading Blue Mind. That can be said about a lot of books, but this one bugged me because I didn’t feel like I learned anything I didn’t already know. It wasn’t challenging or reshaping my view of the world. Sure, some of the studies were i
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Joan
Jul 30, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I live on an island and I always knew there was something special about that. Hours on the beach got me through my teen years. Reading this book explains it. I knew the beach was calming, now I know the science behind it. I was amazed to read about water therapy for PTSD, addiction and autism. This is not a dry science book as there are plenty of stories. Granted, some of the findings are subjective, but then, how does one really evaluate happiness? The book is definitely worth reading.
See my co
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Catarina Gutierrez
notes:
odd feeling to read this by the water

A mildly meditative state characterized by calm peacefulness unity and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment

Pg 44. For most of us, the definition of happiness is less a description of a feeling and more a description of the conditions that produce the feeling.

Hedonia or eudaimonia

They believe that while genetic predisposition account around 60% of our level of happiness circumstances contributed only 10% the other 40
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Don Weidinger
Aug 09, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
explain the magic, dive into tea cup, use up resources cherish nourish, too many overwhelmed, 200# is 10#, therapeutic blue, wealth of information creates poverty of attention, marijuana and 5 point drop in IQ, media gratification or destruction, gratefulness benefits to both.
Mook
Oct 10, 2015 Mook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blue Mind is a very interesting book about how humans are connected to the watery world they live in. It's part science and part anecdotal, going from studies, to personal reminiscing, to the many stories Wallace J. Nichols has collected from people all over the world.

Some parts I found repetitive, but it's not uncommon for a book that focuses on scientific concepts to reiterate the basic facts for the readers. And this book included psychology studies, social sciences, economics, physiology, ar
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Zoomball
Nov 08, 2014 Zoomball rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
i listened to the audio version, narrated by the author. Double-sided response here. 1) There are reasons why there are professionals who get paid for recording books. I need to give this author kudos for doing it, but I don't think this was the best choice. It is not a "smooth" listen. 2) If the author would not have recorded it I probably never would have experienced it. Because of my disability it is hard for me to physically hold books so this is how I get most of my "reading" accomplished. ...more
Daniel
Sep 05, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This review originally published in LookingFora Good Book. Rated 4.0 of 5

Having oftengravitated toward the water for rest and relaxation, I was intrigued by this book, offering "surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier. connected, and better at what you do."

It is very clear that author Nichols is very passionate about this subject and excited to share his scientific proof of his theories. I definitely got caught up in his enthusiasm.

Nic
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David
Aug 02, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2014
It may not be a sculpture, but it is a beautifully moving work that highlights our dependence on nature (especially) water and the biology behind our connection to water.
Robin
Learning about the science behind how being near water makes us feel better is intriguing because most of us have experienced this phenomenon subjectively. A walk on the beach, swim in a lake, picnic by a stream, or even a hot shower can make us feel more relaxed and focused. The book starts out promisingly, as the author enters the water wearing a wired EEG cap to record the electrical activity in all parts of his brain as he submerges. But next the author makes the case for weaving emotion int ...more
Janet
Aug 11, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature
Fantastic account of why and how water is so important to us, and why and how we should take strides to protect it.
Kaitlyn Abshire
*This book was won for free through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway*

I did not hate this book, it was just really hard for me to read it at times. It felt really slow at times and it took me FOREVER to get past the first two chapters.

I did like the stories but the statisics were not my favorite. All and all the book was OK.
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Blue Mind Book Club: Chapter 1 (p 3 - 8) 1 7 Oct 01, 2014 04:57PM  
Blue Mind Book Club: 9/29: Preface 3 8 Sep 29, 2014 03:32PM  
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“I wish you water.” 3 likes
“I wondered whether water is a mirror for our darker emotions as much as it is an engine for our happiness. Water quiets all the noise, all the distractions, and connects you to your own thoughts.” 1 likes
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