Online platform to help people beat stress through connecting with nature

Rachel Massey

A mindfulness coach and public health expert has launched an online platform designed to reduce stress by connecting people with nature from the comfort of their own homes.

Rachel Massey, of Holmfirth, has set up Nature Fix, which features a series of resources to help people alleviate anxiety and stress.

Underpinned by science, the platform shares the latest evidence from academics and researchers; guided meditation videos in nature; updates on what’s happening in the natural world; and techniques to help people connect with
nature regularly.

Massey has an extensive background in developing arts and wellbeing programmes, having held senior roles at organisations including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and spanning national public health initiatives.

The inspiration for Nature Fix builds on her experience as a qualified mindfulness coach and also draws on her own health experiences in recent years.

During 2021, Massey was diagnosed with a neurological condition which stopped her from accessing the outdoors.

She said: “I started to feel I had lost my place in the world and wanted to understand, see and hear what was happening outside to support my mental health.

“At that point, I looked for podcasts and videos online but I could only find resources that featured sounds of faraway lands, like rainforests.

“Nothing sounded like what I would experience if I walked outside of my own front door.

“I needed my nature fix, the soundscapes which made me feel connected to the world, to make me feel like I am part of something much bigger. That’s where the idea of Nature Fix came from.”

Massey is also delivering workshops as part of a national programme to “test and learn” about how nature can improve mental health, in conjunction with South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System.

She added: “When people feel stressed and anxious, they can sometimes feel like they’ve lost perspective. The natural world can ground them.

“People often come to the Nature Fix platform to help set boundaries, find time and space for themselves and re-engage with their own sense of purpose.

“For a variety of reasons, people can’t always physically access outdoor space and so I am absolutely passionate about making good quality support available for people in a flexible, accessible way which ultimately enables people to feel rested, inspired and cared for.”

Massey also runs ‘Other Ways to Walk,’ which she established more than six years ago. Designed to support people’s mental health via connecting them with nature, Other Ways to Walk work also sees her guide groups outdoors.

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