Stop complaining about the British rain! Downpours can make us happy and have ‘therapeutic effects’ on depression, claims expert

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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As a nation, we love to complain about the weather.

But with April showers looming we should embrace the rain and even go outside when it’s drizzling, research suggests.

Studies have indicated that rain actually makes us happy and improves our mental health through molecules released into the atmosphere.

The molecules – called ‘negative ions’ – can even have ‘therapeutic effects on depression’, according to BBC naturalist Matt Gaw.

Writing in Countryfile magazine he said: ‘Walking, running and swimming in rain – whether a heatwave-breaking storm, a shower, the downpour over Cumbrian crags, or a drizzle – has shown me that, contrary to cultural tropes, there is little sadness in the rain.

Studies have indicated that rain actually makes us happy and improves our mental health through molecules released into the atmosphere

‘In fact, it feels like the opposite. There’s a lightness, a joy in experiencing something fundamental about the world.

‘It is a feeling backed up by science. Because when the clouds burst, there is something other than water in the air.

‘Negative ions are atmospheric molecules charged with electricity. They are most abundant by rivers, beaches and mountains, where air molecules are broken up by moving water.

‘They are found near breaking waves, by waterfalls and they are there, too, when it rains.

‘These negative ions, which are breathed in, transferred to blood and brain, have been linked with biochemical changes that impact positively on mental health.’

Previous studies have found that negative ions could have therapeutic effects on depression.

‘In short, while we might associate wet weather with gloom and noir and misery, being out in the rain can actually boost our mood,’ Mr Gaw added.

The Met Office has warned that the four-day bank holiday weekend over Easter could be a washout, just weeks after England had its wettest 18 months since records began.

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