The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

By Audrey Andrews | June 12th, 2020

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams sat on my to-be-read list since it was published in 2017. The book’s topic is one I consistently subject people to in conversation, and I know I feel immediately better after even a quick jaunt outside. Yet, other books continued to find their way in front of The Nature Fix.

Williams’s work as a journalist delves into topics explored in the book and is surely of interest to anyone who picked up The Nature Fix. I will follow her writing closely from now on, so The Nature Fix successfully made me a fan. Unfortunately, we need to make a lot of noise if the United States is to begin collectively taking nature’s role in human health seriously. Writers like Williams are at the forefront of the fight.

A beauty of our current quarantine is reading time, allowing The Nature Fix to finally find its way into my hands. For three years, I heard wondrous things about The Nature Fix on podcasts and in print, so my expectations were high.

Each chapter of The Nature Fix delves into a particular way nature helps us regenerate. Readers travel around the globe, from Japan to Korea to Finland to Idaho, as Williams provides both scientific and personal accounts of the benefits of nature. The more time we spend outside, and particularly in natural settings, the more our health and quality of life improves. Countries around the globe are taking this seriously, but the United States lags behind the curve.

Although the premise of The Nature Fix is fascinating, the structure is too rigid. Each chapter examines a particular study while relaying Williams’s experience with the respective research. Individually, the chapters are informative and incredibly interesting. Together, they read like a series of articles placed together. The structure did not take away from the book, but a well-weaved narrative would have made this important work more readable and engaging. We nature-lovers need to make our words welcoming; it will only help our cause.

We need more books like The Nature Fix. Williams’s book is a wonderful collection of what we understand today, and the lesson is clear: go outside.

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