Being by the water can pull the stress from us, inspire creativity and draw us closer to those we love. Research shows that feeling of awe and wonder we get by the sea can also promote compassion and empathy.
Turns out there’s some serious science behind the Beach Boys’ famous lyric, “Catch a wave, and your sittin’ on top of the world.”
So dive in and rank how blue your mind is—or how beach deprived you might be this summer.
Wallace J. Nichols is the author of Blue Mind and a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences. He has spent his life getting near, in, on, or under waters all over the world. He also loves sea turtles.