Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in specific environments. There’s a reason we find environments like mountains, waterfalls, and beaches relaxing. In our bloodstream, the negative ions produce biochemical reactions that brighten our mood, increase serotonin, relieve stress, and boost our energy. So in this case, negative ions = positive atmosphere.

These ions are created as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. This is why that cabin in the woods provides you so much comfort, and the waves at the beach melt your stress away. The air in these environments contains tens of thousands of negative ions, much more than your house or office…or home office. They exist en masse in:

  • Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun
  • Discharges of electricity in the air after a thunderclap or lightning strike
  • Wherever water collides with itself like a waterfall or the ocean shore (creating the Lenard effect)
  • Produced as part of the normal growth process for many plants

Interestingly enough, studies from Columbia University of people with seasonal affective disorder and depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants.

So, it’s perfectly okay and probably great for you to go chasing waterfalls, you can even stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.