As a born and bred Floridian, I’ve always felt most at home around water. Starting at the age of eight or so, I welcomed the exhaustion of competitive swimming, red-rimmed chlorine eyes becoming my norm. Though I quit before high school, something happened during all those practices that connected me to the feeling of being in or near water—so much so that I felt noticeably less at ease when I moved inland for college.
What I’d later learn is that it’s not just a “me” thing: Studies show that regular exposure to blue spaces—which encompass waterscapes and their surroundings—can boost your well-being. In fact, that’s the impetus behind “blue mind theory,” which recently blew up on TikTok but was conceptualized in 2015 by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols in his titular book Featured Fitness Health