For all those times when we feel unproductive, the soothing sounds of a mountain stream might just do the trick to snap us out of our rut. A new study found that sound masking systems—which produce natural noises like running water—might be the key to reducing stress and boosting productivity in the workplace. The reason? The sound of running water had ‘enough randomness that it did not become a distraction,’ said the study’s co-author, and it improved the focus of employees more so than the typical background noises in an office, like the sound of voices. The study’s authors also recognize the potential for natural masking systems potential to improve the moods of hospital patients who are confined to their rooms for days or weeks at a time. Have you tried listening to ‘natural noise’ for relaxation or while at work? How does it affect your mood or productivity? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!