Watching videos of nature while listening to mindful audio can deliver positive mood-related benefits and increase productivity at work, research has shown. 

According to a study by Aston Business School, part of Aston University, the combination can also help improve mood and energy, and boost creativity and innovation processes.   

 Your Virtual Mind Trainer (YVMT) has been developed as a positive psychological intervention and wellbeing enhancement by Hilary McLellan, an experienced organisational behaviourist, and Dr Ashleigh McLellan, a clinical psychologist.  

 In applied psychology, interventions are actions performed to bring about change in people through modified behaviour, emotional state, or feelings. 

 And, in a daily diary study, led by Aston’s Dr. Wladislaw Rivkin, researchers concluded that YVMT can have a significantly positive effect on psychological energy. 

 “I felt the whole experience was calming, relaxing and I feel much more grounded to take on what I know is going to be a challenging day at work for me.” YVMT study participant

 In particular, YVMT can help you rebalance your emotions and can boost your creativity, innovation and task performance. 

 Dr Ashleigh McLellan says: “Your Virtual Mind Trainer has been developed to give people a boost of nature and an uplifting break from their hectic schedules. We are delighted to have the scientific evidence base to show that our service - as an intervention - has significant positive impacts in key areas.” 

Hilary McLellan says: "We feel passionate about offering people  short, accessible and positive interventions to help them be their best self at work.  Because we spend many hours of our lives in the workplace setting.  

"Our use of Your Virtual Mind Trainer as an intervention to support behavioural change with our coaching clients, has shown real benefit in how they have developed self-awareness.  We are very proud to have the scientific evidence to underpin our original hunch!" 

Key highlights of the YVMT research study with Aston University include:

  • YVMT can deliver an immediate boost to energy and mood
  • Watching a video has a positive effect on task performance
  • The benefits of the short break activity can last for as long as four to six hours
  • Watching nature on virtual reality headsets has a significant positive effect on creativity and this continues throughout the day

Dr Wladislaw Rivkin, associate professor in organisational behaviour at Trinity Business School (and former lecturer at Aston Business School), comments: "Results from a field experiment across 15 days demonstrate that a six-minute immersive VR or video experience of YMVT benefits employees’ energy levels and increases their mood.

"These psychological benefits carry over and help employees to maintain a high effectiveness and be creative throughout the day. In a very vast market of mindfulness-based apps YMVT stands out as its effectiveness is supported through empirical evidence."

“The place was very calming, I liked the voice of the reader as well as the content she was reading. Thank you very much for this unique and interesting experience.”  YVMT study participant

 Healthy workplaces can help people to flourish and reach their potential, while ensuring organisations can thrive. Your Virtual Mind Trainer includes a library of ‘coaching’ specific audios scripted specifically for people leaders and covering hot corporate topics, such as perspective, self-awareness, empathy and ambiguity. 

Ready to join leading companies using YVMT to improve their workplace culture and business performance? 

Get in touch to set up an exploratory introduction and demo meeting. 

  • We explore the individual needs and priorities of each organisation/ business or client
  • We partner with you to embed positive habit change
  • We provide trials, in-house training and evaluation to support you in obtaining added value.



About the Author


The Your Virtual Mind Trainer team includes experts in clinical psychology, coaching and organisational behaviour.