We’ve all had, for the most part, a bit of a shit year. But at least that’s a struggle that we’re experiencing collectively. While the United States is seriously fumbling its response to the coronavirus, people worldwide are also feeling the struggle of living in a world amidst a global pandemic. Which is exactly why Inspired by Iceland is inviting people from all over to record themselves screaming their frustrations about this shitty year out into the serene digital landscape of one of five regions in Iceland.
“You’ve been through a lot,” begins the campaign ad made in partnership with creative agency M&C Saatchi Group, which is running across the US, UK, Germany, Canada, and Denmark. “Looking for the perfect place to let it all out? It looks like you need Iceland.” Inspired by Iceland invites users to record a scream right from their computer’s microphone so that they can release the sound into Iceland’s jaw-dropping landscapes and open spaces, which will hopefully provide some sort of catharsis for the screamer.
Goofy as the campaign is, the act of screaming for stress relief is backed by science and has been utilized as a therapeutic tool since the 70s. According to therapist and mental health consultant Zoë Aston, “part of the beneficial effect of screaming comes from being able to make a loud noise into a wide, open, undisturbed space. This literally allows your amygdala to release the stress stored there and move forward.”
But before you start screaming your lungs out and scaring your entire neighborhood, it might not be a bad idea to skim some of the advice offered on the Looks Like You Need Iceland webpage so you don’t hurt yourself. The site suggests mimicking the way a baby cries, letting the sound of your scream come from your gut rather than your throat, which can put a strain on your voice.
“Stand with your feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in your knees, relax your shoulders. You may find it useful to put your hands on your hips or use your arms to help push out some of the pent-up emotions. Follow your instincts.”
The campaign page is full of screamers hailing from all parts of the world — from London to Munich to Berkeley, CA — though we’ve yet to come across a scream that truly matches the level of frustration with the world we’re all feeling. Still, if you need to let it all out, screaming while watching a feed of Iceland’s natural beauty is not a bad way to get some temporary relief. Especially if it gives you ideas on where to travel once that American passport is useful again.