A longtime contributing editor at Outside, Williams has written on important topics, including the affects of nature on mental health in “Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning.” She’s also the author of multiple books, including Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History; The Nature Fix: How Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative; and most recently, Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Reeling from her husband’s request to divorce after 25 years of marriage and two kids, Florence Williams was experiencing debilitating grief. An accomplished reporter, she decided to explore the science of heartache to see if she could find a cure. In this excerpt from her new book, ‘Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey,’ she heads out for a 120-mile solo paddle on Utah’s Green River, with a too heavy portable toilet and a shattered heart.
Work hard, play hard—that's how many of us live today. But it turns out that our supercharged lives aren’t so great for us, and fitness experts and doctors are now emphasizing restorative practices and rest to improve performance and overall health.
When you take former sex-trafficking victims into the wilderness for a few days of roughing it, know this: they’ve seen worse. Florence Williams goes on a trip organized by Atlanta-based She Is Able and learns that one size of adventure therapy does not fit all.
For more than a century, the Girl Scouts has been the most well-trod path for junior explorers to get into adventure. But what comes after the Thin Mints and craft badges is a troop for sisterhood, winter camping, and some serious archery.
Some of the best medicine for kids with attention-deficit disorders may be extreme sports and outdoor learning. That's good news, because not only do they need exploration, but exploration desperately needs them.
It may be the oldest emotion. Before happiness, before sorrow, before exhilaration, and way, way before the urge to climb mountains and bomb down steeps, there was fear. Now scientists are finding new ways to help us conquer our deepest anxieties—and use them to perform even better.
To many entrepreneurs across the world, rising temperatures, drought, and ice melt represents a market opportunity. McKenzie Funk spent the past six years reporting around the world on how the business world is preparing for a warmer planet.
These days, screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside. Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression—and even prevent cancer.
Not ready to build from the ground up? No worries: Costs for earth-friendly home improvement have finally come down to earthand the dividends pay off for years and years. Here's how to update your current spread with the sleekest new green technology.
H2O is what connects us—it’s the alpha liquid that supports natural wonderlands and lets us live, play, and explore. You’d think we’d be taking better care of this critical resource, and yet waste and pollution are rampant and more than 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water. The good…
With a muscular combination of new technologies, capitalist smarts, and old-school stewardship, the tiny Danish island of Samsø has become the greenest, cleanest, most energy-independent place on earth. Can a revolution this sweet be exported to a big, messy world?
She: "I just ran 300 miles!" He: "Check out my rippling quads!" It ain't easy being Pam Reed. When the skinny Tucson mom ran 11 marathons in a row without stopping this spring, did anybody notice? No, they were too busy fawning over her nemesis, the buff Dean Karnazes, as he dashed gaily from magazine shoot to book signing. So what gives?
Though they lie just 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the ragged, desolate Farallon Islands are home to the thousands of sea lions and seals that make good eating for one of the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks. In The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of…
With "the death of environmentalism" being debated across the landand with the mainstream movement under siege from without and withinit's time to meet the winning side in America's new green wars. Here they come, ready or not: the 20 most powerful voices leading the environmental counterrevolution.
Earth-friendly cool is everywhere, from Hollywood and innovative building design to hybrid cars and candy bars. You live, breathe, and play green alreadyso why not come full circle by bringing it all back home?
With their nifty new windmills, tidy techno-homes, and enviro-crusading queen, the Dutch are busy creating the cutest little ecotopia on earth—while stoking a booming hypercapitalist economy. What does tiny Holland know that America is too big and dumb to figure out?
He's the savior of fromage, the scourge of McDonald's, the protector of organic goodness against the specter of mad cows and bioengineered crops. Busted in France, evicted from Brazil, this pipe-smoking, draft-dodging, ewe-raising farmer is a bona fide environmental star. And now he's going to jail for it. Florence Williams on the trials of José Bové.