Five email notification sounds to try now the default one gives you heart palpitations

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Has every trill of the iPhone notification sound set your heart racing since you got that career-ruining email about the salad disciplinary? Changing your email sound to something with positive associations can help put professional worries in perspective.

Remember: emails can’t kill you – unless you read them when you’re walking over a level crossing. So why not try using one of these comforting sounds and see if you too can overcome your email anxiety?

1) The sound of a baby deer’s hoof stepping delicately into fresh snow

Now every time you get an email you’ll be immersed in the cold, crisp comfort of midwinter. Let the memory of that time you hit ‘reply all’ to the whole company disappear like Bambi’s mother.

2) The sound of rain hitting your window when you’re all tucked up in bed

This sound will transport you to a safe place where you’ll feel ready to face whatever the email brings, even if it’s another message about not stealing your colleague’s specialty teabags. It’s jasmine not jas-MEAN, Sandra!

3) A recording of you making the default sound verbally: “ba-nah!”

Using this sound is a great way to show off your fun side, and the fact you’ve got a lovely voice. Seriously, have you thought about taking up singing professionally? No, you stop it!

4) A howling banshee

Usually reserved for notifying you of the death of a family member, the petrifying, bone-chilling screams of this spirit will make emails about the office printing budget pale into insignificance. Using this sound may even result in relatives’ deaths that will allow you to take leave from work: bonus!

5) The opening 25 seconds of We Like To Party (The Vengabus) by Vengaboys, never getting to the main riff

You’ll have hours of fun (in 25 second increments) waiting for that earworm 90s riff to drop, but it never will. Although this is the most fun sound on the list, it could also be an unwelcome reminder that like someone endlessly listening to the introduction of a song, you are in career limbo, waiting helplessly for someone else to make something happen, and your anxiety about receiving emails is just a symptom of the fear of change that has left you paralysed in every aspect of your personal and professional life. Happy emailing!

Zoë Tomalin

Zoë is a comedian and assistant producer of TV shows, including ‘Room 101’ and 'Hypothetical'. She is a former member of the Cambridge Footlights and regularly performs as part of high-energy deadpan sketch outfit, Siân & Zoë. Despite her novelty pink hair, Zoë is an insufferable nihilist, but none of this matters.