Music to focus, relax, meditate or sleep

Focus-music needs to be made from the ground up.

Ever get distracted while working?

Our brains are built for distraction.

Animals that get distracted when it matters survive and pass on their genes.

You want to be distracted by this.

Today distraction is counterproductive, but we still have a twitchy alarm system.

Music is usually made to distract you.

The music industry needs to grab the listener’s attention.

Doing everything possible to distract you, visually but also musically!

They often boost the human voice or hard-hitting parts, to stand out.

This is really terrible if you need to focus.

So if you want music, but don't want to be distracted, what can you do?

Functional music starts with your goals in mind, and works from there.

This can result in music that affects the brain differently than music normally does.

For example, when makes music to help people focus, we end up with music that sounds different--and affects you differently--than any other music. This can be seen in the way the brain synchronizes to the music ('phase-locking value') :

Specially designed focus music by produces stronger coordinated neural activity, across the brain and at higher rates, in comparison to similar music from Spotify. Funded by NSF-STTR 1720689. Psyche Loui / MIND Lab, Northeastern University.

This isn't something you would normally do, unless you were building music for a purpose!

For more info about functional music's effect on the brain, visit our Science page!

Written by

Kevin J.P. Woods, PhD
Director of Science,