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Best Music for Concentration and Focus (& Why It Actually Works)


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best music for concentration and focus

What’s the best music for concentration and focus? For me it’s Brain.fm and today I talk with Dan Clark, CEO of the company that makes the functional music app. I’ve been using this link for years for focus and it starts working in 15 minutes – use this link for a free 3-day trial. (aff)

Sarah Snyder

I kind of wanted to set this up a little bit and tell you how I came across Brain.fm. I have one of my closest friends fellow freelancer. She’s also my unofficial financial advisor. She doesn’t do subscription not into them one day. I mean, she pretty much said there, you’ve got to you got to try this, this. And I had already been listening to white noise, but it was just generic white noise. There was no mechanics fine that it was just ocean waves. And they’ve been working really well. So I was like, Well, I don’t see, I don’t see how, you know, changing this up is really gonna fix a whole lot. But you know, but I went ahead and gave it a shot. And I can’t really explain why. But there was a difference. And I’ve been listening ever since. And so I love having you here as a guest, because this has actually dramatically improved how I’ve worked. Hello, again, welcome to the show, I’m gonna give you the floor and let you kind of explain why Why? Why did it work?

Dan Clark

Yeah, of course. Thanks for the introduction. Yeah, so you know, brain FM, that’s the reason why we’re doing it is to give people a tool and really the best tool. So what brain FM is, is we’re actually creating functional music that is aligning the functional networks of your brain to communicate more efficiently together, which really gives your effective increased focus, relaxation or sleep on demand. And it’s like a shortcut to that mental state. So, you know, a lot of people have challenges going and saying, hey, I want to focus and then being able to focus, especially with ADHD, and things like that, right? Yeah. Right, you, you can do that by yourself. But it does help to somehow have training wheels, right. And that’s really what brain FM is. So some of the more complex things, and we can dive really into deep science. But at a high level, what we’re doing is we’re adding different kinds of patterns to the music, and we’re making it music. So it’s, it’s created by human composers and our AI technology, which is basically creating music that you want to listen to, that’s engaging, but also has this technology behind it. And through these different patterns, and 3d sounds that we’re applying to our music. In real time, we’re able to elicit these functional networks mirroring effect in your brain. And this is the same technology that’s being used to treat Alzheimer’s, and really bleeding edge scientific research. So we have neuroscientists on staff, and we actually develop our music continuously to make sure we can get that effect within five minutes. As you listen. Does that make sense?

Um, parts of it did. Yeah.

Sarah Snyder

Let’s dive in. Um, so is it? Is it the the frequencies? Or is it the patterns or both?

Dan Clark

So yes, so the pattern is, if you listen really closely, you’ll actually hear a slight helicopter effect, almost, if you’re really listening. And it’s those, those are created by different frequencies, right? Okay. But unlike binary beats, or isochronic, tones, or these things you may have heard in the past, we’re actually doing is we have a specific pattern that we’re oscillating between frequencies. So what’s happening is inside of the music disguise in the, in the how the music sounds, is we are we’re creating these patterns that are going up in in frequency and down in frequency and eliciting different kinds of responses in your brain. And when we do it for a certain period of time, we can start having your brain mirroring the patterns that we are putting into the music. Does that make more sense?

Sarah Snyder

Yes. Yes, that makes sense. So I’m curious, these these patterns that you’re inserting, are they different depending on the function?

Dan Clark

Yes. 100. Okay. So you can so think of focus where you need, you know, to have let’s pretend that you know, you were talking right now, right? Right, not the same mindset, you need to be into having deep focus. So what we’re actually doing when you’re playing focus, we’re doing high frequency patterns, which your brain is not only mirroring and starting to ramp up to, but what’s also happening Is it gives you an ability to block out distractions as things come up. So it’s almost like distracting your brain just a little bit so that you’re not thinking of all the other things that are going on in your life or whatever. And you can just zoom in and get things done.

Sarah Snyder

That makes perfect sense. Based on the things I’m learning about the ADHD brain, it’s like we need a little bit of that stimulus, but not so much that it’s distracting us. So I think about it’s like

Dan Clark

an audio fidget spinner.

Yes,

Dan Clark

that’s exactly what we’re doing. Yep. And then as we’re been able to develop, the technology, we can start doing is actually saying, hey, Sarah, these are the best patterns that work for you. Because actually, every song is not one pattern. Think about it, like every single song because we have different, different music inside of it. Everyone has a different pattern. So it’s like when you go on a treadmill, you know, you can have like sprints, or you can have, you know, other ones that are like climbing a mountain climbing back down. That’s actually the same kind of patterns that our music follows. And those are some of the things that make the music unique. Because one thing your brain and especially with people that have ADHD, you know, our brains are going really, really quick, right? And what happens is, if we’re not stimulated enough, then we start drifting off. So it’s more of the fidgets spinner. But then if you just you’re like, Okay, I’ve used this fidget spinner before I get it. Think about having 3000 different fidget spinners. Wally, one of the things that we’re trying to do, so every single music and every single track has different kinds of patterns. And they’re all designed to get you into the zone and then stay there.

Sarah Snyder

That is very cool. I really love the lo fi that you guys have added. I noticed that’s a new thing that that’s been my favorite one. Before that it was the beach. I just and it’s funny, I’ve only used a fraction of what’s in there. But it’s like, every time I open my app, I’m always seeing these new things like you have meditations now. And you have relaxation, music and, and whatnot. Was that always your intent? Or was it always going to be a focus app? Or did that just sort of grow organically?

Dan Clark

That is a super great question. Um, so our intent is actually not necessarily just focus. It’s really to elicit mental states on demand and more specifically giving people shortcuts to control. So we right now have our biggest usage in focus, relaxed Inslee, as you mentioned, we do have meditation, we have some people that use some of our workout programs that we have, which aren’t available in the app, we’re still testing those, we actually do the same kind of things for people that are going undergoing surgery. And we’re doing different kinds of testing for people that are going to pre up and then post up, and then showing that they are waking up faster, and having a better experience and less stress during it. So really, our main mission for brain FM is really a brain enhancement company and really giving us the ability to control it. And what’s really interesting about what we’re doing, is that everyone is different, right? So some people have no problem focusing. But we find most of those people have trouble sleeping. And some people have no problem sleeping, and they have a really hard time focusing. But most people are somewhere in between. and it probably matters the day and what’s on your mind and things like that. And we find that the best way forward is really giving someone a 360 suite of tools that says, Okay, I need my brain is going up too high, I need to chill out, I need to relax, or, you know, I just need to get to sleep today. And it’s really like an aid like coffee is that you can put into your schedule. And you know, I like you know, obviously like I you know, I’m CEO of the company, but I use it every single day for like two hours a day. It’s just how I start my day.

Sarah Snyder

Yeah, it’s like gas and brake salt, like accelerant. And then a breath. And Yeah, same here, like I do use it for different aspects of my day. Like, for example, I’m a work from home mom. And so when my daughter is to her little dance class or wherever I’m at a few minutes, right? So I don’t have time for a full meditation and a walk. But if I crank up the relaxation station while I’m walking, I can get both of those I can get in my movement and my pause. I call it my daily pause, and that 15 minute chunk. And, you know, it’s just so hard for me to believe that I can get there that quickly. You know, it’s like is this psychosomatic, I guess is this really happening? But it’s like I’m already there. And I just started my walk and I’m already like, zoned out. It’s really cool. So it’s just Yeah, I love talking about it.

Dan Clark

Yeah, yeah. Well, we worked really hard. You know, it’s funny, a lot of people try us. And and they have similar responses to you. They’re like, this is too powerful. It has to be a placebo. But we actually have grants from the, from the National Science Foundation from the US government, for people specifically to treat ADHD with music and functional music specifically. So a lot of science and and and research has gone into this. And that’s one of the reasons why it does work so well, especially for people that need focus.

Sarah Snyder

That’s, that’s so cool. That’s really really reinforcing to hear because it is so much of what we feel and what we think. And it’s so hard to know what’s real sometimes, because there’s so many products out there that they either are or they aren’t backed by science, and then you start wondering, does this work because I want it to work. So that’s really interesting that you guys have a full body of scientific work to back that up. So, um, you guys have anything interesting going on in the in the future? You talked a little bit about, uh, do you want to talk a little more about what’s ahead for you

guys?

Dan Clark

Yeah, sure. So we got a lot of fun and exciting things coming up. So you use it sounds like the the mobile phone app, right? Yeah, one of the things that we’re doing is putting a ton of more content in so we’re actually dropping 6000 hours of songs that we’ve created to add and pad the app. In this all of the new songs have even more advanced features that we’ve been able to develop with our, our patents in our in our systems. So that’s coming out really soon. And then the things that I’m most excited there that we’re working on now, is actually giving people the visualization of that. That treadmill, like we’re talking about, yeah, you basically see, okay, I’m in deep work, what kind of deep work session do you want? Do you want to have peaks? Do you want to wet one straight line? Do you want to have like pomodoro timer kind of things, for learning to work on that stuff. And we’re probably a little bit away from this. Because there’s a lot of technology that needs to go in it. But the effect that we have when you’re listening to brain FM, if you actually have like a wearable on or anything, bringing FM because it’s changing your brain, it’s redirecting blood flow in your brain in real time, and actually changes your HRV. So by measuring someone’s HRV in real time, we can actually adapt the music for them specifically, and give them a specifically like a measured or prescribed result on what they need. Because we get that feedback from their body. And we can do this. Yeah, sorry. It’s um, Heart Rate Variance.

Great variance.

Yep.

Sarah Snyder

That is that is really neat. So you’ll be able to tell what we need before we plug in.

Dan Clark

Not not before, but during So okay, imagine that, you know, you want to relax. And your, your HRV is a certain zone, it’s not really a number. It’s a kind of like, it’s a, like a calculation based on your heartbeat over time.

Right, like a multiplier.

Dan Clark

I know. Yeah. So take your heartbeat, and it’s the variance of your heartbeat over time. That’s the heartbeat Rate Variance, okay. And then what we can do is we can say, Okay, this is what mental state you’re in, or approximate. Approximate ization. And then because you’re trying to relax, you’re trying to go from way up here to down. And then we play music that we do like right now that brings you down, but then we start finding what music matches best to you. And then the more you use it, the more we can help calm you down. And the vice versa for focus. So hey, you want to focus? What is the best work that Sara does, and will be able to start learning from in app messages where you say, hey, write your experience. Was it a sad, happy, sad face or happy face, right? But then additionally, this is the the biometric feedback that we’re able to get from you. And because it is, again, a real effect that we’re measuring and able to produce in your brain, we’re able to line those up and say, Hey, this is what Sarah did. Let’s see more like this for Sarah. Wow. So you know, and obviously, we only collect that information if people want to give that to us. Yes, of course. Yeah. But that’s something we’re working on. And that’s part of our core technology offering

Sarah Snyder

um, if our listeners want to give this a shot, where can they get started?

Dan Clark

Yeah, so you guys can go to brain FM and I specifically think we have a brain FM slash adulting. ADHD adulting. Great.

Sarah Snyder

Dan, thank you so much for being here today and I’m so excited hearing about this. No problems have a good one. Okay. Times are hard and these days I’ve found myself needing quicker access to therapy from the safety and comfort of my home. This is why I started using better help for my immediate therapy needs. They will assess your situation and match you up with a licensed professional therapist, one who you’ll likely start communicating with in 24 hours or less. It’s more affordable than traditional therapy and financial aid is available. My favorite part is that you can do it through text or chat if you don’t like phone calls or video appointments, to get started and to save 10% go to better help. H e lp.com slash ADHD adulting



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