I’ve been trying to read more over the past year, and for the most part have been pretty successful. Much of that is due to simply making it a higher priority, but some tools have helped along the way — a big one is brain.fm.
The app is essentially just specially-created music that you listen to that helps you focus. Along with helping you focus, it can also help drown out extra noises around you, so it’s kind of a win-win.
The info on their site sounds a little hokey, but it really works. Here’s what they have to say:
Brain.fm holds patents on key processes for creating functional music, including technology to elicit strong neural phase locking—allowing populations of neurons to engage in various kinds of coordinated activity—and technology to remove distraction in sound.
This makes our music unique, purpose-built to steer you into a desired mental state. In other words, we’ve found new ways to create music that helps you do what you need to do.
That sounds messy, but it works! When I put on brain.fm to read a book or to take a clarity break, it really helps me tune out and zone in.
The big downside to brain.fm is the cost. It’s not outrageous, at $6.99/mo, but there are a lot of free options out there. I actually canceled my subscription for a while, but eventually came back because I found it to be superior and worth the $7 a month.
Your other options
Beyond special tools like Brain.fm, you can look on YouTube or Spotify or whatever you like to use and you’ll generally find two other directions you can go.
Binaural Beats: This is somewhat similar science as brain.fm, though this is focused on giving you slightly different sounds in each ear. It works well, but my problem is that most of the tracks I find are pretty short and the song switching is a hiccup I don’t care for. The brain.fm sessions can go 90 minutes at a stretch, which is excellent.
Video Games: Another popular route to go is video game soundtracks. They tend to have high energy, and more importantly, no lyrics. Some people swear by them. I’ve tried and found them to be pretty good at times, but I again struggled with finding consistent winners.
If you need something like this to help escape distractions while you read or study, brain.fm is worth considering. They have a 3 day free trial — not super long, but enough to at least see what it’s like.
If you use something else that you find works well, please leave a comment and let me know!