“Let go,” something inside me said.
My body convulsed slightly and my eyes began to water. “Let go of the fear, pain, anxiety, and sadness.”
I felt a calmness overtake my body and my spirt felt lifted.
Although I usually use binaural beats for intense focus, my body has been breaking down. My stress levels are at a peak.
My body has been holding on to these pressures, leading to muscular and postural imbalances. If I had to describe my body and mind, it would be brittle.
Brittle, as you likely know from personal experience, precedes broken.
Binaural beats have helped me break through, to let go, and to focus on what matters most.
What are binaural beats?
You know this is a no life hacking zone. We don’t re-write Wikipedia. We quote it:
Binaural beats, or binaural tones, are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, caused by specific physical stimuli. The brain produces a phenomenon resulting in low-frequency pulsations in the amplitude and sound localization of a perceived sound when two tones at slightly different frequencies are presented separately, one to each of a subject’s ears, using stereo headphones.
[The entire entry is fascinating and worth reading.]
That is a long way of saying “Binaural beats are a category of music that can have a powerful impact on your mood.”
I use binaural beats to write to, meditate to,
sleep to, reflect to, and even heal to.
There are many YouTube channels with different binaural beats. Some of the sounds are several hours long. There are binaural beats with flutes, waterfalls, and frankly some – in a word, weird – sounds that change my brain waves and impact my thinking.
Yes, these beats often have new-age names that may turn some people off. Ignore the chakra stuff (I do, anyway) and focus on how the changes you feel in your mind and body.
How do you listen to binaural beats?
If I am writing, I put on my headphones (you need good headphones to get the most out of binaural beats). and crank away for 2-4 hours.
Last night, as my mind needed healing, I listened to them lying on my back on the floor.
While lying down I do some passive stretching. As my shoulders are pronated, I put my hands behind my back, as as if in handcuffs, to adjust my shoulder.
I rolled up a towel and placed it underneath my thoracic spine and then wore an eye mask to ensure total darkness.
Do not perform active stretching, as that defeats the purpose of healing binaural beats.
Everyone says you need quality head phones when listing to binaural beats, and that tends to be true unless you have a hi-fidelity stereo system. Your computer speakers will not give you the same effect even inexpensive ear buds will.
What binaural beats are best to listen to?
This depends on the task you are about to perform. There are intense beats for writing and focus and there are meditative beats for relaxation, sleep, and healing.
You need to listen to a lot of different beats to find out what your body needs.
Some of these beats are intense, and listening to those types of binaural beats when you’re stressed can actually make you more stressed.
Take your time finding the right beat. I tend to give each beat around 5 minutes to see if it works, although you can sometimes tell right away if one is wrong for you.
Binaural beat for healing:
Binaural beat for focus:
Binaural beat for intense meditation:
Binaural beat for relaxed meditation:
Binaural beat for reflection/contemplation:
Your preferences may differ, however, as your brain may respond differently to certain frequencies than my brain. There’s even some evidence showing women perceive different wavelengths depending upon whether or not they are on their menstrual cycles.
What are the best YouTube channels for binaural beats?
That question will depend on your personal preferences. I personally listen and subscribe to these channels:
- iGodMind Subliminal and Meditation Mind Movies
- Jason Lewis – MindAmend
There are several more channels to watch, but those three are especially good sources of binaural beats.
What are the best head phones to use when listing to binaural beats?
Some people go crazy arguing over this stuff, but I need great sounding headphones that travel well, have some sort of passive noise cancellation, and don’t cost thousands of dollars.
I did a lengthy review comparing the best headphones.
There are really only three head phones in my book, and I own all three:
The sound quality on all three is the same, at least according to me and everyone I’ve had test them.
Thus the best headphones for you may differ based on your needs. I need robust, sturdy head phones that travel well and sound great.
Unfortunately my Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are not as robust as my Sennheiser HD280 or V-MODA. The Audio-Technica have a cheap plastic hinge, which I managed to break after less than a month.
On the other hand, my Sennheiser HD280’s (the least expensive pair of first-rate head phones) have been going strong after several years.
(On the left, my broken ATH-M50x; on the right are my Sennheiser’s.)
If I had to choose between the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Sennheiser HD280, I’d pick the Sennheiser. This is especially true as they cost about half as much as the Audio-Technica.
The V-MODACrossfade M-100 are the best head phones to use if you travel a lot. They are compact, they come with a hard carrying case, and the cord is kevlar-coated and thus doesn’t ravel and tangle and get in the way and otherwise be a pain in the butt.
(The V-MODA are my new favorite headphones, primarily because I have been traveling much more.)
That said, the V-MODA are $299 head phones. Obviously never go into credit card debt to buy headphones:
How long should you listen to binaural beats?
There is no right answer here. It’s surely a more productive use of your time than watching television. In that sense, my answer is, “Well, what the heck else are you going to do with your time?”
My less glib answer is 5-20 minutes. It takes approximately five minutes for your brain to adjust to the waves, and after 20 minutes you feel pretty amazing.
You may spend hours listening to binaural beats. Again, it’s not uncommon for me to write for several hours and to lay on my back stretching and reflecting for several hours.
Do you listen to binaural beats? If so, what are your favorites?
Post your comment below.