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Neuroscience & Lo-fi Beats

by Kyra Lopez about a year ago in playlist
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Why are Lofi beats so soothing?

Hello from the Brain!

Music is healing, and your brain thinks so too!

All genres have their own soothing qualities that help all folks around the world find those incredible moments of intense emotion, reflection, and sometimes introspection. Music has the ability to lull my overwhelmed brain into a better headspace, and its something I am utterly grateful for!

Music can evoke memories (sometimes good or bad), it can change the way we interact with the world, how we communicate, and our ability to perceive concepts such as time.

During college, I noticed that many students study or participate in various hobbies to the tune of Lo-fi beats. The most popular Lo-fi playlists can be found with a simple search on Youtube!

If you've been in the loop with this genre of music, you may recognize this thumbnail of a girl infinitely working at her desk:

Since I am a neuroscience major and a person with mental illnesses, I was really intrigued by the science behind Lo-fi music. I often find myself struggling with panic attacks and finding hobbies that will calm my flare-ups with anxiety. Suprisingly enough, listening to Lo-fi has helped to soothe some of those mild symptoms that occur during the school day.

Lo-fi is extremely relaxing, and I was pretty doubtful of its benefits for the longest time until I crafted a unique playlist for myself. For starters, I always assumed that putting on any type of music would be too distracting during long hours of writing papers or trying to journal.

However, I learned that this particular style of music is actually what stimulates the brain. Not only are you more likely to chill out, but your brain can continue to work without any other environmental stressors taking away from the activity at hand.

As a matter of fact, I am listening to Lo-fi as I type this article!

PSA: These are some of the COOL benefits behind Lo-fi beats and how it affects several areas in the brain:

  • Bland and boring background music is actually the key to destressing yourself
  • Your brain can predict the tune as you work or focus on relaxation techniques. There is no lyrics, fast paced beats, or overly stimulating components that would make you put more emphasis on the song
  • Frontal Lobe: good music improves decision making!
  • Amgydala: pleasure and emotion processing is enchanced!
  • Hypothalamus: regulatory processes in the body, such as maintaining the nervous system, can carry on with ease!

Now without further ado, here is my Youtube Playlist for acheiving a much needed zen:

Why do I love this playlist?

There is a little bit of everything here!

I have a hearty mix of night-cafe music, BTS Lo-fi mashups, music for sadness/anxiety/introspection, and for quiet moments at home. Every title and image is very aesthetic (which I will have to admit, this is a factor that I was drawn to immediately).

All the videos I added are about 30 minutes- 2 hours long at max, which is perfect if you are looking for certain time periods to finish your work or focus on yourself.

The beats within these videos can vary, from more upbeat and cute, to quiet and emotional. What I absolutely love about listening to Lo-fi is that during the process I can end up feeling more accomplished, centered, and grounded in what I am doing in the present. If I take the time to really think about what is happening, having music on genuinely helps me analyze how I am feeling and what I can gain from taking a moment of rest. These elements of your day are extremely important for increasing morale, and helping you to feel at ease in a world that focuses on "achieving the grind."


About the author

Kyra Lopez

ghost with a keyboard ~

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