Aside from Get Stencil, this service is one of the few Appsumo purchases I’ve been using since the purchase.
And, I got myself some Brain.FM back in 2015.
So, quite a while!
1. Now, what’s Brain.FM?
Simply put, it’s “music to improve focus, relax & sleep.” You get a wide array of music and sounds (piano, wind, forest, rain, underwater, night sounds) to calm or focus your brain.
You open up the website.
Or, the app.
And there are 3 options: Focus, Relax & Sleep.
2. How does Brain.FM work?
Sign up for free and you get 5 free sessions. Upgrade to the paid plans if you want full access.
You choose from the 3 options I mentioned above.
I mostly use the focus one at work.
So, sign up, press play and let it do its work. Brain.FM advises to wear headphones or earphones for best results.
The results are promised in 10 minutes or less.
So, if you’re at work or doing tasks requiring focus, such as reading, you will get to hear some beats to put you in the zone. If you want to sleep or relax, then you choose one of the other two.
When you choose focus, relax or sleep, you can also dig a little deeper and pick a unique sound. So, feel free to explore their music library.
Do you want a “forest focus” or a “wind-chime focus?”
Are you a “beach-sleep” kind of guy or a “rain-sleep” kind of lass?
Oh, and choose the time duration.
From 30 minutes up to 8 hours, if you plan on sleeping.
So, all of this may make you start wondering….
3. Does Brain.FM actually work?
Will it put you to sleep?
Will it make you focus?
Well, I’m no brain scientist and no expert on binaural music.
But, let’s start with me anyway. Has it worked for me? I can say that a few of beats (can’t recall which) elevated my anxiety. No, not all of them. But I’ve felt it. So, it works on some level.
I can also say, with the right beat — especially the rain and thunder focus ones — I’ve gotten lost in my work and lost track of time. And this is a good thing. Because, if you’re focused, the only thing you should be doing is work. You shouldn’t be noticing, “hey I’m super focused right now,” because then you’re not truly focusing.
Does it actually work? I think so.
As you realize, it’s hard to prove anything without getting my brainwaves scanned and right here in front of you.
On the focus side, I think it helps.
And if it doesn’t actually “work,” it certainly does not take away. I’ve not used meditation and sleep much.
There’s also an important point to make: You can’t be cognizant or be “too aware” of what’s going on with yourself while listening. It would be like studying for a test and repeatedly asking yourself, “wait, am I studying yet?” You clearly are not and are stopping yourself by doing that.
You need to do what you have to do and let Brain.FM work in the background.
“What if it’s just a placebo and you’re thinking it works? “
I’m very open to that too.
If a placebo helps me concentrate, then sure.
But, this is where Brain.FM should do the talking. You can check out studies of their music and its effect on sleep and focus.
4. Why I Use It
I bought it out of curiosity back in 2015. I use it to justify my purchase, of course!
So, I use it…
First, because it’s there.
If I need to do work and write up a whole bunch of words on my screen, it’s my go-to tool. Just like coffee. I automatically reach for a coffee can and I turn on some Brain.FM.
Second, because it’s pleasant.
I mean, aside from the one beat that gave me anxiety. Having thunder or forest sounds going on in the background while I’m typing away feels nice. But, this is personal preference and I can’t provide any specific numbers or evidence for you.
Brain.FM aside, what else is out there?
5. Brain.FM Alternatives
You can find a ton of alternatives on YouTube alone just by searching for “study music” or “relaxing music.”
On the website/service front, check out…
http://rainymood.com/ — My other go-to and the site I used before coming across Brain.FM. Basically rain sounds.
https://www.noisli.com/ — An impressive site for relaxing sounds. You can mix them up!
http://musicforprogramming.net/ — “A series of mixes intended for listening to aid concentration and increase productivity (also compatible with other activities)”
https://focusmusic.fm — “beats for work, productivity, flow” Note, it’s very technoish so I don’t know how effective it is. But yes, it is nice enough to listen to, if techno is your cup of tea.