The year’s first quarter is almost over. It’s a good time to review your goals and hone in on what’s important. Whether it be your career, studies, or other life goals, it’s time to get a proper lay of the land to be sure that you’re headed in the right direction.
To help, we suggest you listen to something that can both clear and focus your mind. Lay back and slip on those noise-cancelling headphones and line up these tracks. Let your mind lead you where you subconsciously want to go. Relaxation and concentration are what you’re looking for, and here are some choices that we consider as Music for your Mind.
10,0000 Maniacs – These Are The Days Why this? It’s the perfect pop ditty to get yourself into the right head space, in our opinion. Sure, some people get into the right frame of mind by listening to instrumental pieces, but this song can either bring back great childhood memories or make you realize that this day is an amazing day. What you do after that is entirely up to you, but the positive feeling you get after this song is a good start.
Vangelis – Blade Runner Blues (Extended Version)
One of cinema’s greatest sci-fi films (no matter who you ask) also has one of the most memorable OSTs. This sample from the album is 10 minutes of melancholic synth-driven orchestral splendor. Let your mind drift and take you to memories of C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser gate, then leave your dystopian fantasies and get back to work afterwards!
Ludwig Van Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
WThey say classical music helps plants grow, and there’s been a study saying this is one of best pieces for that purpose. Even if that weren’t true, just listening to this famous track from one of the greats will definitely help your mind grow, as studies also show that classical music improves your concentration. This spare, yet emotion-filled piano piece proves that classical music is truly essential when it comes to soothing one’s soul.
Floating Points – Silhouettes I, II and III
WElectronica is the genre of music most young people listen to these days, and it is probably the perfect choice for mind music. This track (or even the entire album) is one way to reboot the brain, particularly if you’re an aficionado of the artistic and arrhythmic side of electronica. Imagine a stressful commute, with someone’s pop music blaring in your ears. This is the cure for that.
Erik Satie – Gymnopiede
WFancy yourself a renaissance man? Well, this composer is the real deal, being part of the early 20th-century avante garde in the city of lights, Paris. This track from Satie is sedate, but full of emotion. It is contemplative, but not pensive. It somehow sounds like a memory from an Autumn day, if that makes any sense. You’ve probably heard this on some movie soundtracks or sampled in some pop songs, but the Gymnopiede series of pieces is best listened to as a whole (or even looped) to best appreciate the calmness it can bring to your thoughts.
Miles Davis – Blue In Green
If you love jazz, you’ve got to love Miles Davis. This is the track from his earlier album which can easily brings you deep into your own mind. All you have to do when you listen to it is follow the sax lines as they meander through the modal piano pieces and soon all problems fall away. Just focused on your breathing and on the present. Plug with the Bose® QuietComfort® 20. Don an eye-mask, and no one can disturb your meditation.
Brian Eno - 1
One of the best-known names in electronic music put out an album called Music for Airports. This is the first track from that, and whether you love or hate music like this, you have to agree that this is what ambient means. Minimalist soundscapes. So-called sound installations. Listen to a few minutes of this and your mind will be as clear as a pristine mountain stream.
Ravi Shankar – Raga Malkauns (Alap)
Bring out the candles and incense, because here’s the kind of music you’ve really got to listen to if you want something to clear your mind and put you into a trance-like state. Ravi Shankar is a legend, and its his influential collaborations with George Harrison that brought the sitar into use in popular music. A master of Indian classical music, this track from his Sound of the Sitar album is the prefect introduction to this style of music, as alap literally means introduction in North Indian classical music. After this track you can continue on exploring the raga sound with more of Ravi Shankar’s mind-blowing tracks.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight
This is another track that brings you back to a certain point in your life where everything seemed possible. After its sweeping orchestral intro, you’ll soon be swept up in the catchy chorus of this tune. Melancholic? Perhaps. But after the up-swell of emotion, we find that we can easily find focus because of the catharsis.
Pink Floyd – Echoes
Some people call Pink Floyd classic rock, but they’re a band whose sound can’t be easily pigeonholed into a genre as simple as that. Some classic rock has elements of psychedelia though, and this track is one of the trippiest songs you’ll ever hear. A driving rhythm that reminds you of crashing waves and a break in the 23-minute song where the guitar sounds like whale calls makes this a track you can relax to until the end.
Now It’s Your Turn
What about you? What’s your favorite song to listen to when you want to reboot your mind? Do you think it’s more important to relax and de-stress or concentrate and focus? Share it with us in the comments below or add it to our Spotify playlist. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, and we feel the same about your opinions!
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