Cleaning Up Your Messy iTunes Playlists Can Boost Your Brain Power [Interview]



You might have suspected that the right music – whether it’s thrash metal or Mozart – keeps you more focused or relaxed.

Now a trio of brain researchers have studied the effects of playlists on the brain, resulting in a nifty little book called  Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. In the book’s 200-or so pages, they explain how to use specific playlists to alleviate anxiety, promote concentration, get happy or move into a flow state thanks to Brain Music Treatment or BMT.

If you can’t make it to New York for BMT therapy, for $9.99, you can also download a Common BMT File. Created from more than 2,000 people’s brain waves with the help of evidence-based BMT tech, they say it acts as a kind of aural “first-aid” before you get your own playlists together.

Intrigued (my current nightstand read is Mark Changizi’s excellent Harnessed about music and the brain), I talked to author Dr. Galina Mindlin about what playlists have the most impact, cleaning up your music collection and her current heavy rotations.


EmWave2: Like a Dedicated iPod for Meditation


We’re all about calm abiding here at Cult of Mac (you guys read the comments, right?) So we were pleased to try out the portable version of emWave2, a computer-assisted meditation program for Mac.

The emWave2 ($229) is useful for all of those anxiety-inducing situations people face when not in front of their computers. A bit bigger than the iPod Mini, it comes with an ear sensor that plugs into a USB key and a software program that monitors your heart rhythms and breathing, plus a CD training guide.