I tried Spiritune to see if its functional playlists would affect my mood

Most people would agree that music has the power to affect your mood. Whether you listen to relaxing tunes at night or pumping beats while working out, often just playing one song can completely transform the way you feel. That's the idea behind Spiritune, an app that uses music therapy and neuroscience to create a "soundtrack to healthy living."

Instead of creating your own playlists, Spiritune's music app has a team of composers, neuroscientists, and music therapists who can create playlists for you. result? Tailored track lists designed to help you achieve specific emotional goals, whether that's feeling calm, energized, focused or relaxing to sleep. The app also updates these playlists every week, so you'll always get new content.

Founded by Jamie Pabst, who was inspired to improve her own mental health during a stressful career, Spiritune aims to transform people through its scientific, music-based approach Ways of thinking to help you feel better. As someone who scrolls through various Spotify playlists throughout the day to suit my mood, I was actually intrigued - so I tried it out for a week to see how it worked. Below is information about the application.

The science behind the mind


On first listen, you might think that Spiritune sounds like your typical relaxation playlist, but there's actually a lot of science behind each song. The Spiritune team said they used clinically informed, evidence-based research from the fields of music therapy and neuroscience to find out which features of music elicit certain emotions in the brain. The composer then creates a song that uses these characteristics to help you achieve a certain mood or goal, which means every instrument, sound, and rhythm is chosen intentionally.

That's why Spiritune immediately asks you how you're feeling when you open the app. Switch your cursor to energetic, anxious, sleepy, or cold (or somewhere in between) to let the app know your current emotional state. It then asks you how you want to feel, more energized or relaxed.

Afterwards, the app gets more information by asking you what you are doing. If you want music to keep you productive and focused, click on the Workflow option. If you want to relax after a long day, tap Relax. When you're ready for a nap, check out the "Sleep" track list. Or select Wake up when you need to roll out of bed.


The first time I tested Spiritune was on a busy afternoon, so I clicked on "Calm" and then "Workflow" to emotionally settle between gentleness and focus as I got work done. A song called "Sailing Onward: Journey to Chill" started playing, which wasn't too different from what I usually listen to.

My work playlist contains a lot of repetitive bass beats, electronic synths, and 80s-style sounds that I curate to calm my brain. I'm also a big fan of lo-fi playlists on YouTube that feature lounge, jazz, or hip-hop music. Anyway, I don’t listen to music with lyrics while I’m working.

“Sailing Onward” sounds more like a relaxing meditation track you’d hear at a spa, but it still has that lyric-free sweet spot that I crave. It was an easy adjustment for me to go from one chill tune to another, but I did think about my friends who needed to blast Nelly's 2003 hit to get anything done. For them, I can see Spiritune making a bigger difference.

“Sailing Onward: Journey to Chill” continues to add different layers of sounds that I think work together to tell my brain to stay relaxed but focused – and that’s exactly what it does.

The next time I listened to it was in the early morning when I was still in the process of waking up, so I switched to the "Energetic" option to see if it would get my gears turning. The second playlist includes a song with a heartbeat-like bass in the background (my favorite) and another with soft layered synth sounds ( oh, ahhh ). There was even the chirping of crickets at one point, followed by a tinkling of wind chimes. It creates a unique relaxing yet fun combination, but can be difficult to pin down. Yes, it does seem to make me determined to move towards the mood I'm asking for.


The instrumental songs on Spiritune are perfect for the type of music you play while meditating, focusing on a project, or while sleeping at night to reduce stress or drown out background noise. After listening to it for a few days, I was impressed that each song seemed to really fill a specific need.

For example, I really like that the focus track has enough variety to keep my brain interested, but not distracting with the seamless introduction of new sounds and instruments. (However, there was one blaring track that seemed too loud, so I skipped it.)


I recommend giving Spiritune a try, especially if you always make your own playlists for work or bed. You'll get quite a few free tracks before you're asked to sign up for the official 7-day free trial, after which you'll need to pay $9.99 per month, $6.99 per year for a year, or pay the full $299 for permanent access. The app is available for iPhone and Android phones.

For best results, I recommend listening with headphones, especially noise-cancelling headphones, so you can fully immerse yourself in the scientific musical experience that neuroscientists and composers intended.

While you can always create your own playlists on Spotify, Spiritune is a great option when you want someone to do the work for you. Personally, I find its functional music to be pretty cool – and it actually works.

Research reference:

Korsch, S. (2009). A neuroscientific perspective on music therapy. Ann New York College of Science. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04592.x.