Top ADHD Music Apps and Playlists

Apps, Playlists, and Song Recommendations

There’s nothing quite like a catchy beat to get you in gear. (Ever asked Alexa to play “Eye of the Tiger” to get pumped up for your workout routine?)

Most people already use music in their day-to-day to help with motivation, focus, sleep, or just to relax - even unintentionally. We’ve talked about music a bit previously - in this post, I gave the highlights on why music can help with focus, along with a few recommended genres to try, and some tips to maximize results as you try decide which music to use.

In this post, we gathered recommendations from members and Shimmer coaches to see what works for them. So without further ado, here are their recommended apps, songs, and genres.

ADHD Music & App Recommendations

This is what I listen to depending on what kind of work I am doing. It may be too intense for most folks!” - Chris, Co-founder & CEO

Focus@Will: “Music to help you focus. Optimized by science.”

💵 7-day free trial; $7.49/mo or $52.49/year (billed annually)

🔍 Desktop, iOS, Android

Recommended by a Shimmer coach, Focus@Will is a science-backed music platform. According to their site, “neuroscientists have discovered that by nature most people can only concentrate for a maximum of 20 minutes before needing to take a break. We can increase your focus by customizing and slightly changing the characteristics of music at the right time intervals.” The subtle, dynamic changes to the music are designed to keep you focused for up to 100 minutes at a time.

[I prefer] Lofi Hip Hop or Lofi Chill. I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but I LOVE this YouTube music station because the raccoon is also a body double. Win/win!” - Coach Maren

A Soft Murmur: “Ambient sounds to wash away distraction.”

💵 Free (Additional sounds available with an upgrade - $14.99/year)

🔍 Desktop, iOS, Android

Another recommendation from Shimmer coaches, A Soft Murmur is a free ambient sound mixer you can use to create custom soundscapes. You can choose from 10 different ambient sounds on the free version, or upgrade to access an extra 15. You can also set timers for your mixes - great for the Pomodoro lovers out there, or anyone who is prone to hyperfocus. Finally, you can save your mixes, and even share them with friends.

“Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin or Bob Marley.” - Coach Michele

Brain FM: “Music scientifically proven to increase focus. Get more done with less effort, and unlock your best self on demand.”

💵 3-day free trial; $9.99/month or $69.99/yr

🎓 20% student discount

🔍 Desktop, iOS, Android

A second option for science-lovers, Brain FM is designed to encourage your brain to match the brainwave speeds of the music. According to their site, “Your brainwaves operate at different speeds (Hz) that scientists generally break down into 4 categories that are associated with different mental states. [Deep sleep; Light sleep and deep relaxation; Relaxed wakefulness, creativity, and meditation; and Active thinking, problem-solving, and focus].” Choose your activity, and the app will play music that entrains your brain to match the corresponding speed - both enhancing and synchronizing brainwave activity.

“Lofi Hip Hop Radio or Lofi Chill are my go-to's!” - Coach Morgan

Endel: “Focus, relax, and sleep better through the power of sound. Backed by neuroscience.”

💵 7-day free trial; $7.50/mo (billed annually)

🎓 66% student discount

🔍 Desktop, iOS, Android, Apple Watch, Alexa, TV, Streaming Platforms

A Shimmer member shared that they love this app. They noticed they are really sensitive to sound, and it has helped them use music to get motivated for walking and or running. Endel creates personalized sound environments to match user activities. If you connect to an apple watch, it will even adapt your music based on heartbeat. The app provides preset modes for relaxation, focus, sleep, and moving, and reacts to the time of the day, weather, heart rate, and location to create unique compositions.

Music for ADHD: A Personal Experiment

To quote a close friend, “music is medicine.” Music can be a powerful tool for managing ADHD, especially for those who are looking for a natural way to help ADHD. To put it to the test, I recommend this simple science experiment:

  1. For 3-5 days, perform your usual work without music. Record how focused you felt throughout the day, and what you were able to get done.
  2. Next, for 3-5 days, perform your usual work with music. I suggest using the same app, playlist, or genre for all 3-5 days. Again, record how focused you felt throughout the day, and what you were able to get done.
  3. Repeat, if desired, with different genres, playlists, or apps.

Once you’ve gathered the data, you can compare your productivity in a (relatively) objective way to see if the music helped, and if you tried several different types of music, which helped most.

🎶 Happy Listening!

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