Mandatory Music: John Legend Composes Meditation Music to Get You Out of Your Head

We all need to chill out these days, but some of us need a little help. That’s why downloads of the meditation app Headspace have surged over the past six months as people struggle to cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the Los Angeles-based company is giving users even more reasons to take time out of their day to unwind: the music of John Legend.

Yes, the Grammy Award-winning R&B artist is lending his talents to the company’s new venture, Focus Music, an extension of Headspace’s relaxation toolbox. Legend’s compositions will help people be more productive and mindful.

“People are concerned about the state of the world, and they have good reason to be,” Legend told GQ. “There are a lot of stressful things about the fact that there’s a raging pandemic, the economy’s where it is, unemployment is where it is—but there are proven techniques that help people deal with someone of those issues.”

One of those proven techniques is listening to music, which Stanford University researchers believe can alter brain functioning and relieve stress just as powerfully as medication can.

Focus Music will provide 12 different stations, each featuring distinct genres and themes, like piano, jazz, and cinematic. Legend will also put together a monthly Focus playlist. First up is an “eclectic and jazz-centric” compilation, featuring artists like Sam Rivers, Sun Ra, Greg, Float, and Bob Moses. Instead of individual tracks, the playlist will be one long listening experience.

“Meditation and what we’re doing here, it’s a journey,” Legend told GQ. “You don’t need to punish yourself for not getting everything exactly right. Just try to get the most out of the experience, and you’ll get better at it with time.”

Permission to put on our headphones, check out of reality, and dip into a soothing sonic environment for a while? That sounds like music to our ears.

Cover Photo: NBC (Getty Images)

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