MGU 118 | How Music Affects Us


Does listening to music help you work? One study called The Mozart Effect suggests that listening to Mozart would improve performance. On today’s show, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen discuss how music affects our brains and bodies, diving into The Mozart Effect, sound healing, white noise, and many other phenomena cementing the connection between our mental and physical aspects. They also touch on memories of high school teachers and how their words of affirmation have had a huge impact on their lives.

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How Music Affects The Brain And Body

Jason, I’m curious. Do you listen to any type of audio track when you’re working as a form of getting you into productivity, focus or relaxation? It could be music or binaural beats or a certain frequency. Is that at all part of your routine?

It depends on the kind of work I’m doing. If I am doing something that requires more physicality, whether that’s washing the dishes or organizing files, re-arranging a bookshelf, something that requires a lot of physicalities, I do. I find that’s something that helps me focus, gives me energy and is useful. I do a lot of writing between our blog and our weekly newsletter. To me, it depends on the style of work. If I’m sitting down to write, I’ve experimented with focus tracks, with things that are at 432 hertz and binaural beats. I don’t find that it’s all that useful in terms of sitting down and doing the more creative or cerebral type of activities where I’m sitting for long periods of time.

It’s interesting because people are often curious about these things like, does listening to music help you work? I was reading an article about this that inspired me. It reminded me of when I was in high school. My math teacher got into that. He had read an article that said listening to certain types of classical music would help you work. He would play classical music when we would take tests and it was sweet of him. I feel like I should give him a shout out because he was one of those sweet teachers that I connected with. As a little side note, a good teacher has such a huge impact on your life. He was one of those teachers that I always felt encouraged by. It shaped my confidence when it came to math. He gave me a lot of words of affirmation, which is my love language. It never occurred to me that it helps so much. Some teachers may have been wonderful but didn’t give me words of affirmation in that same way.

It’s fascinating to think about this subject of the teachers that have impacted our life. I haven’t reflected on my favorite teachers over the course of my life. If there’s a thread through, it’s that there were warmth, care and vested interest in helping you grow and expand as a being. It was rare. I think back to elementary school. It’s interesting as we’re discussing this, I’m flashing back on the teachers over the course of my school career. There was warmth, care and focus. I always felt like they genuinely wanted me to do better and contrast that with other teachers that I had, and me being a rebellious person. In previous episodes, we’ve talked a lot about the four tendencies and mine is rebellious.

Whenever I didn’t feel like the teacher gave a shit and you could feel that they were going through the motions or perhaps they were combative, aggressive, heavy-handed, I caused some trouble because I don’t respond well to that energy. As an example, in gym class, for some reason I don’t know why, there seemed to be this prototypical, old-school, masculine, dominating energy. I don’t take well to that energy. I oppose and rebel against it. There were a lot of situations that I would butt heads with those teachers that I could feel were combative, oppressive and heavy-handed. To piggyback on what you’re saying, I always have a special place in my heart and such deep gratitude for the teachers from elementary school through my college phase for that level of care and attention they gave me.

It does make a huge difference. This is such an important thing to talk about on and maybe encouraging the reader to reflect on their experiences as well as future experiences whether you’re going to school. Maybe you’re going to go to college or go back to school to further your education, or maybe you’re sending a child to school. A lot of times, since I’m not in either of those positions, I don’t reflect on this enough. Even if I’m not directly affected by teachers at a certain stage of my life, it’s important to address it and how we’re educated. There’s this cliché thing that teachers don’t get enough gratitude or appreciation, or they don’t get paid as well. It’s sometimes a thankless job. It’s tough.

When I think back like this teacher and how he took that time to play that music for us when we were taking tests because he wanted us to succeed. He took the time to give me words of affirmation and acknowledge me and my strengths. He encouraged me with something like math, which could have easily been something that I did because I had to do it. He made math enjoyable for me. That’s huge. The opposite has been true too where I had some teachers that maybe I felt were a little too hard on me or didn’t care. I looked back through some school records from my youth and I had this one teacher in 5th or 6th grade that was out to get me. Even in those notes, she would always give me a bad grade. She would always write critical comments on my report cards. My mom would still bring her up every now and then and be like, “Why did that teacher not like you?” She was tough. That was a tough time being in sixth grade. That would’ve made me twelve years old or eleven. That was so young. To have a figure that you look up to and that you have to see every day and feel like they don’t like you or they don’t believe in you. That’s tough. Did you have any teachers like that, Jason?

I’m sure there’s more if I dig into this. I haven’t thought about this in a long time. In a previous episode, when I was sharing my fart story, I joked about my homeroom teacher, Mr. Chaparian. He was only my homeroom teacher. The one that comes to mind was he was in the athletic department, but he was also a math teacher. I’m blanking on his name. He was also monotone and boring. He didn’t necessarily make math exciting. It was either in geometry or trigonometry class. He would hit kids in the head with pieces of chalk if they were not paying attention or nodding off.

The other thing I recall too was that as my rebellious side and streak would do, I would try to figure out alternative ways sometimes to come to the same answer in a math equation, geometry, trigonometry. I remember him having some response that was like, “That’s not the way I showed you. That’s not the way you do it.” My response was, “I got to the correct answer, didn’t I? He’s like, “Yes, but that’s not the way.” I’m like, “It’s the right fucking answer.” I’ve always had this whenever anybody, society, teachers are like, “This is the way it’s done,” and yet I might figure out an alternative, different or subversive way to get to the same destination and they’re like, “That’s not how you do it,” I have a major issue with that to this day. I rage against that when people are like, “This is the only way.” I’m like, “I got to the same answer and destination. It’s clearly not the only way.”

What’s challenging about education is that we’re in those developmental stages of our life where we’re testing our boundaries. We’re figuring out who we are, we’re developing our identities, and we’re hormonal. There’s so much going on for us as kids. We’re in this environment where these adults are telling us what to do and how to do it. Sometimes that’s based on their personality, or at least a percentage of it will be. Sometimes it’s based on the school system. For me, since I’m a questioner going back to the four tendencies, when somebody tells me why I need to do something and it resonates with me, I’ll do it.

A lot of teachers won’t take that time to explain it to you. They’ll be like, “This is the way you have to do it.” That makes me feel rebellious like you, Jason. I don’t understand it that way or I don’t want to do it the way your reaction would be. It’s especially hard when you’re at a certain age and you’re especially sensitive to being rebellious, unless you have a different tendency. If you’re an obliger or an upholder, the other two types of tendency, maybe school’s easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re the ones that get the straight A’s because they do what they’re told and they follow the rules. If you follow the rules, you’ll get great grades. I struggled with that because I would find myself in resistance to anything that I didn’t fully understand, and that became frustrating.

For certain teachers, Mr. Cronin, had the sweetest spirit and helped me understand math. I needed somebody like that. My school’s superlative was the teacher’s pet. The reason I believe that I was a teacher’s pet in high school, as well as college. I was always the person that would sit in the front row in college because we didn’t have assigned seating. We could change it up all the time. I always sat in the front because I wanted to have a connection with my teacher. I realized that was an advantage for me. If I could connect with that teacher, listen to them, and focus, I would have a better chance at succeeding in the class and understanding the information.

We can choose to reframe reality in different ways. Click To Tweet

In high school and college, I would try to make personal connections with the teachers because then I found that they would go out of their way to help me. A lot of people thought I was sucking up to them, but that relationship made a huge difference, but not on all teachers. I also wonder if I developed that after that tough relationship I had with that teacher when I was in sixth grade. It did scar me in some ways that I didn’t fully examine. It’s not quite bullying but she had it out for me. I wish that I could somehow find out why she treated me that way. Was she frustrated with me? Was I the scapegoat? Was she rooting for me and believed in me so much that she was mean because she saw potential in me?

My curiosity is, did you compare notes on this particular treatment with your classmates and be like, “Is she’s being mean to you? Do you get these kinds of notes on your report card?” We didn’t have necessarily the framework or language for this when we were that young, but not taking things personally. Did you consult with your classmates and be like, “She has it out for me?” How did you form that opinion of how she was treating you?

Part of that is my mom who distinctly remembers that probably because she had to go to the parent-teacher meetings that they had. Part of it’s my memory and I also have those report cards. I read throughout every single one of my report cards out of curiosity. She’s the only teacher and my gym teacher was the other person. I had the same gym teacher for most of my education up until college. There are two schools in my hometown. There was the elementary school, which was kindergarten through sixth grade. Across the street was high school and we had different gym teachers there. From kindergarten to sixth grade, I had the same gym teacher. She would get annoyed with me and I have no memory of that. I think she was like that in general.

It’s hard to say because when you’re a kid, you think things are the way they are for everybody. You don’t have perspective unless you’re hyper-aware and paying attention to how other people are treated. I figured if I was being treated a certain way then everybody was. In terms of that sixth-grade teacher, if you look through my notes, it did feel personal. I don’t remember talking to other students about it. I could ask my friend, but she probably wouldn’t remember either from lack of a great memory or maybe she wasn’t as affected by it. It’s tough to ask now. It is interesting because it seemed to be enough evidence to feel like there was something about the way that she acted with me. Maybe you’re right. Maybe it wasn’t ever about me. Maybe it wasn’t personal and I took it personally because I didn’t know how else to take it.

That’s what I mean. It’s almost like reflecting on some of the forgiveness work. We have an upcoming episode that is phenomenal with a TRE therapist and yoga teacher who teaches trauma and anxiety. Her name is Christa Gowen. We had a fantastic conversation with her. The forgiveness work that we talked about in that upcoming episode reminds me that we can choose to reframe reality in different ways. The reason I asked what I did is that it could be that this teacher was a hardass in general. When we’re that young, our reality is in some ways that everything’s about us. “It’s my fault that this happened. This is why this didn’t work out or did work out.” It’s not necessarily selfish. It’s egoic in a way.

As kids, it’s natural to think depending on the stage of development that everything revolves around us. We don’t have a complete worldview. That’s why I asked if you ask any other classmates like, “Is she being a bitch to you? Is she hard on you?” You talk about hormones, development, and all the growth we’re going through emotionally, physically, chemically and hormonally. A lot of shit feels like it’s us. I think about the bullies. We talked about this on one of our cultural appropriation episodes and a lot of the bullying and the violence that I went through in my junior high and high school years.

If I look back now, the forgiveness that I have for the bullies that picked on me and were violent toward me, that’s all they knew. They came from violent backgrounds. They felt disenfranchised. They felt disempowered so what are they going to do to get their power back and their sense of self? Also, teenage boys are full of hormones and testosterone. What did Joe Rogan say about it one time? He said, “The director for most teenage boys is either fuck or kill.” Not to be blunt about that, but what I’m saying is I can look back on those phases and have a level of forgiveness, understanding, and not take it personally.

Sometimes when we’re young and impressionable, those things form some type of trauma within us even if it’s small. Coming back to that teacher, what if my coping mechanism was, “I never want to have another teacher treat me like that again. I better learn how to protect myself. Maybe if I become friends with all my teachers, they’ll like me and they won’t treat me like that. They won’t give me bad grades.” That did work to my benefit with one teacher who taught French. I struggled with French, but I love the language. I have such a deep draw to the French language. I studied it off and on throughout high school, even before that. I started learning a little bit of French in middle school or elementary.

The French teachers were all tough. There was one who was this odd guy in the sense that there was something probably not quite right with him. He had to take a leave of absence during our school year. We had substitute teachers. It was weird but as kids, we’re like, “This is great. We can slack off.” I remember we didn’t have to work as hard because the structure was completely thrown off by this teacher. I don’t know if he was an alcoholic or something. I remember something was going on with him personally where he couldn’t teach us. It was either my 7th or 8th-grade year of French. I was brand new to the language.

We would have all these other floating teachers and then we would have hard teachers. There was one French teacher that I had for a few years who taught the language. If you stuck with it, you are required to take either French or Spanish on the first 2 or 3 years of school, high school or middle school. After that, it was optional and you could take another class if you’d like. I wanted to keep taking French. The ongoing more advanced French classes were taught by a serious French teacher who was passionate about it. She spoke it fluently and traveled to French-speaking areas of the world. She took us on field trips. She was cool but she was also stern.

The only reason I was able to continue was because of that relationship I developed with her and she never got super soft with me. I never felt like we were friends, but she cared about me enough that she was always pushing me beyond my perceived limits. In my last year of taking French, I took a pass-fail instead of being graded, because I was concerned since I was struggling with French so much. If I got a C or a D in French, it would have skewed my GPA too much for applying to college. Because I was struggling with it so much, she let me take the class as a pass-fail. I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody in class that I was doing it because I wasn’t supposed to be doing that.

She made an exception for me and bend the rules so that I could continue studying French and learn from it on a personal level without impacting my GPA, which was cool. That all came out of me getting to know her on a personal level where I could express myself to her. If I kept it like I’m going to go into class and leave, and never talk to her or get to know her. I don’t know if we ever would have gotten to that place. That shows how much of a difference it makes when you have a deeper connection with somebody than when you just try to keep things on the surface. Since those formative years, I’ve always found that to be beneficial. I’m surprised at how many people don’t do that. Whether it’s business dealings or any sort of socializing. A lot of people do seem to have a preference for keeping things on the surface. I wonder if it’s a way that we guard our hearts.

People have been wounded, cheated on, misled, swindled and lied to. What do we do? If we don’t process those things, move through the emotions, do the trauma release, and do the work on ourselves, then the proverbial armor starts to build up. That’s been an ongoing process of learning to trust in life again, not taking interactions with specific people, and then extrapolating that onto another group. This is a dangerous part of racism, sexism, and a lot of the isms. We might have an impression or an experience with a specific type of person, be it their race, color, gender or religion.

MGU 118 | How Music Affects Us

How Music Affects Us: What’s challenging about education is that we’re in those developmental stages of our lives where we’re testing our boundaries, figuring out who we are, and developing our identities.


The dangerous thing is we extrapolate that experience to all people that look, act, worship and feel are similar to that thing. It’s a dangerous thing to do. We’re talking about our impressions as kids with teachers, bullies or whatever the case may be. I’ve had to undo a lot of that for myself. I talked about that in the Cultural Appropriation episode. You have experience with a teacher, a colleague, a student, whatever it is. The dangerous thing is like, “They’re all that way. Fuck them.” It’s a dangerous way to live. Ultimately, what is that coming out of? It’s coming out of protection and fear. I don’t want to be hurt again. I don’t want to be wounded. I had this “bad experience” with this type of person and I don’t ever want that to happen again. That breeds contempt, hatred, anger, rage and judgment. It takes a lot of work not to allow ourselves to fall into that pattern of thinking and behaving in the world.

It’s interesting that we branched off into this. I wanted to talk more about the impact that music has on our brains. Maybe we might naturally start coming back to the school experiences. When I brought up how Mr. Cronin, I wonder if he was using this study that came out in 1993 that was called the Mozart Effect. It was one study that suggested that listening to Mozart would improve performance. It had a huge ripple effect on parents. I don’t know if you remember this but I do because I was babysitting a lot. There was this whole thing about baby Mozart and parents getting their kids to listen to Mozart in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Do you remember that at all?

The timing of it, no, but I do remember this being spoken about culturally.

It’s fascinating because it was found to be mostly bogus. It is interesting timing-wise. I don’t know if this was the study that led him to believe that. I’m not sure. Things were different in the ‘90s and early 2000s. A paper came out in 1999 that said that the improvement in cognitive tasks came from the improved mood that came from listening to Mozart like any of these other similar types of music. I find that super fascinating and beneficial because when I was taking a test or working on something hard, it does make a difference if you’re in a good mood. The same thing goes now. I generally want to feel my best when I’m working so that I don’t mind working.

If I don’t feel good, the last thing I want to do is work. It does play a role in productivity. There’s been a lot of different studies that have come out over the years. The concentration element of it is still trying to be determined. It’s like anything else that we see out there whether it’s health claims or foods that might do whatever for you. A lot of them can be disproven, but if it does help with your mood, then isn’t that what matters anyway. Maybe it doesn’t affect your brain as deeply. You were talking about the 432 hertz.

This could also be a poor source but I might have seen somebody saying that that was not the right hertz to listen to and 500 something was better. There were some studies being done about all of that. That also could be bogus too. If you think about it, I don’t know if it’s negatively affecting us. Maybe we’re being sold things that are promising better concentration and focus, but not making much of a difference except impacting our mood.

This is probably a good time to bring this up because we’ve talked about conspiracy theories in the past. I want to link to an article about why the standard of 440 hertz, which is A440, has become the standard of musical federations and the history behind it. It’s fascinating. I’m not going to go way deep down this rabbit hole because this article does a great job. It’s on Global News, a Canadian website. On a twelve-tone musical scale, if we go back and we look at 1885, there was a music commission of the Italian government that declared that all tuning forks, all instruments and orchestras had to be tuned to A440, which is 440 hertz on the A scale.

That’s different because the standard tune at that time in some countries was 435 hertz. In France, it was 432 hertz. In 1917, there was an American federation of musicians that said, “We’re going to go with the Italians.” They pushed for 440 hertz in the 1940s. The interesting thing about this is musical theorists and people who study the vibration of sound talk about how A440 is not a natural vibration. A more natural frequency for middle A is either 438 hertz or other theorists say it’s 432 hertz. It’s known as Verdi’s A because it has a pure tone of math that is fundamental to nature. That 432 hertz is mathematically consistent with the patterns of the universe and vibrates with the golden ratio. They point to how this pitch in nature can be connected to how Nautilus shells form, a work of ancient mystics, and also the construction of the great pyramid in Egypt.

There have been some interesting studies showing that 432 hertz resonates with 8 hertz, which is also known as the Schumann Resonance, which is the electromagnetic beat of the earth. In studies, the effect on the human body is that people have reported that 432 hertz feels better in their bodies. It goes way deeper into the Rockefeller Foundation and some sinister shit that John D. Rockefeller did in terms of using 440 hertz to have a war on human consciousness and musical control. I won’t even go into that because there’s a whole other aspect of that, but a lot of musical theorists and people who study vibratory patterns on the human body say that 432 or 438 hertz is more natural for the human body to receive those frequencies.

It comes down to reading about these things and then noticing if it makes a difference in us. Sometimes it is subtle. As long as it’s not hurting you, then you might as well experiment with it. Audio can have a negative effect if it’s at the wrong volume or if it is evoking an emotion in you that doesn’t feel good. Remember it was in Cuba or something, where they were hearing crazy sounds. It was within the past few years.

There’s a thing in terms of how sound frequencies and vibrations are used to affect human consciousness. I don’t know if it’s related to Cuba necessarily, but there is something in terms of psychotronic warfare that the government’s been experimenting with. There are many articles. It’s called the Lily Wave. The Lily Wave is essentially a biphasic electric pulse that stimulates the neurons of your brain to resonate at a certain frequency. In government experiments, they’ve shown that this Lily Wave resonates at a frequency that can control the brainwave patterns of the human brain.

It makes a lot of difference when you have a deeper connection with somebody than when you just try to keep things on the surface. Click To Tweet

The fascinating thing is that sugar crystals can receive this Lily Wave at a deeper level in the human body. In specific military applications, it has been known to drive people into madness. There are references to this. There was a doctor named John Lilly who in 1959 was working for the NIH, which is the National Institutes of Health. He looked at things in our food and also TV signals could deliver this Lily Wave, which changes the molecular response in the human brain. In terms of sound frequency, there are some radical and also disturbing things that people are doing with sound frequencies in manipulating human behavior. 

I looked it up and it was a sonic attack. That’s the term that I was looking for. It was happening in Cuba and China between 2016 and 2018, but then there were people that were proving that it wasn’t actually happening. There was no evidence of an intentional sonic attack. There are some articles about some people who think some brain scans show that it might have happened, or some people believe that it was connected to insecticide, which also probably isn’t good for your health. There’s an article from CNN that says that Cuba’s sonic attacks changed people’s brains according to a study, but I haven’t looked into too many studies. To me, I trust CNN. If it’s on there, that’s probably legitimate. I feel like they wouldn’t post what I perceived to be as fake news, but I suppose that’s up to interpretation. This article is from July 2019.

A lot of this stuff could also be disproven over time. It could be seen as a conspiracy theory and all of that. It’s fascinating to me. My point being, is this sonic transmission affecting our brains? We do need to be mindful of what we listen to. I also recall vaguely growing up, there was so much concern about what music you listen to. You would get a little triggered by this. Parents tend to be concerned about what are their kids are hearing. Is the music making them angrier? I’m fascinated by that. I am also continuously fascinated by current music. There’s a song out called WAP by Cardi B. It’s one of those songs where if I were a parent, I’d be a little horrified.

I was thinking about this because if I had a kid now and they were like, “Mom, what is a WAP?” Would I lie to them and make up some phrase for that or should I tell them the truth of what that song’s about and let them know the reality of it? That’s what always interesting about music. Remember we had that episode when we were talking about songs that made us uncomfortable? A lot of sexual songs made me uncomfortable when I was a preteen because I was developing, hormonal, and I’m uncomfortable with my body. I wasn’t ready at that point to talk about sex. I was curious about sex, but it also made me very uncomfortable. That type of music I imagine can be confronting to parents and kids. I also feel like a lot of people enjoy that music and appreciate it. It gives freedom of speech. I’m curious about your perspectives on that too.

At some point kids are going to probably seek out that, which has been restricted from them unless they’re an obliger. A lot of kids I know and myself included, things were restricted. If I was told not to watch that or not to view it, I’d find a way. Kids are resourceful, creative and cunning when they want to experience something. I don’t know if it’s necessarily about being better gatekeepers or preventing. Although at a certain age, playing a song like WAP, I don’t know if I had a seven-year-old daughter if I would be like, “Go ahead and listen to it.”

If we’re going back to how music affects the human body, it’s safe to say that if you listen to a Coldplay song, a classical song, Ray LaMontagne song or a Motown song, the energy and the feeling in your body is going to be vastly different than a hardcore rap song like an old school NWA song or Cannibal Corpse ultra-heavy death metal. The feeling in my body and this isn’t about right or wrong, good or bad. There are days where I want to listen to metal and I want to listen to hardcore rap. There are days when I wanted to listen to classical. My musical tastes are extremely diverse and wide-ranging. If I were to listen to hardcore death metal or hardcore gangster rap all day long, that’s going to have an effect on my body and my state of being. I like to listen to those things in moderation because I know in terms of my mental and physical health, you can feel the vibration is different.

If you feel a guitar or a trap beat that is tuned down to a drop D or drop C. That’s a dense, heavy, lower frequency that’s being bombarded in your body versus something like a violin, a classical or something that’s in a major scale. I’m a geek about how music affects our brains and our bodies. I sometimes think that I want to get into sound healing. I’m very interested in sound healing and how these frequencies affect the body. My point is that I try to limit the heavier music. I like it from time to time, but I don’t want to listen to it all day long because it affects my health. It affects my mental state for sure.

Speaking of health, what we put into our bodies, be it the frequencies we listen to, the music we listen to, the movies, the TV, the media, are we what we eat mentally? That’s an episode that came out. It is a deeper examination into not just the food we eat, but the impressions we take in. I’m not feeling all that well. I try and examine what is it that’s not making me feel well if I can determine that? Is there anything that I can do to abate that and to feel better? I think it’s a natural thing.

I don’t feel that good. Is there anything I can take? Are there any adjustments I can make? One of the biggest things that I’ve been noticing over the course of this quarantine period is a lot more of the comfort foods that I’ve been eating, to make a shift into a different aspect of health and what we’re taking into our beings. We talked about this, I’ve been eating a lot more bread, pastries, ice cream, things like that. I don’t feel unhealthy, but I’ve definitely been indulging a lot more. For me, I don’t know if this is something you’ve been going through in terms of not only the comfort food but more late-night eating. Sometimes, my girlfriend will come over and we both had long days working, creating and doing the things we do.

I’ve noticed that when I eat later at night, say if I have dinner past 9:00 PM, I sometimes feel like maybe things aren’t digesting all that great. There’s a little bit of indigestion. One of the things that I’ve been loving from our sponsor BiOptimizers. They had sent us a care package of these amazing enzymes and their HCL products. HCL is something that I started taking, especially when I’ve been eating a little bit too late at night. HCL stands for Hydrochloric Acid, and BiOptimizers has this amazing product called HCL Breakthrough. It’s an all-natural source of hydrochloric acid, which helps to increase stomach acid and support digestion and detoxification. It also includes five different types of plant-based enzymes. This HCL product is 100% plant-based. It is completely non-irritating and it’s great for sensitive tummies.

One of the big things for me is I’ve noticed when I do that late nights, maybe comfort food eating, having a heavier meal and some ice cream before bed, I get a little bit of acid reflux and I feel like my tummy is a little bit unsettled. I’ve been taking this HCL product and the other enzyme products from BiOptimizers and feeling like it’s been great in terms of giving me a little bit of that edge to help the food digest. I’m curious for you, have you had any experience with late-night eating or any kind of digestive upset? How have you been feeling these products have been helping you?

I’m always interested in supplements that support the brain and cognitive performance. They have a package that you can get of products specifically for that. It includes vitamin and mineral drops. They have a product that can help boost your energy. They have one that’s specifically for brain health and that one’s called Cognibiotics. Full disclosure, we need to double-check to see if that’s 100% vegan. They use veggie capsules in most, if not all of their products. Some of them are not fully clear about being 100% vegan. For any of our vegan readers, we want to be sensitive about that. We’ll be keeping you posted on everything that we learned to make sure that we know that some of their products that we take are vegan.

I haven’t started taking the Cognibiotics. I’m curious about them because they are for your mind and your mood, and they’re probiotics. Probiotics have made a huge difference for me. They have improved my digestion. Taking them regularly makes a big difference. They can also help with your mood and sometimes even reducing stress and anxiety because it plays a role hormonally. In this formulation that BiOptimizers has is designed for all of that. It’s got vitamins in it and all of these things that are formulated to help you perform your best mentally and feel good with your mood, which is crucial. It’s a huge issue now during COVID. A lot of us have been having struggles with our fluctuating mood.

MGU 118 | How Music Affects Us

How Music Affects Us: The improvement in cognitive tasks comes from the improved mood that came from listening to Mozart or any other similar type of music.


That’s normal for me. Anything that I can take to help with making me feel my best every day, even if it’s listening to music. I like to take supplements to see if they’ll support me in feeling my best. Thinking well too, this cognitive performance thing, our brain responds to whatever we’re putting in our bodies. Making sure that we’re hydrated. One of the benefits of taking supplements is that you generally will take them with a glass of water. Sometimes that’s my cue like, “I need to drink more water today.” I’ll have 8 ounces when I take something. I usually take something like this on an empty stomach. The Cognibiotics specifically, you need to take on an empty stomach. Some of them you take with a meal or in between meals.

You always want to read the package. I’ve gotten as far as putting an extra label on some of my supplements that write out when to take them and I’ll line them up in order. That way I don’t get distracted. Sometimes supplements can be overwhelming and they can build up in our cabinets and we can forget to take them. It’s simply that act of reducing the obstacle. If I know when to take something, what to take it with, and it’s in clear sight with a labeling system. You can get those little pill containers where you can organize them out and you can put out how many you’re supposed to take each day. Some of them have the times listed on them. Those can be helpful whether you’re traveling or at home. I’m always trying to create better systems for myself. That’s why I like products like the ones that BiOptimizers made because they’re designed to help you optimize your whole daily routine and feel your best.

My big thing too is having dairy allergies and gut issues my whole life. Somatically my entire life since I was a kid, I have a tendency to carry stress in my gut and I have a lot of digestive issues. I love these products because they work. You and I consume probably thousands of products every year between supplements, body care, food, nutraceuticals, and not all of them work. My body’s sensitive enough that when I start taking something, I tend to either feel or not feel the effects pretty quickly. The thing that I love about their formulations, specifically about these Cognibiotics, is that they’re infused with gut biome-enhancing strains of probiotics.

We know now through research that there’s something called the Enteric Nervous System or the ENS, which is our second brain. Most of our serotonin up to 90% or higher is manufactured in the gut. That gut-brain connection and that connection between our central nervous system and our enteric nervous system and our gut is something that science is learning more and more about all the time. When you look at strains like lactobacillus casie, bifidobacterium, animalis and breve, these are things that not only enhance cognitive performance. They’ve done some cool MRI brain scans to see what these bacteria can do to the gut-brain connection and it’s fascinating.

If you’re interested in getting their HCL products, their Cognibiotics, we’re going to be mentioning a lot of their wonderful products that we are taking. You can use our coupon code which is WELLEVATR10. You will save 10% on your order. We’re raving about these because for me personally, with all the gut issues I’ve had over my life, anything that I can do to make myself feel better, and knowing that when I suit my gut and optimize my digestion, I know that my mental health is going to benefit. At this point, it’s a non-negotiable for me.

It’s understandable. I feel the same way. I’m curious if music has an impact on our digestive system. There’s got to be some studies that have been done on that. Going back to that article that I was reading about the science of music and productivity, one interesting thing that is fascinating for a couple of different reasons. A study found a decrease in performance when people listen to familiar vocal music. If you’re listening to music that you know the lyrics to, that can be very distracting. It’s not great for your productivity because you’ll find yourself singing along or you’ll be listening and observing it. I’ve certainly found that to be true. I have to be selective. I tend to want to listen to music that is instrumental for that reason or peaceful because that puts me in a good mood.

I do find that at certain times outside of productivity, I prefer listening to familiar music because I like singing along. That puts me in a good mood. When it comes back around to food and digestion, I wonder about that because it reminds me a little bit how I enjoy watching entertainment when I’m eating. It’s easy to think that we’re alone in these things like, “I must be the only one that does these things.” I saw on TikTok a video about somebody saying like, “Isn’t it frustrating when you sit down to have a meal and you can’t find something to watch and it almost makes it harder to eat?” I don’t think you have that experience, Jason. You would probably sit down at the table and don’t distract yourself when you eat.

I find so much pleasure in watching a TV show or a movie when eating a meal, especially at dinner when I’m winding down and working less. We did this a lot when I was growing up. We would often watch the news on in the background. That’s the time when my parents would watch the news. I don’t know if it often played while we were eating or maybe right before, but I have an association with the news. That brings me back to music. I’m curious, do you ever play music when you’re eating, or are there certain times? Another example is my mom would like to play classical music or some nice music when we were eating family meals together, especially over the past years or so. During the holiday, she would always have Christmas music on if it was Christmas time and we were having a Christmas dinner. If it’s Thanksgiving, she would always pick a radio station that had holiday music playing. If it wasn’t a holiday like that, I feel like they would either have classical music on and we’re eating. My mom liked to set the tone of our family meals around music. I’m interested in what your experience has been with that and if you’re ever that intentional.

It’s something that came from my experience with making dinner with my grandma and my mom, which in terms of my family are my culinary inspirations. Even as a little kid, I wanted to be in the kitchen helping on my grandma, helping out my mom, chopping, adding spices to the soup and whatnot. I remember there was always some component of music. Apart from the holidays, it was a thing that when you were cooking and making food, there was some music going on. Even now when I go visit my mom, we have some favorite songs. We put on Cuban music or we put on some Middle Eastern music like the Oud. We put on David Bowie, T. Rex, Motown.

There’s music that gets you in a specific mood. I strongly believe that the state of being you are in when you are preparing food, I believe that energy goes into the food. As an example, my grandmother Rose, she wasn’t necessarily using the healthiest ingredients all of the time, but it was her joyfulness and the love that she infused in that food that you could feel it. There was no denying that you could feel it. I often feel the same way whenever I make a meal. I don’t want to make a meal for myself or other people if I’m angry or frustrated, exhausted or I’m irritated because that’s my belief system. That the energy I’m emitting from my body is going to go into that food and then people are going to consume it. I do play music when I’m making food. I love to throw on some Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, some old-school Motown, Frank Sinatra, stuff that puts you in a fun, loving, open-hearted space. That’s the space I want to be in when I’m making food.

How about when you were working in a restaurant or you were doing private chef work? Was that part of it as well?

With private cheffing, it depended on the client. Some clients I’d be in their homemaking food. They would be doing their own thing. I didn’t have the option of playing music unless it was through headphones through my iPhone or whatnot. When I was working with Woody on the few movies we did and I was on his tour bus, I’d be in there making food while he’d be on set. I’m making him breakfast, lunch, smoothies or superfood shots. I’d be playing whatever I wanted like David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Woody has good music tastes. Whatever I would be playing, Woody would be like, “That’s great.” We talk about music all the time.

Audio can have a negative effect if it's at the wrong volume or evoke an emotion in you that doesn't feel good. Click To Tweet

In terms of commercial kitchens, when I graduated culinary school and I was in and out of kitchens for the first 2 to 3 years out of culinary school, it was a little bit tough. Most of the kitchens I worked in, the staff wanted to play metal and punk. That’s cool for a while. I love punk and metal music as I alluded to earlier in this episode. When you’re in the kitchen for 6, 8, 9, 10 hours a day and it’s constantly playing, there’s a certain point where you’re like, “I’m exhausted.” Since I wasn’t the head chef, you don’t have the authority to usurp the head chef and be like, “Could you turn that shit off?” You got to go with what’s being played. If it was me though, stuff that puts me in a joyful mood, it translates into the music. I’m mindful of curating my playlist when I’m in the kitchen making food for other people.

What about watching TV or movies? I feel like you and I have done that together. I don’t know if you do that on your own or depending on who you’re with.

I have a habit that I would like to break, which is I know that in certain cases, I’m not as present to the food as I could be. I noticed that in particular, not so much lunch or dinner, but breakfast when I’m waking up in the morning. I almost want to have a little bit of more me time before I jump into the work of the day, whether it’s us working and growing this show, or some of the other projects I’ve got going on. I’ll watch basketball highlights from the night before. I’ll catch up on DMs. I’ll watch car videos. It’s not even a guilty pleasure. My three things that when I’m wanting to indulge are either stand-up comedy, basketball or car videos.

I have a habit I would like to get away from, especially breakfast time. I’ll be eating breakfast and I’ll be watching stand up, basketball or car videos. The next thing you know, I’m done with breakfast. I don’t remember even enjoying it. That’s not how I want to live my life. I want to be more present with my meals. I’m outing myself a little bit and saying, “That’s one habit I would like to get out of.” At the end of the meal, I realized I haven’t even fully enjoyed it. I don’t even remember how good it tasted. I’ll remember maybe the first few bites, but inevitably and it happens all the time, I’ll look down at the bowl or the plate and be like, “I’m done with my meal,” and don’t even remember doing it.

I can get in that same place. Reflecting on what is the draw to that. I think back to maybe childhood. I don’t remember if we watch TV while we were eating. We don’t do that anymore. My mom likes to make meals more sacred and connected. We probably started doing this in my teens. We would eat in the dining room. We had a literal dining room with a table, or now that we have a dining room, we also have a kitchen table that we eat as a family. There isn’t a table like there used to be in the family room where we had the television.

I do like that experience. That would be where my parents would ask me how my day was. I would either want to tell them or hate being asked that question. It’s sweet thinking about meals and how they can feel connected. The love that goes into preparing a meal too, it’s like when you eat with somebody that you care about, a friend, a family member, a loved one, and they’re checking their phone and you feel so disconnected from them. I feel like I have to fight that temptation too. Part of the draw of watching something if you’re with somebody, maybe that’s your only chance to watch something together. Maybe that helps you feel more relaxed. Maybe you want to “turn off” your brain for a little bit.

Since you’re chewing your food, you’re not going to talk much anyway. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong about it. It is interesting from your point is, how can we be more present for meals? That also greatly impacts our digestion. If we’re not paying attention, we can eat so fast that we’re just swallowing the food and forget our taste buds. It’s also not great for us. If we don’t slow down and feel amazing throughout every bite and be grateful for it too. Thinking about who made the food, where it came from, and what went into that. We talked about how we often take for granted how our food is made because our food systems aren’t always that transparent about it. We don’t think to care about those things like who grew our food, who harvested it and who produced it.

We talked about mold growing on food in the bread episode. How that idea of you pay with your purse or you pay with your person. Sometimes cheap food is cheaply made and workers aren’t treated well and your food isn’t stored well. It can greatly affect your body. There’s also that last part of acknowledging the process in which it came to you. Some people love to say a prayer. Do you still do that regularly? I felt like you did that a lot when I was first getting to know you, but now I don’t even notice if you do it or not.

I do it but I like to do it silently. There’s nothing wrong with this because I used to do it, but holding my hands over the food and saying a prayer out loud. There’s nothing wrong with that. I prefer to take a moment to be still, feel the gratitude, the excitement, the joyfulness and the thankfulness in my body. I don’t feel the need to outwardly display it. I feel like the internal sensation and experience in my body are the same. That’s just me. I prefer to do it silently now.

It’s like saying grace or saying a prayer or something. Whenever somebody does that around me, I feel grateful for it because I rarely ever think to do it. Going back to my family, that’s not something we do frequently. During the holidays, my mom always does this where she has everybody at the table hold hands, which can be awkward if there are guests there. I think people appreciate it. They might not be used to it. We all hold hands and maybe say something together. She loves having people go around in a circle and talk about what they’re grateful for or something like that right before we start eating. She also will often have us squeeze our hands down the line. It’s interesting during COVID, maybe this stuff won’t happen as frequently. Although if you’re in somebody’s home, we might as well hold hands, given all the exposure that you have. Hopefully, one day we won’t have to worry so much about this. We’d all hold hands and one person would squeeze another person’s hand and then they would pass it on down. Did we ever do that when you were visiting my family?

Yes, it sounds familiar to me.

It’s very sweet. Those rituals around food make a huge difference. That is a huge element of music and audio in general. Lastly, on this subject matter is the impact of audio when you’re sleeping. I’m a huge fan of white noise. I feel most comfortable and I have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep when I have white noise on. We’ve done a couple of episodes about sleep. To shout them out again, there’s this product called LectroFan. It’s this compact white noise machine and it’s great. It blocks out so much noise and it has been a game-changer for me. Previous to that, I would use my phone for white noise, but the speaker was never quite loud enough. I’ve also used SleepPhones, which I liked. Their headphone is designed to put over your ears so you can listen to music or whatever audio of your choice while you’re sleeping. I use those two from time to time, depending on how loud and noise is or how convenient that is. Have you tried those yet? I gave you a pair to try out.

MGU 118 | How Music Affects Us

How Music Affects Us: Taking probiotics helps with your mood and reduces stress and anxiety because it plays a role hormonally.


I still need to try them. I was waiting for my neighbors to play their somewhat irritating music, which hasn’t happened yet because I wanted to test it against that. I could test it without that. I feel like part of me wants to wait and see if they’re effective against that sonic barrage from next door.

You almost have your own version of sonic warfare, sonic attacks happening. Outside, there’s construction happening and that can be tough for me sometimes. Even if we’re not doing the show. Waking up to those sounds can be frustrating or hear a dog barking, or maybe your own animals make noise because they hear a noise outside. That’s part of the reason I use a white noise machine. It’s not just for me, but also for my dog, Evie. When I was growing up, I used to love nature sounds. I don’t like it as much. I got into rain sometimes, but I’m so particular. I like a constant consistent sound, which is why white noise tends to work better. If the sound changes as many rain tracks tend to do. You’ll hear like a thunderstorm in the background. As soon as I’ll hear the thunder, it takes me out of that focused state that I get into to fall asleep.

If the rain sounds, the patterns change or shift, which I find distracting and not very comforting. Some people are fine with it. The same thing with waves. It sounds like it’d be nice, but the sounds of the waves getting closer and farther away, that can be distracting. If you hear seagulls in the background every once in a while, I’m like, “This is so annoying.” I get sensitive to that change and it’s not comforting to me. I’m curious what it’ll be like when I’m traveling cross country and nature sounds in certain areas when we’re camping, what various sounds might impact my sleeping. That’s why I’m going to bring my Lectrofan with me because it’s USB-powered and you can plug it into a USB portable charger or I’ll be able to plug it into my car that I’ll be sleeping in.

I’ll also be bringing my SleepPhones, which I can charge in advance. There are a couple of different pairs of SleepPhones if you’re interested in them. I gave Jason a pair that are wired and those don’t require any battery. You plug them into your phone or any speaker and they work well, but then you have a cord. If you don’t want a cord, you can use their Bluetooth, which does need to be charged, but the charge lasts a long time and they’re completely cordless. That’s handy if you move around in your sleep, as long as you don’t mind having Bluetooth on your head. I use the Bluetooth pair for the convenience factor. I’ll be bringing those on my trip too to be prepped. You’re a big fan of using earplugs, Jason.

I love the silicone earplug rather than a foam earplug. In terms of blocking out the sound, I find that the silicone ones are moldable. They work better than the foam ones. The other thing too that I love when you talked about nature sounds. It’s a free app called Rain Rain. They have stream sounds, ocean sounds, rain sounds. It’s all water-based sounds. I have figured out a combination of 60% rain and 40% forest stream. That works well for me. You talked about the consistency, it’s consistent throughout. There’s not a lot of deviation. There are no seagulls sounds or anything like that. What could also be interesting on your road trip is to see if the ambient noise from the virtual digital fireplace on your Tesla screen, if that crackling noise might be good for you in terms of ambient noise.

As soon as you said that I cringe. I’m like, “That sounds horrible.” For anyone reading, I have a Tesla Model 3 and I’m excited because it has a camp mode. I want to try it out badly. My finger is crossed that it works well because there’s not that much information about the camp mode that’s been helpful for my research. I hope to add to that. I’ll be documenting my experience. We’ll talk about it on the show when it’s over. I think it’s going to work well. The one downside though is it’s cool in theory, but I don’t know how long it’s on the screen for. When you go into the camp mode, the Tesla switches over to this image. It’s a video of a campsite with a campfire.

It sounds cool in theory, but I can’t remember if there’s audio that plays for that. There is audio that plays during romance mode on the Tesla, which is a fireplace. It also turns on the heat. It’s supposed to mimic the feeling of sitting in front of an actual fireplace. It is gimmicky but fun to use every once in a while. I’ve never used it for an extended period of time. It also plays a random romantic song. It’s amusing. I love the way that Elon Musk’s mind works. There’s also dog mode too since we’re talking about all the different modes that the Tesla has. It’s one of the greatest things ever but it has nothing to do with what we’re talking about here. I’ll keep you posted, Jason. I hope that I do not have to listen to crackling wood while I’m trying to sleep in my car. I think I’d be quite annoyed by that but I’ll figure it out. It’s the least of my worries now.

With that being said since we have given a lot of love to our wonderful sponsor BiOptimizers and continue to share our love for them, do you have any new Frequently Asked Queries? Any ones you can pluck out of the ethers?

I’m a little prepared. Sometimes I’m more prepared than others. For the reader, we do this at the end of most of our episodes. We’ve been doing this for a few months. Maybe you’re already used to it if you’ve read our blog before, but these are queries that people type into Google that lead them to our website and I’m always fascinated by them. One of them ties into this. The query was pursuing music. Jason, I’m curious where you stand on pursuing music in your life. I know that you’ve been teaching guitar, which I think is cool. I’m interested to see, do you still have dreams of pursuing music as a hobby or perhaps a career, making money from it? Where do you stand with that?

I’ve had a big shift around that in terms of why I want to play music. When I was in a lot of bands in my 20s and 30s in Detroit, Chicago, New York, LA, the Bay Area. Music has been a big part of my life for more than two decades now. When I was in my twenties, it was in Detroit around the time that The White Stripes were coming up, The Von Bondies. I remember playing the same clubs when nobody knew who The Black Keys were and they were driving in from Ohio to play the clubs in Detroit. I was making music in Detroit in that era. There was this feeling that anyone could get signed at any moment, Seymour Stein from Sire Records would be in the crowd at a random ass dumpy club in LA checking out bands.

There was this energy, “We got to get signed. We got to be rock stars.” It didn’t happen for me. I don’t have any illusions of “being a rock star” or making a full-time career out of music. I’ve let go of that vision for my life. What I’ve realized is the reason I wanted to do music in the first place is there are certain songs, albums and artists that have been through me through the most joyful times in my life, and the most heart wrenching, heartbreaking, saddest times. Music has power. There’s a deeply moving power to music. That’s the biggest reason why I want to keep singing and playing music and teaching it. That came out of nowhere.

An acquaintance who’s now becoming a friend of mine was like, “Will you teach me guitar lessons? I’ll pay you.” I was like, “Okay.” It’s been wonderful to realize how much I know on that instrument and how much I can pass that gift of music forward to someone who’s wanted to learn it their whole lives. My relationship with “pursuing music” is not what it was many years ago. It’s now that I want to create organically. I want to finish the songs that want to be finished and release a new album of music. In the spring of 2019, I uploaded almost 70 tracks to my SoundCloud account. For you dear reader, if you want to check out that music, I’d be tremendously grateful. It’s from

There's a deep, moving power to music. Click To Tweet

I’ve got about 70 songs that I’ve recorded over the last years in different bands and my own solo projects. The long answer is I am not pursuing it to be a rock star. I’m not pursuing it to get a record deal. I’m not going after that sense of satisfaction with it. I’m creating, writing, singing and passing it along because music is a savior. Music is something I cherish. I’m not quite sure what form it’s going to take moving forward, but it is what it is.

Another query that ties into what we’re talking about here. Not as much about the music side of things, but when you were talking about being a chef, there was a query where somebody asked how much money do chefs make per hour?

It depends on the context. One of the reasons that I didn’t stay in the restaurant world is because out of culinary school, it was like, “We’re going to pay you $8 an hour,” which when you live in a place like LA or New York as a single person, you can’t survive on that wage. It’s not possible. That I know of, at least in my experience. I left the restaurant world because being a line cook or being even as an assistant chef in certain contexts, the most I ever made in the restaurant world was $12 or $15 an hour. In New York City, you want to live in Brooklyn or Manhattan, unless you’re living with a bunch of other people, it’s tough to get by on $12 or $15 an hour.

In terms of the restaurant world, unless you’re getting bumped up to a salaried position like an executive chef, you’re not making a whole lot of money. In terms of personal cheffing, it depends. Some people do hourly. It can be anywhere starting at $50 an hour and on up, which is a good living wage to be a personal chef. If you’re working with a high-profile person who is a celebrity or a person who’s got a lot of money. If you are a full-time personal chef, sometimes you can get a salaried position of $150,000 a year, $200,000 a year, full benefits and you travel the world with them. As a chef, the real money is doing personal cheffing, starting your own product line or becoming a celebrity chef, and having multiple income streams where you have books, TV shows, courses, and signing tours. There are a lot more intricate details I could get into. The range between a line cook at a restaurant and being an executive chef, a personal chef or a celebrity chef, it’s a massive income gap.

I love hearing about these things. It’s important to talk about more openly. Some people want to pursue something for money. Some people want it to be for passion and then money afterward. Some people want a perfect balance between the two of them. Money is always incredibly fascinating when it comes to doing what you love. I love that you are open and honest about your experiences. I’m curious what is the first thing that comes to mind, Jason, when I say this query, which is awful food.

Cafeteria food is what I think about immediately. We were talking about school in this episode a lot and our educational experience. I remember the food in the school cafeteria as being horrifyingly bad. The only thing that I ever had enjoyed was the tater tots. The pizza was greasy and the cheese was not actually cheese. You could use the cheese to tie someone up if you were going to kidnap them. It was like the eternally stretchy cheese that you could never break. The government food and the subsidized food in school cafeterias for the most part is horrifyingly bad. That’s an aspect of the food system that I have a passion to somehow change. I haven’t quite figured it out yet but by and large, in most major city public school systems, the food is horrible. When you say awful food, my immediate thing is the cafeteria food is bad. What about you when you think of awful food?

Nothing is coming immediately to mind. I know it’s in there, but maybe I blocked it out. Maybe I never wanted to think about something being bad. I will say that I don’t have that association with cafeteria food because my school system in Massachusetts had an extraordinary food system. For sure, when I was in high school, remember when I said the two schools were across the street. There was this man named Chef Paul who came into my school system. I don’t know if it was at the beginning of middle school or when exactly. It might have even been before I literally crossed the street from one school to another. He came in and started doing gourmet meals at our school. It transformed our experience because he was making fresh and delicious food.

I don’t know much about politics. I don’t know how much it costs. I don’t recall that I would opt to buy food at school often. To save money, I would usually bring my own, that I’m fuzzy on. I don’t remember the detail. I’m sure I didn’t eat it often, but it made this massive impact on us because we had this loving, caring chef who’s putting love into the food and was passionate about making food better. The more I think about it, probably within the last year or two, I heard that he was still there and he was working on some cool project. He would get involved with the Farmer’s Market. They started having a Farmer’s Market at the school after I left. Maybe not during COVID, but I know for many years there was a Farmer’s Market there. He might have been involved with that. He was passionate. If you ever get the chance to meet this man, you would probably have so much in common because he did many incredible things for us.

Previous to Chef Paul, we had standard food, but I don’t remember it being that offensive probably because I would usually have a packed lunch. When you talk about tater tots, those bring back good memories. If I try to go deep in my mind, you’re right. The food was pretty shitty before Chef Paul came to our school. What an incredible gift to give students? Coming back to teachers, these people make such a huge impact on your life. These school systems can make or break your relationship with food as well.

I’ve seen movies. I don’t know if it was Supersize Me or one of those types of documentaries that went around. It exposed the food systems in schools and how they would count ketchup as a vegetable and stuff like that. It’s nuts how the government controls the food that we eat as children. Some kids also depend on eating lunch. During COVID, a lot of people were struggling because their kids weren’t going to school and their whole food schedule was messed up as a result of it. Some schools started offering lunch programs during COVID where you could go pick up food. Maybe it isn’t the greatest food, but if that’s what you need to survive, it doesn’t matter if it tastes awful.

It’s a privilege to say food tastes awful in a way. Maybe that’s why I don’t have much of a memory. I feel like if I had to think about it, it’d be like something that I was forced to eat when I was growing up as a kid. I feel like once I became an adult, I had so much choice over what I was eating. It’s rare that I would come across awful food. Maybe I learned to eyeball it or read the description well enough. There are plenty of mediocre foods that we’ve had but in terms of awful, that’s a tough one for me.

Do you know what comes up though, another flash? Are you ready for this? Lunchables.

MGU 118 | How Music Affects Us

How Music Affects Us: If you’re listening to music that you know the lyrics to, that can be very distracting. It’s not great for your productivity because you’ll find yourself like singing along.


Those were great. Can we be honest as kids? It’s all relative because my parents never buy me Lunchables. They were forbidden, not forbidden like you can’t have them. They were pricey. It was crackers and small pieces of meat and cheese that you could have bought a ton of on its own. As a kid, before I went vegetarian, the ham Lunchables, I still remember what those tastes like. I thought they were incredible because they were like junk food I never got to enjoy.

It makes sense. The forbidden element of it. If we feel restricted or denied things, we do feel a deeper level of compulsion, desire and excitement for those things. I probably ate way too many damn Lunchables, and for you, it was this exotic special treat.

I saw a friend of mine and she took her two kids on a road trip. It was their first time having fast food and they didn’t like it. She was like, “Are you serious?” She told me her son picked out the fruit, whatever fast-food chain they went to had a kid’s meal with fruit. He picked out the fruit and handed her back the rest of it and didn’t want it. She also said that he might have been stuffed on other snacks and things that he was eating previously. It is interesting how sometimes we want things because we don’t ever get them. Sometimes since we don’t have them, we don’t even want them. Food is always so fascinating in that sense.

That’s a whole other topic about the nature of desire, attraction and wanting things. That I feel I could parlay into a whole other subject, which we’ll probably spend that into a future episode. For now, we are wrapping this one. Shout out to our sponsor, BiOptimizers. We are absolutely loving their products. If you’re interested in checking out their entire product lineup, you can go to their website. You can use our special coupon code, which is WELLEVATR10 to save 10% on your order. We are also on all of the social media platforms. We’re going to be putting out more content there. Whitney is also going to be putting up more content on her road trip. You can go to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, it’s @Wellevatr. Until next time, thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. We will catch you for another episode.


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