I don’t like noise.

I find it incredibly difficult to focus when the jangly flotsam of normal family life is buzzing about. Even the smallest sound can derail a thought, especially if I’m writing or developing an idea.

Sometimes ear buds and Spotify help. I concentrate best when I’m listening to very familiar music: if my brain already knows the curves and bumps of the sound it’s hearing, it comfortably fades into the background. But sometimes even that doesn’t work, because the competing noise still filters through.

Recently, my friend Chris’ neighbors decided to throw a loud party, and he was wondering how he could drown them out. That’s when I remembered the only thing that works when all else fails: white noise.

Here’s a thing called “White Noise Therapy Vol I” on Spotify. If you don’t have the paid version, the commercials can be a bit jarring, but otherwise it does the trick. It cancels out bellowing neighbors, screaming children and barking dogs alike. When the sounds around me are loud and persistent, this is my go-to album. It is exactly what you think it is: a whole lot of aural emptiness.


UPDATE: A friend read the article and offered this: Simplynoise.com. Selections for white, pink and brown noise!