In this episode, Dr. Phil joins me to talk about his book, B Sharp, Your Personal Journey To Expand The Mind, Enhance The Brain, And Age Well, which discusses how music influences our minds and bodies, particularly with exercise, such as our movement/gait, heart rate, the autonomic nervous system, faster recovery, and reduced cardiac stress.

I also share my thoughts on the importance of music around exercise, but not during it when I’ve always recommended listening to your body instead. Of course, studies show music during exercise appears to promote various supposed benefits, but these are associated with stimulating sympathetic activity, raising your heart rate, and risking overtraining. (Plus, certain kinds of music can always be harmful.) We also talk about healthy aging—a major topic in Dr. Phil’s book.

Check out Dr. Phil’s website and follow him on X (Twitter) by clicking here.


Dr. Phil is the father of endurance training using the MAF heart rate as a guide. [00:49]

Music influences exercise, heart rate, the autonomic nervous system, and can be used to speed recovery and reduce cardiac stress.  [02:19]

How did Phil go from a renowned fitness training expert to songwriter and musician? [06:19]

A very vivid dream led to Phil’s passion for song writing, leaving his coaching career behind.  [14:59]

If we don’t have passions, it’s a problem. [29:15]

Phil was a brain-injured child and struggled terribly in school. [30:52]

How does music affect the brain? [33:18]

There are benefits in using music for exercise but it is some type of music that Phil warns of. [38:22]

They use artificial intelligence to create songs now.  AI is certainly involved in movies as well. [46:59]

The brain keeps expanding and working better until we die. We need more nourishing music.  [50:49]

Hip hop music can be controversial but the artist is expressing themself freely. [59:58]

What are the dangers from music and exercise? [01:03:51]

Music helps us be in the Alpha state which is a desirable state. [01:12:48]



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B.Rad Podcast:

Dr. Phil (00:00:00):
And I write about pacing in the book. ’cause it’s a wonderful way to get your brain to go into an alpha state. Hmm. We, we get these aha moments when we pace quite often.

Brad (00:00:11):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three, world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey. Talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Brad (00:00:49):
Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy a most amazing and thoughtful show from my main man, Dr. Phil Maffetone. He is the pioneer of aerobic-based endurance training for decades. He’s coached some of the world’s greatest athletes, including my contemporaries that dominated triathlon, Mike Pigg and Mark Allen. And he had such a profound influence on my career from following the Maffetone principles and slowing down and taking care of my body and emphasizing aerobic development instead of the overly stressful patterns that I was engaged in when I was a professional triathlete.

Brad (00:01:27):
And I had great success following his principles and have been a devoted adherent ever since. And he makes such great distinctions in his body of work. And numerous books that he’s written, uh, the distinction between fitness and health. No, they’re not the same. And you can trash your health in pursuit of fitness. He has a book titled The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing, which I think is the most comprehensive of his work. And he talks all about heart rate training and you’ll learn about the maximum aerobic function, the MAF heart rate that finally after decades of Phil pounding the drum and discussing how important this is to slow down and emphasize aerobic development and how it’s worked for the great endurance athletes in every sport for decades. And finally is being acknowledged as important by the masses, who by and large have overtrained for years and years.

Brad (00:02:19):
We’ve talked a lot and you can find our past shows, especially on the Primal Endurance Podcasts, where we get into the details of endurance training. But this occasion is to discuss Phil’s new or, career shift into the world of music. And you are not going to believe the incredible starting point for this direct pivot that he had from his immersion into the health and fitness scene and plunging into the music scene. It’s absolutely stunning. And I want you to gather around your young impressionable college students that you can corral to listen to this account where he wakes up one day from a dream and realizes that he is destined to write songs with no experience whatsoever. And being a very prominent lecturer, author, speaker on endurance training and racing and fitness, uh, with a long career as a chiropractor and hands-on healer.

Brad (00:03:13):
And it’s a true story, and it leads you to appreciate the power of the cosmic energy of the planet and all this woowoo stuff that a lot of times we discount the manifestation of your goals and dreams and the tremendous importance of pursuing your passions and listening to these voices, rather than the suppressing, measuring, judging voices of the outside world. So Phil indeed woke up from a dream, decided to become a songwriter, and you will not believe what happened four days later. It will absolutely blow your mind. And it has to do with the number widely regarded as one of the greatest music producers of all time. Mr. Rick Rubin. He and Phil have been tight buddies for a long time because Phil helped Rick improve his health. Now Rick’s on the best seller list with his book, uh, talking about some of the similar concepts about pursuing your passions and tapping in to your creative expression.

Brad (00:04:12):
So we’re going to talk about Phil’s new book, B Sharp. But before that, we get to blow your mind with this incredible revelation of the importance of pursuing your passions. And so his book titled, B Sharp, what a clever title. It discusses how music influences exercise, heart rate, the autonomic nervous system, and can be used to speed recovery and reduce cardiac stress. And Phil also throws down on some of the crappy music that’s out there and how bad music can actually harm your brain and how important it is to scrutinize your choices and know he’s not a cranky old guy who’s discounting the value of the hip hop artistry or the new stuff that often the older generation discounts. But he’s really against formulaic pop, formulaic pop music like commercial jingles and stuff on the charts that’s plugging into kind of this lowest common denominator music appreciation.

Brad (00:05:10):
So here we hear from a true songwriter, singer, performer, and health expert, the one and only Dr. Phil Maffetone. Please enjoy the show and listen to it again and again, especially if you are wrestling with the importance of pursuing your passions and how to do so. Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil Maffetone, I’m so glad to connect with you. Your name comes up so frequently when we’re talking about endurance training and the principles and the widespread acceptance of the MAF heart rate these days, which is so nice. I’m sure very nice for you to see after decades of trying to present this counterculture message to the hard driving endurance athlete. But, this conversation’s gonna go in a different direction ’cause that’s the kind of guy you are. So I wanna, I wanna welcome you and we’re gonna find out what you’re up to. We’re gonna learn how to be sharp and have all kinds of fun. So glad, glad to join you again, Phil.

Dr. Phil (00:06:09):
Thanks, Brad. This is a pleasure to be with you again. It’s been, it’s been too long, of course. But, uh, here we are and this is always a lot of fun.

Brad (00:06:19):
So I think your followers probably know that you made this incredible career shift of waking up from a dream one day, was it in 2002 or something like that. And, all of a sudden, this health and fitness expert and lifelong, uh, healing physician turned to the music world. And, that’s really fascinating and I think of interest to a lot of people these days as we have kind of more ability to broaden our horizons and pursue different careers and, and dabble in this and that. And here you are with this, you’re, you’re probably the most unlikely person to do it because you were well established. You weren’t 27, you were older than that. But maybe you can take us through, you know, a little, a little backstory of this long career in health and fitness and athletic training and coaching, and then how you stumbled in to the music scene. And then we’re gonna kind of merge everything together and talk about the new book and, and carry on.

Dr. Phil (00:07:22):
Yeah, it’s a long story which, uh, I won’t, I won’t bore you with here, but, you know, the book is sort of a story, but, um, my, my, my long health and fitness career w was wonderful. But it was going undergoing evolutions all along the way from the beginning. Um, I never stopped changing. I never stopped expanding into other sports, for example. I worked in almost all sports and I even worked with race horses. So waking up one day as a songwriter was very interesting, to say the least. And I thought myself that I was changing careers. It was such a powerful passion. It was an organic act. It was unplanned it, and it just happened. I just knew right away that the passion was so intense, and I had experienced intense passions in the past and, and knew that, you know, you don’t ignore them.

Dr. Phil (00:08:43):
And so I realized I can’t do this songwriter thing while I’m doing this other health and fitness thing. And so I thought I was changing careers, actually. And, and it turned out that I wasn’t, not surprisingly to me, is that I was just evolving even more than I had been previous. And, now I was getting into music and did come full, full circle on a number of occasions and realized that, gee, I’m, you know, I certainly haven’t left the health, health and fitness arena. I’ve just added to it with the music and the brain part was a big part of what I always did. The brain part was always a, a hard sell. Um, especially the athletes. Hmm. You know, the brain’s the most important part of the athlete. And when you say that to athletes, I don’t know, some, they used to get confused.

Dr. Phil (00:09:45):
I think they’re more aware today of how, obviously how important the brain is to sports, every aspect of sport. And so if you have a better brain, you’re gonna be a better athlete. It’s really as simple as that. And so, you know, I I, I did my thing, ran off to LA to learn songwriting, you know, and I realized I had to be a singer too. So now I was a singer songwriter. I realized I had to learn, how to navigate through a studio to record my songs. So I learned that. And then somebody said, Hey, you know, a great song is half writing a great song. The other half is performing it in front of people, <laugh>. And only then will, you know what your song is all about. Hmm. And man, I mean, I had a, I had a very long successful career in lecturing, and I knew how important the connection with your audience was.

Dr. Phil (00:10:58):
And I got to the point where I was giving lectures based on, yeah, I’m gonna kind of talk about this stuff. Here’s the title of the lecture. Okay, I’ll kind of stick with that. But I’m gonna let the audience guide me because they’re here to, you know, to hear me. And I wanna talk about what they wanna hear. And by watching them being, being a very, visual, you know, my, my whole assessment process in sports was based on observation. I want to see what this athlete looked like that tells me more than what the athlete can tell me in terms of, you know, what, what’s hurting or what’s not working right. Or, um, whatever. And, and the music was the same way. I write about similar stories in the book about, um, I remember the first time, and I remember the first time in a lecture as well, seeing somebody who was actually listening to me. And, and I was capturing this person, and I knew I was gonna somehow influence that person’s health and and fitness. And the feeling of that is, is beyond description.

Brad (00:12:22):

Dr. Phil (00:12:22):
And it fortunately happened, uh, many times with on the lecture circuit. But in music, when it first happened, it was, I mean, I cried. It was, it was, it was, you know, the evolution that just exploded, my brain. And, the things we live for in music.

Brad (00:12:46):
I’m thinking of some opposite occasions that have happened to me when lecturing to a live audience, where I look out into quite a large audience and I see one person who’s fallen asleep, and it totally freaks me out. And just, I break my concentration. I keep zapping over to the sleeping face. But you’re supposed to, you know, the advice for public speaking is like, lock into even an individual person who looks really, you know, devoted. And it helps you get that energy flowing and get your confidence. And I just always break when I see the opposite anyway, as an aside, but <laugh>, I wanna go.

Dr. Phil (00:13:21):
It’s a good, well, for me, it’s a good, it’s a good thing when I see that, because I often, in the sports, you know, and, and health lectures, I often talk about the symptom of falling asleep during meetings and lectures and falling asleep after lunch in your office as part of carbohydrate intolerance. And, I learned to do it really carefully in, in a lecture room where there were people falling asleep, <laugh>. And I would always see them. And I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t point to them, but I’d say there’s probably a few people falling asleep right now, and it wakes them up. Like, it’s just, it’s just wonderful <laugh>. Um, so that, that’s something you could <laugh> You can try.

Brad (00:14:11):
I could try that.

Dr. Phil (00:14:13):
Yeah. With music, you don’t, you don’t usually have that.

Brad (00:14:17):

Dr. Phil (00:14:17):
It’s a much more attentive audience. Especially, you know, if you’re on the circuit where you’re doing conferences, um, and people are getting license renewal, well, they have to get license renewal, they have to go to a conference. Well, this one’s convenient. I’m gonna, I’m gonna go to that one. You know, and I, I, I don’t have to pay attention. I just have to sign the sheet every time I go in and out. And it, it’s a sad situation, the things that we’re made to do to meet society’s needs.

Brad (00:14:51):

Dr. Phil (00:14:53):
Um, but yeah, it’s a, it’s a <laugh>. That’s a whole nother world.

Brad (00:14:59):
So take us back to the first time that it hit you in the face that you were to become a songwriter, or that you needed to write a song. Where did that, where did that hit you from?

Dr. Phil (00:15:13):
I don’t know where it hit me from. I certainly when I, in my mid-teens became obsessed with music,

Dr. Phil (00:15:23):
And of course, in the sixties, there was good reason to be obsessed with the music because there were albums coming out seemingly every day that were beyond amazing, as you know. And so I became a real intense consumer of music. And it, it just blossomed very quickly from the beginning into all types of music. And so, um, that, that was a great thing for my brain. It was very helpful thing for my brain. And I knew the power of music. And, it continued. And I continued to, to, you know, to deal with the, the, the, the trash the industry started putting out and the whole, all the, all the, you know, the scams about, well, we’re not having vinyl anymore. We’re gonna have,

Dr. Phil (00:16:24):
You know, we’re gonna have these little cassette tapes, and we’re gonna have these big cassette tapes, and then we’re gonna have these CDs. And now we’re, you know, now we have streaming. And, the scams keep getting bigger. But it does make music available to more people. So potentially there’s, there’s great benefit there. So, waking up as a songwriter? You know, I tried to play music. I tried to learn the guitar and the piano, and I, you know, to graduate the, the sixties, you had to know three chords on a guitar. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (00:16:59):

Dr. Phil (00:16:59):
So I graduated the sixties and, but never, never really could get much beyond that. And I, I kind of gave up and I, I somehow acquired guitars along the way, which is a whole nother story. And they would usually spend their lives in my closet somewhere once in a while, I’d take ’em out and play and think, I’m gonna, you know, now I could play, and then my fingers would hurt so much, and I’d be so annoyed. And then waking up that one morning, um, and it was, it was 20 years, when I started writing this book. It had been 20 years. My first chapter is called, it was 20 years ago today, in fact. And I woke up not only with the passion to be a songwriter, but having studied Darwin in biology and the animal kingdom. I knew all, all animals sang, and I knew that all animals sang because they were individuals, and they had individual songs. And I somehow instantly felt, selfish that I, I’m consuming all this music, but I’m not giving anything back.

Brad (00:18:31):

Dr. Phil (00:18:32):
That, that just amplified the intensity of this, this whole process.

Brad (00:18:38):
So you’re, you’re a lifelong enthusiast, like many of us with little dabbling here and there, probably like many people. But you had meanwhile been building this career as a scientist and a physician and a researcher. And so, you literally one day woke up and realized how selfish you had been helping athletes train properly and stay healthy while they pursue fitness. And then it was time to put pen to paper. And so when that happened, did you experience an outpouring of, did you write five songs the first day? Or how did the process go when you, when you got this burst of energy and inspiration?

Dr. Phil (00:19:19):
No, I didn’t. I, I, I started pacing <laugh> and I write about pacing in the book. ’cause it’s a wonderful way to get your brain to go into an alpha state.

Brad (00:19:31):

Dr. Phil (00:19:31):
We get these aha moments when we pace quite often. And, I paced for four days and wondered, I, I didn’t question about being a songwriter. I was a songwriter all of a sudden. I didn’t, you know,

Brad (00:19:53):
Did you inform anybody of this? Uh,

Dr. Phil (00:19:55):
Not, not yet, but I was pacing, trying to figure out, okay, how do I, how do I make this transition? And I concluded that I was gonna quit my career in health and fitness. Okay. I’m gonna quit my career. Well, what does a songwriter really do? I mean, I, the, the people that I was attracted to most in my musical listening world from the sixties were songwriters, singer, songwriters.

Brad (00:20:32):

Dr. Phil (00:20:33):
Dylan the Beatles, you know, um, Buddy Holly, you know, Joni Mitchell. And so I knew there was something different about singer songwriters, but I still didn’t, it was like, okay, now what? And on the, on the fourth day, this guy named Rick Rubin called me and he said, I just read one of your books and I wanna consult with you.

Brad (00:21:11):
Oh my gosh. Phil, are you saying this is random? You didn’t have a, a previous relationship with Rick?

Dr. Phil (00:21:17):
No, didn’t know Rick.

Brad (00:21:17):
Oh my goodness.

Dr. Phil (00:21:19):
I wasn’t even sure who Rick was <laugh>. I knew the music world. I knew the songs. I didn’t know the, you know, who the record label was. I didn’t know the Produ. I knew George Martin with, with The Beatles, because he was such an amazing figure. But I didn’t really, I didn’t know that David Crosby produced Joni Mitchell’s first album. You know, I, I lived in the country and we didn’t have magazines, so I didn’t, you know, I just had a radio

Brad (00:21:49):

Dr. Phil (00:21:49):
And, um, and I, I started, you know, cutting lawns and raking leaves and shoveling snow to make money to buy an album. So that was all I knew, the music. So I said to Rick, well, I don’t do that anymore because I just became a songwriter. <laugh> <laugh>.

Brad (00:22:13):

Dr. Phil (00:22:14):
And so, and we laughed and we, you know, Rick’s a very quiet guy like me. And we ended up talking for a couple of hours and agreed that he would help me with songwriting, and I would help him.

Brad (00:22:28):
You would come outta retirement

Dr. Phil (00:22:29):

Brad (00:22:30):
To help someone get healthy <laugh>.

Dr. Phil (00:22:33):
Yeah. Well, I’ll make an exception, Rick.

Brad (00:22:35):
Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Phil (00:22:35):
And as, as it would turn out, I would, I would leverage my previous career to be with some really wonderful, um, singer songwriters. Um, ’cause I, now, I was in LA uh, soon after that conversation with Rick, I went to LA and, um, um, and Rick’s the kind of guy when he, when he reads a really good book, he buys a whole big box of them, and he gives them out to everybody.

Brad (00:23:06):
So, so they, so you’re, you get a sales bump on The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing, or in fitness and health. Yeah.

Dr. Phil (00:23:11):
I did. And, uh, but most importantly, when I got there, people knew who I was. I didn’t have to try to coax them into, you know, well, here’s a, you know, this is, this is a way you could eat better and write better music. This is a way, you know, touring musicians are endurance athletes.

Brad (00:23:32):
Mm, for sure.

Dr. Phil (00:23:33):
So, if, if they’re not trained properly, they’re not gonna tour very well, they’re not gonna play very well. Um, and so, you know, it was a very simple connection, the endurance connection, the health connection. I wanna be, you know, how, how do we write better? How do we solve this problem of writer’s block? You, you, you know, you, you, you develop a better brain, which can be overnight. I mean, it can be very quick. And so all the things I was applying to athletes, I was applying to musicians as well. So it’s not, you know, it’s, we’re talking about the brain, the human brain, whether we’re an endurance athlete or a, you know, a, a a musician. It, it’s, it’s kind of the same thing.

Brad (00:24:29):
It’s, it’s pretty amazing to think about. I mean, if you’re not a believer in, uh, you know, the, the forces of energy that are invisible in the world and coincidences and things like that, this is a great story. Especially I’m thinking of like, you know, a college student audience would love to hear this as they ponder their career choices. And I remember feeling all these outside pressures and wondering, well, that’s a bad idea. You know, instead of just honoring my, my inspired purpose as Dr. John DiMartini calls it, to go and do things that you’re incredibly interested in and are compelled to try. And those things lead to, for example, a phone call four days later from the leading music producer, <laugh> in Hollywood, uh, calling you out of the blue. It’s incredible. And, um, if you wanna discount Phil’s story, people go ahead, because you’ll be locked and, you know, disconnected, uh, from the forces. And I have not considered myself to be a big believer in this woowoo type of energy. But the more that you hear stories like yours, you’re compelled to sit down and think about that and maybe reflect on your own life and how, you know, doors have opened for you. Wherever you’ve gotten to this point today, listener, probably were some fortuitous doors opening that, you know, you couldn’t have dreamed about or couldn’t have replicated with a whole bunch of sweat and hard work.

Dr. Phil (00:25:50):
Yeah. And, and it’s a good point. And, and, and the, the woo woo stuff is sort of, you know, we have to look at it, and I look at it scientifically. In fact, clinically, in fact, I have two, two quick stories I’ll share that I put in the book. One is, that I referenced psychologist Carl Jung, um, numerous times in the book. And in, in this particular case, in this, in, in this situation, Carl Jung would say, well, we have a creative consciousness.

Brad (00:26:33):

Dr. Phil (00:26:34):
Creative subconsciousness, in fact, and songwriting is another example of that. We have songs passed down from the very beginning of humanity to us today. And that’s a great example of creative subconsciousness or, you know, this, this con we’re all connected.

Brad (00:27:02):

Dr. Phil (00:27:02):
You know, and, and I think people know that. And there’s nothing psychic or woo woo ish or, um, bizarre. It might seem that way, but there’s nothing strange about Rick calling me. In fact, we could <laugh>, we could, we could discuss it from a statistical standpoint. What are the odds that Rick would’ve called me? They’re probably pretty good.

Brad (00:27:32):
What are the odds that Rick would’ve thought you were ridiculous when you said, you’ve retired, you missed me by four days, and now I’m a songwriter, <laugh>,

Dr. Phil (00:27:40):
And he hangs up the phone, <laugh>.

Brad (00:27:42):
Right. What is this guy?

Dr. Phil (00:27:44):
The other, the other story I wanna share is a really important one for, for, for people to hear. Um, and I learned this the hard way, you know, lifetimes ago, when I, when I do, music in the brain lecture, or if I’m doing a show, um, I’ll sometimes, you know, kind of preview a song or preview my performance depending on how someone introduces me. The story of waking up as a songwriter one day, and, you know, leaving my career at the peak of my career and running off to, to Los Angeles like a kid from the sixties would do at age 17.

Brad (00:28:32):

Dr. Phil (00:28:32):
I talk about it and I see how people in the audience respond, and some of them kind of shake their head and they just, you know, and, and finally one day, one of them said, I wish I could do that.

Brad (00:28:51):

Dr. Phil (00:28:52):
A heckler. And I said, I said, you mean you wish you could follow your passions? And it was a little harsh, but I, I just, I, I hear that a lot from people, not so much in a live audience conversing back and forth, but, um, people say, yeah, I wish I could do that. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (00:29:15):

Dr. Phil (00:29:15):
We don’t have passions, it’s a problem. Mm-Hmm. And if we can’t follow our passions, it’s a bigger problem. And I mean, the whole, you know, in our society, people are more interested in getting on Facebook and talking about their breakfast than talking about their passions.

Brad (00:29:37):

Dr. Phil (00:29:38):
Um, and we don’t teach it, you know, with homeschooling, it’s taught, in fact, many, many, uh, uh, approaches and homeschooling is geared not around an agenda for the kid Mm-Hmm.

Brad (00:29:54):

Dr. Phil (00:29:54):
Around what is their passion.

Brad (00:29:56):
Yeah. Ben Greenfield talks about this with his new book, um, and he calls it uns. I think the term is unschooling, and

Dr. Phil (00:30:03):

Brad (00:30:04):
Part of it’s where the kid just decides what they’re gonna do each day. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And then, you know, you wrap up at the end of the semester and see if they can read. And it’s really, it’s unfortunately still a fringe part of, uh, the whole system, but it’s worth thinking about, especially if you have a kid that’s not thriving in the front row where, you know, maybe 10% of the students’ school is made for them. And it’s, it’s, you know, an ideal sailing along into acceptance into numerous prestige prestigious schools. And then they go there and thrive and they go into a career. But for the rest of us that get labeled and discarded and, and bored and are jumping around too much, it’s because it’s, uh, an industrialized system that it’s not a good fit

Dr. Phil (00:30:52):
It’s a terrible fit. And, um, you know, you’re talking to someone who was a brain injured kid, probably from birth, based on what my mother told me, sugar water was my first food, and probably my cuisine for,

Brad (00:31:05):

Dr. Phil (00:31:05):
Know, a while until I got this white pasty baby cereal,

Brad (00:31:12):

Dr. Phil (00:31:12):
Was basically sugar.

Brad (00:31:14):

Dr. Phil (00:31:14):
And, again, I woke up. I didn’t wake up until my mid-teens. I mean, that was a long, horrible experience. And school was one of the worst situations I was ever in. And, and I, looking back and in writing this book, uh, there’s a lot of autobiographical stuff that I’ve never written about, never even talked about in public. And it was interesting, it made me think back, and I started having memories about being in school as a seven year old, or as a 10 year old, and all the things they would tell my parents when I had to go in for a conference with the psychologist or the assistant principal, and why I was such a bad student. Um, I was meditating. I was going into alpha in class Mm-Hmm. I was looking out the window and I was on autopilot. And I, my brain, you know, I was trying to get, I was trying to escape. But I, you know, now that I’ve, of course, I, I’ve got kids, but I have grandkids who are all homeschooled.

Brad (00:32:24):

Dr. Phil (00:32:25):
And, and now that they’re getting old, I’m not, but they’re getting old. And now they’re graduating high school after, you know, their sophomore year and their test scores are off the charts. And they’re getting, uh, now they’re getting, accepting, they’re getting, um, what’s it called?

Brad (00:32:56):
Oh, you know,

Dr. Phil (00:32:57):
They’re, when

Brad (00:32:57):
They’re admission to college, you mean like recruited

Dr. Phil (00:33:00):
And stuff? Well, they’re free admission and they’re getting scholarships. Yeah. And they’re getting, you know, they’re getting FI mean, it’s just, it’s, the system works. Mm.

Brad (00:33:09):

Dr. Phil (00:33:10):
Know, and we, we could talk to Ben about, you know, his, his take on it, but it’s basically, you know, we, we we’re on the same page in that regard.

Brad (00:33:18):
So in the book, B Sharp, pretty clever as course, what, what would you expect from Phil Maffetone <laugh>? Um, maybe you can talk about some of these things you’ve touched on about how music affects the brain and how we can kind of cultivate a greater enjoyment, appreciation and, and health benefit from our consumption of music. Assuming we’re not talking to a lot of music performers, but we all, we all enjoy music, or hopefully do.

Dr. Phil (00:33:49):
Yeah. And, and for an, for an athlete, this is particularly important. This is important for everyone if you’re a human, even if you’re a mammal. But, or any other mammal. But if you’re, if you’re human, this is, this is a big part of our existence. And we, we, of course, the brain is naturally oriented to movement. Movement is, is life, as athletes know, and we wanna move, we wanna move properly. And when we don’t, we’re told through injury or, um, illness. And, so we’re hardwired for movement, but we’re hardwired for movement because we’re hardwired for music. We’re born music, we’re born singing. Babies respond to music even before birth. Mm-Hmm. And so, when we, when we hear music, even if we’re lying still, we start moving. Mm-Hmm. The motor cortex sends messages to the muscles and says contract. Now we may be trying to relax, and so we may not move our arm or our legs, but we are contracting the muscles that do that.

Brad (00:35:15):

Dr. Phil (00:35:15):
And so, movement coordinated, proper movement is such a powerful thing in sports, but it’s because it’s a powerful thing in music. So music is what gives us that connection, the, the rhythmic part of the brain. Um, and I hate to talk about brain parts because we have parts of our brains, but that’s an academic thing that we use to explain or, or teach or learn about the brain. The brain is all one thing. And it’s a, you know, music is about the only thing that stimulates the whole brain.

Dr. Phil (00:35:53):
And when they talk about music lighting up the brain, they were referring to FMRI studies and other high tech valuations where they could actually see on a screen what music is doing to all these different parts of the brain. And it’s the, the research is just phenomenal. Just phenomenal. And, um, so when, when we listen, uh, to music, we often, we often make connections between nerves, between neurons in the brain. And as soon as we make a connection that we’ve never made before, imagine we can make connections we’ve never made before by listening to a song. That’s an aha moment, that’s an intense alpha state. And what we’re, what we’re doing is expanding our mind. And it’s a, it’s an amazing thing. And expanding the mind is not some sixties psychedelic thing. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Um, it’s that too. It’s all the same thing. We’re making connections in the brain we’ve never made before.

Dr. Phil (00:37:07):
So we can hear better, we can see better, we can feel better, we heal up better, we move better. We’re a better athlete. And if that sounds a little bit like the Rock Opera, Tommy. Man, I kept thinking about that during the writing of this book because the book is like a long story, like the Rock Opera Tommy, and I’m in it, and I’m trying to get the reader to come in with me. And, I hope I’ve done that. But it’s, um, very much like my other books where I wanna explain things. And here’s how you, the reader can individualize this Mm-Hmm.

Brad (00:37:57):

Dr. Phil (00:37:57):
To help yourself. And I’m doing the same thing, but I’m doing it with music, I’m doing it with movement. I talk about exercise, and we can, we can touch on the exercise music thing in a minute because it’s so many people are hurting themselves with music through using it in relation to exercise. Um, well,

Brad (00:38:22):
I feel like Rick Rubin right now, ’cause those are the next two questions I was gonna ask you. Is how we, how we, you know, leverage music to make our exercise better and things to watch out for. And I know you have some, some harsh commentary on certain types of music that don’t go well in the Phil Maffetone book, and then some others that are, of course we have a broad range of tastes and preferences. But I’d love to get into those topics, uh, for the exercise audience especially.

Dr. Phil (00:38:50):
Let, do that. But, what, in terms of, of what does music do for the brain? It, it expands our mind. It, it gives us a better brain, and it can do that. When we listen to oldies and we all have personal oldies. We all have a song, uh, we can think about, we remember when we think about first falling in love, for example, or when we first went to college, or when we first, you know, got into high school, you know, what was the song, the big, the big hit that day? We remember these things. We don’t remember who was the president, or we don’t remember, you know, what you wore or you don’t remember a lot of things, but you remember the music. And so that’s a, that’s a, you know, imagine going back in time and having that feeling and being in love for the first time. That’s what music does to us. It enables us to time travel back to those times. The other thing music can do is it can offer a surprise to the brain. Surprise is one of the most powerful things to expand the mind.

Brad (00:40:06):

Dr. Phil (00:40:06):
If we can be surprised, that’s the ultimate aha moment. And we can get surprised simply by listening to a, a new song we’ve never heard before. And we may not like it, we may love it, but it’ll make connections in our brain between neurons that have never been made. And it’s another aha moment. So I recommend, if you’re a classical pianist, for example, and that’s all you do, and that’s all you listen to, I recommend to help expand your horizons, to help expand your personality. I’d recommend something like listening to Nirvana. Listen to one Nirvana song. And you may say, what is this guy Maffetone? This is crazy. But you might find that there’s much, much more in common with Nirvana than a piano concerto.

Brad (00:41:02):

Dr. Phil (00:41:02):
The same notes. There’s only a few of them. In fact, studies show that if, if we take people who are, who really dislike, hip hop and rap, or really dislike folk or dislike classical, and, and we show them the basics of hip hop, the basics of classical music, you know, what is this all about? Suddenly people start liking the genre.

Brad (00:41:34):

Dr. Phil (00:41:34):
Which is very interesting. So the surprise is something that we, we wanna, and that’s what we did in the sixties. And you remember this, you’re hearing, you know, so-and-so’s album for the first time. Wow, this is amazing. What a way to expand the mind. And there’s other, other things, of course, playing music is, is good too. And this is a book for musicians and non-musicians. Mm-Hmm. We’re all really musicians, <laugh>, but playing music as minimal as we can or want. Or if we’re a professional musician, there’s still things we can do to improve. So yeah, the your other question about, well, the one thing I thought about is that as wonderful as music is, music can hurt us.

Brad (00:42:30):

Dr. Phil (00:42:32):
And for one thing, um, there’s an industry, there’s a music industry that is the big brother of industries, just like big sugar, big tobacco, big shoe, you know, the, these, these conglomerates came along and they had human beings behind them that were, you know, trying to sell you things you don’t want, can’t afford

Brad (00:43:02):

Dr. Phil (00:43:04):
Or will hurt you. And they’re happy doing that. The music industry’s the same thing. And we can go back to the Monkeys in the early 1960s, you know, the industry said, Hey, these Beatles over there in England, they’re, they’re, they’re doing pretty well. Let’s, let’s hire some actors and call them, knock

Brad (00:43:26):
A group knock.

Dr. Phil (00:43:27):
Yeah. And, yeah. And we’ll, um, and then you had the AM/FM radio clash, you know, the bubblegum music and the singer songwriter music. And then you had, of course, elevator music.

Brad (00:43:44):

Dr. Phil (00:43:45):
Uh, you had, you had advertising jingles musically, because researchers have shown us that we get earworms and we can’t stop thinking about this horrible jingle.

Brad (00:43:59):
Mm. Works. So that’s a way of,

Dr. Phil (00:44:01):
They work.

Brad (00:44:01):
That’s an example of a harmful impact of music. I strongly agree, because I, I can’t stand when, um, you know, there’s a brand associated with some stupid jingle. And I still remember it years later. It’s like the, or, or the, um, you know, yes. The Introduction to The Brady Bunch, which, oh, isn’t that cute? We all grew up on the Brady Bunch. Well, it’s not that cute now, because there was so much, you know, sexism, prejudicial imagery, and, you know, dated, you know, values that were programmed into our brain. And, um, yeah. I can still sing the song with all the words. It makes me feel bad that, you know, I was, I was programmed in that manner. And I think you also have some harsh commentary about the formulaic music of today, which is generally a lot of the pop charts are, are, I guess, now I’m gonna tee you up, but like, they’re plugging into some melody that we’re already familiar with, and so we’re gonna, we’re gonna love it. Or something like that. What, what’s the, what are the damaging effects of music?

Dr. Phil (00:45:00):
It’s fake music. It’s fake music. It’s music by committee. I mean, I had an experience early in my songwriting career with, with a, a, a, a big company that, you know, liked some of my songs. And I talked about, you know, coming on board as, you know, they had a songwriting division. Okay. Could I, you know, would you hire me? You like my songs? Would you hire me? Well, they didn’t wanna hire me because my songs were already in my head. That was what was coming out. And for them, songwriting was, okay, it’s Monday, everybody listen up. We need a song for Susie B. And, here are the words you want to use. Here are the words You wanna avoid. Here’s the melodic range. Here’s the key. Make sure you get to the chorus in a minute and 36 seconds. And Phil, you and Bob and Jenny go into conference room B, and by the end of the day, have a song. And then we’ll talk about it in the morning, nine to five job. Hour off for lunch. You know, this is the, this is the top a hundred hot hits of the day. Mm-Hmm. There are a few singer songwriters in there that make it to those top a hundred hits. But for the most part, they’re, they’re industry songs and <laugh>. They happen to have the young girl and the young boy, these cute kids that they’re the next big thing. Mm.

Brad (00:46:33):

Dr. Phil (00:46:33):
You know, and as soon as they stop being a big thing based on consumer surveys, mm.

Brad (00:46:37):

Dr. Phil (00:46:37):
They get rid of them. And they hire a new young boy, young girl, and, you know, and, and write songs for them. They don’t even have to sing because the computers do all the work. And that’s another one of the unhealthy aspects of music, is artificial intelligence.

Brad (00:46:58):

Dr. Phil (00:46:59):
We are using artificial intelligence to create songs. It’s really sad. Now, you could say, when the digital world exploded, because we were able to mix music in the studio, we’re able to do things that we couldn’t do before with tape. That was sort of the beginning of artificial intelligence for music. But the artificial, the AI world is a very scary place. The AI people know that. And there’s been calls for limiting the progression of, you know, how far are we gonna go with this AI? And when is it gonna hurt us too much? Or, and will it be too late when that happens?

Brad (00:47:48):
Yeah. I guess the idea or your description of a formulaic pop song created in the conference room reminds me of a crappy Hollywood romantic comedy, which, you know, we’re, we’re so familiar with the Hollywood formula. We can even identify it on screen, realizing that the first act usually takes around 30 minutes. The second one takes 60. There’s an inflection point in the middle of that. And then the third act is a resolution that also takes 30. The hero has problems and he overcomes them, and gets love in the end after some tension in the relationship. And, uh, you know, you

Dr. Phil (00:48:22):
Could be a Hollywood, I mean, you’d be great.

Brad (00:48:24):
Yeah. I, that’s the formula I was fascinated about screenwriting and learned a lot about it many years ago. And it was, you know, a real shocker to realize that every movie I’d seen in, you know, the mainstream genres was following this three act formula with this, you know, arcing of the characters and stuff. And we know that it works and it draws us in. And that’s why the animated movies are the, you know, the biggest box office. ’cause they just plug right into the poor overlooked, uh, a kid in the group of kids. And we all relate and identify. And I don’t think that’s inherently, you know, destructive. And I would, I would ask you like, where is the cutoff point where if you know, I, I take the seven teenage girls to the Katy Perry concert for the birthday celebration, and they all have a great time and come home with memorabilia, you could consider that a positive experience. And some of the, most of the lyrics are uplifting and, and all those kind of positive attributes. Otherwise it wouldn’t be number one on the pop charts. But where’s that cutoff point where we can second guess and go, Hey, we’re just getting programmed with stupid commercial jingles that have spilled over into stupid pop star jingles that are designed to lure us in, get the music purchased and also buy the peripherals?

Dr. Phil (00:49:46):
Well, the cutoff point is when does this music hurt the brain? Or does this music hurt the brain? Or is the cutoff point when music hurts the brain? Mm-Hmm. Which is what I talk about in the book. There are things that hurt the brain. Um, you know, it’s as simple as that. And also, the cutoff point is when do we stop expanding our mind?

Brad (00:50:16):

Dr. Phil (00:50:16):
It’s, you know, we often hear, you know, when we get to be 20 and we’re, or whenever we graduate high school, we graduate college, and we get into the, you know, the workforce. We, and we stop learning. And we, in other words, we stop expanding our mind. We have the ability to expand our mind until the day we die. And if we do that, we keep getting a better and better brain and a healthier brain. So when we stop expanding our mind, we could call that a brain injury.

Brad (00:50:48):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,

Dr. Phil (00:50:49):
It’s like in sports, when we stop getting better, if we hit a plateau, that’s an abnormality. That means something. That’s a big red flag. Something’s wrong. Hello. You know, whether you’re doing an MAF test or whether you’re comparing your, your race results, when you stop making progress, something is wrong. And that that could be classified as an injury. And in this case, with music, it’s a brain injury and brain injuries, by definition. And in the book, I expanded and talk about brain injuries as a spectrum. We can have very minor brain injuries, or very serious brain injuries, like amusia where people have a diagnosed condition that’s a very antimusic condition.

Brad (00:51:46):
And you think you had that for a while?

Dr. Phil (00:51:48):
Oh, I had that, I had that for years.

Brad (00:51:52):

Dr. Phil (00:51:52):
Up until my mid-teens.

Brad (00:51:54):

Dr. Phil (00:51:55):
So an an example of a minor injury that I talk about in the book Brain injury is people who can’t hear lyrics in a song. Very common, fairly common. And it was really one of the first things for me that I discovered about myself. A that I couldn’t hear lyrics and I was embarrassed. I had to ask other people about, you know, what were these songs about? And, and one day I saved up enough money to buy the Sergeant Peppers album

Brad (00:52:42):
With the lyrics

Dr. Phil (00:52:44):
On the jacket. And they were the first, it was the first album to have the lyrics Yeah. On the back of the album. ’cause you, you know, the albums back then were big. They were works of art. I mean, they were incredible. And this had all the lyrics to all the songs. And so I thought, oh, that’s cool. And I put it on, and I’m kind of looking at the lyrics, and I was just, I was amazed. I was so amazed. I listened to the whole album, read the, the lyrics to the whole album, and I turned the album over and played it again and read the thing. And I did that over the next few days, several times. And I noticed, obviously, to me, I noticed I could hear lyrics in other songs now,

Brad (00:53:29):

Dr. Phil (00:53:29):
Even on transistor radios, <laugh>, those little,

Brad (00:53:36):
Oh, that’s interesting. I mean, I have, I have quite a hard time deciphering lyrics from many of my favorite artists. And then I really enjoy the chance to go look them up on the internet. ’cause when we were kids, we would argue over what ELO was saying when they talked really quickly during Turn to Stone. And we’d, you know, we, we’d challenge each other. ’cause I thought I heard something, and you could never find the answer back then, <laugh>. And so you just had to think it was something else. And then, you know, two decades later, I realized, oh, that’s what they’re saying there when they’re talking quickly. But, um,

Dr. Phil (00:54:08):
Yeah. Yeah. I had, well, so to fix this problem in yourself, you can go online and look at the lyrics Mm-Hmm. And then listen to the music.

Brad (00:54:16):
Oh, I memorize them. And then I, I recite the rap songs to the delight of everyone I’m traveling with in the car. Yeah.

Dr. Phil (00:54:22):
Oh, yes. That’s, but, but it’s, it’s not that we’re, we’re fixing a problem that now enables us to hear lyrics in a song that’s nice to do, but it fixes a lot of other brain issues. It makes connections you’ve never made. And all the areas in the brain around the functions that enable the brain to distinguish between the lyrical meaning, the audio, the audible meaning, and all the other sounds you’re hearing.

Brad (00:54:59):

Dr. Phil (00:54:59):
All the areas around that part of the brain are gonna be influenced as well, because that’s how the brain works. You, you’ve, you stimulate one area and the blood flow goes in, it affects areas, um, surrounding it. And so, um, that’s important. I, I remember, um, hearing James Taylor’s, Sweet Baby James, and I swore he was saying, beet greens and blues are the colors I choose. And I thought, oh, that’s cool. He’s, he’s a cool guy. He eats beet greens. ’cause now I was into nutrition.

Brad (00:55:43):

Dr. Phil (00:55:44):
Um, and I thought, oh, he’s into nutrition too. And I’d seen him a year before, before the album came out in some obscure bar in Philadelphia, some, some, the guy. And I said, come hitchhike down from New York, and it’s, it’s expensive. It’s $5. And we go in and it’s like this, you know, 150 people crammed into this bar. And we’re sitting there and wait, and then, and this guy, this big tall guy with long hair comes out holding two guitars. He gets up on this little, you know, platform of a stage, puts a guitar down, sits down, plays for two hours, you know, switching guitars, doesn’t look at anybody, doesn’t say anything.

Dr. Phil (00:56:26):
And he finishes his last song, gets up and leaves. And I just thought, wow, that’s really cool. By now, I was really getting into music. And, it was like a, a few months later when the album came out, and I thought, wow, that’s the guy I saw in Philadelphia. But, but these, you know, these, these brain injuries are important because they affect us physically, biochemically, and mental emotionally in many, many ways. And, we want, you know, our brain is very different than the body. Our brain can keep expanding, can keep working, working better and better until the day we die. Obviously, our body can’t do that.

Brad (00:57:20):
And is this a scientifically validated contention? Because we often hear everything starts to go and, oh, gee, I’m forgetting all these facts now at this age, and I can’t remember the show, the name of the show I watched last night. I must be getting old. And

Dr. Phil (00:57:36):
You’re right. You hear that we,

Brad (00:57:38):
We disparage that all the time.

Dr. Phil (00:57:39):
Yeah. The problem is we confuse common with normal. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, this is common because the average person has that common problem. They’re losing their mind. Literally, they’re losing their mind, they’re losing their brain’s ability to make connections. And so the memory starts to fade. They’re losing their ability to expand their mind. So they have no reason to, to remember anything. I could, I could tell you without a doubt that my brain works better today than it’s ever worked in my life.

Brad (00:58:17):

Dr. Phil (00:58:18):
And it’s scary sometimes. Literally. It’s scary sometimes the things that I remember, the things that I could figure out,

Brad (00:58:28):

Dr. Phil (00:58:28):
The logic of life, you know, the, a lot of my music is it’s storytelling, it’s social justice, love songs. But it, it’s philosophy. It’s, it’s a, about all the things we should be doing as human beings. And as a result, I say right from the start that this book is gonna help you be a better person, but it’s gonna help you in society. And it could even save the planet. Because when we think about ruining the planet, we think about all the games the politicians play, like calling it climate change, or calling it this or it. The problem is, our brains. We’re all one big family, as Gandhi said, we’re all cousins. As I said in my song, Kissing Cousins, we’re all cousins. And let’s kiss and make up.

Brad (00:59:36):

Dr. Phil (00:59:37):
And, you know, just stop all this crap.

Brad (00:59:43):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Dr. Phil (00:59:44):
Because if we wanna save our society, if we wanna save humanity, if we wanna save the planet, having a healthy brain is the first step. And things are not going that way.

Brad (00:59:58):
We need to bring more nourishing music into the mix. And speaking of that, you know, we, we’ve heard these genres criticized routinely, the older generation will, you know, disparage heavy metal music for decades because it’s so harmful to your brain. And even the criticism against, let’s say the hip hop artists where there’s some misogynistic themes and things like that. So I wonder what your commentary is, where an artist is expressing themself freely, they’re representing their plight and their condition. And some of the lyrics can be deemed defensive by, uh, mainstream cultural standards. Is this, a potentially healthy exercise to indulge in this type of music that could be called controversial? I guess you could say.

Dr. Phil (01:00:46):
We gotta burn all the books. You know, I mean, you remember, you know, the, the, the image of that DJ in Alabama somewhere where he was breaking the rock and roll. Mm-Hmm. We’re not playing rock and roll on this station. Um,

Brad (01:01:05):
Then the sales go up for the artist dramatically when hey get that type of attention

Dr. Phil (01:01:08):
Yes But it’s a liberty thing. You know, music is a liberty. I want my liberty. Give me liberty or give me death, give me liberty. And in the form of music or books or arts, the arts in general, the arts are always getting squashed and

Brad (01:01:27):

Dr. Phil (01:01:27):
And kept back and, and impaired. Because we don’t want our children to see a Picasso painting. Oh, dear. How could they, you know, it’s sad. And music, of course, is a way to tell the stories that the media will not tell, or that the politicians will not tell. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, just look at what it did in the sixties. It was a huge revolution of musical change, but it was a revolution of social change. They often go together, the French Revolution and the music and the so forth. So, I mean, if we don’t wanna burn books, you know, if we don’t wanna, if we wanna restrict music, if we wanna restrict artwork, that’s very anti-human.

Brad (01:02:29):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,

Dr. Phil (01:02:30):
Look at the artwork on the cave paintings. I mean, should we black that out? Black certain things out with, you know, with magic marker?

Brad (01:02:44):
<laugh> <laugh>. I don’t think anyone’s brought up that example. Very interesting. Oh,

Dr. Phil (01:02:51):
Right. Give time.

Brad (01:02:52):
Yeah. Yeah. On the other hand, beware of this, um, formulaic approach that is praying to the lowest common denominator, I suppose. And maybe the lyrics don’t have that social significance that you value so highly with your own songwriting. And, and so many other artists do. True artists.

Dr. Phil (01:03:16):
Well, it didn’t come out, you know, I mean, I write songs like most songwriters. It just flows out. We’re in a, it’s a state of meditation.

Brad (01:03:25):

Dr. Phil (01:03:26):
It just, it just flows out. And, and that’s exactly how all the other animals sing. Whales and mice and everyone including songbirds. And, um, two things before we get off on too many tangents, I wanna come back to the exercise.

Brad (01:03:50):

Dr. Phil (01:03:51):
Dangers of music related and, but the songbirds I mentioned. So here’s where we’re at today. If we look at the studies done on songbirds, what they’ve shown scientists is that, uh, songbirds that are on their way to extinction have a very interesting thing happening to them. They’re losing their music, their songs are deteriorating. And if you look at the studies, there’s, um, um, you know, melodic line and frequency of, you know, all, all kinds of musical impairments. If you look at human music, and there’s studies done on human music in very similar ways, human music since the seventies has undergone the same changes as the songbird going extinct. Now, is that coincidence? We don’t believe in coincidence. Uh, is that meaningful? It sure is meaningful. Look at, look at what’s going on in the world. Hmm. Um, so the, the, the, the music that is coming out of an individual human is a, is an expression of his or her personality. And for those of us who write a lot of songs, we have a lot of expressions of many personalities. As Carl Jung would say,

Dr. Phil (01:05:28):
Art is an expression of our multiple person. We all have multiple personalities. Normally. That’s not mental illness. That’s no, we’re all different people. We know that we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re fathers and, sons and partners and teachers. And, uh, you know, we can just, um, it’s endless. We can list a all of our doings, which all have different personalities. Um, and songwriting is an expression of that. And I wa was always fascinated with the media and Bob Dylan from the beginning, and it was, it was comic, it was like the Beatles, they treated it in a different way than Dylan The Beatles just goofed on the media. But Dylan, you know, he made things worse. Like, what does this, what does this song mean? What does this lyric mean? And sometimes he’d say, I don’t know, I don’t know what I write. Sometimes until years later when I say, oh, that’s what that song’s about. Um, I

Brad (01:06:36):
Thought he was being a wise guy, but he was telling the truth

Dr. Phil (01:06:38):
Yeah. If, if you wanna know about Bob Dylan, listen to his music. Mm-Hmm. It’s all there. And the same with me. You know, if you wanna know about me, what am I like? What, you know, what makes me tick? It’s all there.

Brad (01:06:56):
And we can get some good interactions at, is it Phil Maffetone.com? We can click over to your music library?

Dr. Phil (01:07:04):
No, that’s the health and fitness part. The music.

Brad (01:07:07):
Okay. So we go there to get our supplements and great blog articles.

Dr. Phil (01:07:09):
The music, my music website, which links to my music video, YouTube video is Maffetone music.com.

Brad (01:07:20):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>

Dr. Phil (01:07:20):
Okay. And all my music is free on there. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (01:07:24):

Dr. Phil (01:07:24):
Um, I’d rather you go there and listen than to the streaming sites where I do make money, but I’d prefer you not to pay me a penny for an album or half a penny

Dr. Phil (01:07:39):
And I’d rather you listen free. And, so the exercise connection here

Brad (01:07:49):

Dr. Phil (01:07:50):
Why when we go in the gym is there this blaring hardcore high intensity rhythmic music,

Brad (01:08:00):
Get pumped up, man, get psyched up

Dr. Phil (01:08:03):
To miss some weights. And why, when we, when we’re coming into the, you know, the, the, the, the finish area of a race is the same obnoxious music. Some of it’s good, but a lot of it is canned. The phony, the phony stuff. because research shows that this driving music revs us up.

Brad (01:08:28):

Dr. Phil (01:08:28):
It makes us perform better, better being described as it makes us run faster.

Brad (01:08:35):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,

Dr. Phil (01:08:35):
It raises our heart rate. It helps our brain cover up the pain.

Brad (01:08:41):

Dr. Phil (01:08:42):
Does that sound like something that I would recommend? Certainly not. It’s a, I mean, it’s a, it’s a recipe for overtraining, right?

Brad (01:08:53):
It’s, it’s something that you can leverage on race day and have that festive atmosphere where you’re crossing the finish line to your favorite song is great. But, uh, I feel the same where in, in day-to-Day life, I want to remove those influences that, that jack up my fight or flight hormones because I wanna, you know, I want to adapt gracefully to whatever level of fatigue I’m experiencing now. And, um, it’s, yeah. It’s like a trick. It’s like, you know, having, having some caffeine cranking up the heavy metal music and pedaling off. Yeah.

Dr. Phil (01:09:31):
The scientists who do these studies have said, you know, music is like a legal, a legal steroid.

Brad (01:09:39):

Dr. Phil (01:09:40):
You know, performance enhancing steroid. Um, and, and is that okay? Do should we do that? Well, I’ve, I’ve always recommended people not listen to music when they exercise, when they train Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and that they listen to their body instead, because we have this amazing brain, it’s always sending out messages to the body, and it’s always getting messages back from the body. And when it gets messages back, it’s analyzing what that means. Oh, I’m gonna contract a few more fibers on this sartorious muscle because the knee joint is slightly off and I’m gonna, you know, and that’s a moment to moment thing. There are million, there are billions of, you know, these messages that go back and forth, and the brain is adjusting the way we run or bike. And it wants us to be the most efficient as possible, because that’s what gives us better performance, whether it’s training or racing.

Dr. Phil (01:10:46):
And if we have music, if we’re listening to music, a lot of that goes away, especially if it’s driving music where we’re, we’re, we’re, you know, well, we don’t, we can’t get up for a workout because we’re so tired or we’re so burned out. We’re, you know, we’re, we’re overtrained we’re, we’ve lost our enthusiasm because of our diet or whatever, you know, we need music now to, to rev us up. It’s like injecting caffeine. You know? I don’t want people doing that either. So I do recommend that people use music before they work out.

Brad (01:11:30):
Hmm. Because

Dr. Phil (01:11:30):
It can be very, very helpful. And especially after a workout, it can help you recover. Recovery is where it’s at with training. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you could do whatever you want in, in the, in the training, in the actual workout. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But when it comes to recovery, you need to recover as best as possible to benefit from the training. And one of the ways of doing that is controlling the autonomic nervous system. Balance your sympathetic and parasympathetics control, your stress hormones, and otherwise you don’t recover. So after a workout, sitting down and listening to an album or, or even one song, one simple song, I have something called the Five Minute Power break.

Brad (01:12:15):

Dr. Phil (01:12:15):
Where you just listen to something for five minutes, you close your eyes, five minutes. If you don’t have five minutes, you’re in trouble.

Brad (01:12:24):
Get your workout by five minutes. Yes.

Dr. Phil (01:12:26):

Brad (01:12:27):
Kelly Starrett wants us to spend 15 minutes of every workout hour doing mobility, flexibility, prehabilitation. Right. And now, now, Dr. Phil wants us to put five minutes in afterward to wind down with the song. Now, I suppose with the genre matter for a recovery type experience after a strenuous workout?

Dr. Phil (01:12:48):
It usually does usually does. But it, it first and foremost should be something you like. Mm-Hmm. Something you enjoy, something you really can close your eyes and meditate on. Mm-Hmm. Go into alpha Mm-Hmm. You’re talking about five minutes. Your brain has the ability to go deep into meditation and even reach theta, which is hard to do.

Brad (01:13:11):

Dr. Phil (01:13:12):
Without music.

Brad (01:13:13):

Dr. Phil (01:13:13):
Kids do it all the time. Children, but, adults, um, you know, in meditation classes, sometimes that’s what they’re trying to do. And some people, all they can hear is, well, let’s see, like, I gotta go, I gotta go shop on the way home. Let’s

Brad (01:13:29):

Dr. Phil (01:13:30):
You know, we, we need to get outta that beta state

Brad (01:13:32):

Dr. Phil (01:13:33):
And learn to be in alpha more. And that’s what music does. It gets us into alpha. And literally in five minutes after a workout, we are deep in recovery.

Brad (01:13:45):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Dr. Phil (01:13:47):
So that’s, that’s where it can be very helpful. Just think about a any sport. I mean, think about, I, I use the I’ve used a number of examples in the book, but one is a baseball player, baseball players in the locker room getting psyched up for the game. He’s got earbuds in, he is got his music on, and he is boppin’ around. And, uh, now the game’s starting, and now he’s coming to bat. And as he comes outta the dugout, the loudspeaker announces his name and he has a special song that’s blared out.

Brad (01:14:21):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Dr. Phil (01:14:22):
And he’s walking up to the plate, and as he steps closer, his favorite song stops. And now he can’t hear anything. He doesn’t hear the crowd. He’s on autopilot. And he doesn’t have to think about how he’s gonna hit this fastball. He already knows. He just has to go into this alpha state Hmm. And let his brain do all the work, tell the body what to do. We do it all the time. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (01:14:56):

Dr. Phil (01:14:56):
It’s not just race car drivers, but every time we drive, we go into autopilot.

Brad (01:15:00):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,

Dr. Phil (01:15:00):
We don’t think about, let’s say, I’m gonna step on the gas now. Oh, maybe I should use this foot for my brake. Um, oh, I have a mirror. Oh, I’m gonna look at this mirror too. Yeah. I’m not gonna look, you know, we’ve already gone through that intentional focus. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (01:15:17):

Dr. Phil (01:15:18):
Our brain has an intentional focus mode when we’re learning, that’s what we’re doing. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (01:15:23):

Dr. Phil (01:15:23):
We’re trying to feel like playing the guitar or typing, oh, let’s see the A where was the O over there? <laugh>. Um, but once we, once we learned it, once that intentional focus has done its job, we go into autopilot and we just type, we don’t think where we, and people are not going into autopilot. That’s why texting is so dangerous in a car, because it takes us out of alpha, out of that autopilot state, and it puts us into intentional focus. Now we’re, we’re in trouble.

Brad (01:16:02):
Mm-Hmm. So we wanna be in that, that flow like state where we’re relying on our natural athletic instinct.

Dr. Phil (01:16:13):
And we don’t wanna wait be, you know, to go to a meditation class or to, to get home and get into a yoga position. We wanna get into that alpha state whenever we have a spare moment.

Brad (01:16:26):

Dr. Phil (01:16:26):
Whether we are waiting in line at the grocery store.

Brad (01:16:27):

Dr. Phil (01:16:29):
Or, um, uh, or, or, or, you know, coming back from a workout

Brad (01:16:38):

Dr. Phil (01:16:38):
Uh, where we’re sort of sitting, you know, or standing around the car, just sort of looking at the trees, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. We’re not gonna go into alpha. And we can go as deep into alpha as deep into a meditative state as sitting in a lotus position for an hour. And, and if we do that all day, we’ve now gone into alpha a lot. Mm-Hmm.

Brad (01:17:04):

Dr. Phil (01:17:05):
And there’s nothing better for the brain than going into Alpha. And because it reduces stress hormones, it expands, the mitta makes connections we’ve never made. We think of things, those aha moments that we come up with. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they’re almost always an alpha.

Brad (01:17:21):
Yeah. I love in the book, you, you give a brief description to get people up to speed with the various brain states and then go into tremendous detail and also helping us learn how music can get us engaged in these, in these healthy brain states. So be sharp, everybody go get the book. We’re gonna connect with you at Maffetone music to, to listen to your music. At philmafatone.com to get the great blog articles and the supplements. So, I encourage everyone listening to, to jump in there and, uh, get this interesting new book. Thanks so much for taking the time, Phil. It’s very, very interesting discussion as always.

Dr. Phil (01:18:00):
Thanks, Brad. I appreciate it.

Brad (01:18:02):
Phil Maffetone,everybody, thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.




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