If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media or even on YouTube, you may have heard about different noise frequencies— pink noise, brown noise, white noise, etc.— and their supposed healing properties. As someone who believes wholeheartedly in holistic healing and implements many holistic healing practices into my daily life, colored sounds have become a part of my routine for meditation, sleep, and even emotional processing. So, what noises exist and what do they do?

What is “Colored Noise?”

Essentially, colored noise is any sound frequency, but the color describes the strength and frequency that these sounds appear on the sound spectrums. Tight and short waves create high frequencies, like blue noise, while long and low waves create low sounds like brown noise.

A Breakdown of Different Noise Colors

White Noise: This is often the most well-known or recognizable noise frequency. Usually, this noise is known for its sound-cancelling frequencies. The most common places you may hear it are in doctor’s offices, or even in your therapist’s office. However, many items emit white noise, including tv static, vacuums, and even hair dryers or clothes dryers.

White noise is best known in research to cancel louder noises out, boost long-term memory, increase reading speed, and lull one to sleep. Some newer research is beginning to say that this sound frequency is also highly favorable for those with ADHD.

Brown Noise: Brown noise is also sometimes (much less commonly) known as red noise and is one of the lowest noise frequencies. Being one of the lower noise frequencies, many people prefer it for its soothing sound. Not many everyday items emit brown noise, and you will likely have to find a specialty sound machine or look up the noise online through a meditation app or even YouTube. Many compare the sound of brown noise to being underwater, or to strong rain or waterfall sounds.

Brown noise is best known in research to increase attention span, improve work and reaction times, and increase executive function. For those that enjoy lower frequencies, this can also be a popular noise for sleep.

Green Noise: This is a newer and more popular discovered frequency and is voted among the most soothing of all frequencies. Many compare the sound to gentle water, or a light breeze. If you are sensitive to sound, or suffer from migraines, green noise may be the best choice for you.

Green noise is best known in research to calm anxiety and soothe panic attacks, promote deep mindfulness or meditative states, improve overall relaxation, quiet a busy mind, and improve deep sleep quality.

How to Incorporate Sound into Your Routine

For many, this can be as simple as buying a white noise machine to block out certain sounds around your home that give you a headache, or even a white noise machine for sleep. However, for those that do not prefer white noise, or want to test other frequencies out, you can download sound apps on your phone, or even get free videos on YouTube. Specifically, you can search these videos for sleep, and even get multiple hour-long videos to enhance your sleep and focus longer-term.