Updated: Nov 7
Disclaimer: "Psychedelics are largely illegal substances across the world, and we do not encourage or condone their use where it is against the law. However, we accept that illicit drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this article is designed to enhance the safety of those who decide to use these substances. Psychedelics at the very least should be respected. For the best guidance, consider seeking out legal psychedelic therapy centres" - Author: Resident Writer, Freya Astrella. You’ve prepared the molecule, and you’ve set the scene with candles, incense, and soft furnishings. But what do you plan to pump through your speakers? - The Ultimate Psychedelic Music Playlist.
Music (or lack of it) can make or break a trip. For example, hectic Latin Pop did not go down well two hours into an ayahuasca ceremony. And an advert break on non-premium Spotify two minutes into a DMT trip was most CERTAINLY not welcome!
This blog aims to combine my first-hand psychedelic experience with my trained ear for music to unpack the various forms of trip-happy genres and crucially, when to play them.
At the end, you’ll find my killer psychedelic playlist which you can listen to any time you get the calling.
Start with silence
I highly recommend that before any choons enter the space, you sit in contemplative quietness.
For at least 30 minutes before you imbibe and 30 minutes after, allow your anxieties to come to the surface and share your intentions with the molecule.
Whether you’ve entered the chat for a bit of party time or for some serious healing, make sure you "know thyself" before the abyss opens.
Melt away with mantras & medicine music
As the airplane of your mind takes off, you may feel turbulence. I’ve heard a few people say that you pay upfront with psychedelics. Meaning, no comedown, no hangover, but plenty of white-knuckle anxiety on the way up.
But fear not, this is just your ego resisting letting go. To help quell these fears, gentle, loving, repetitive music is just the ticket.
Through these beautiful songs, you can breathe, look inward, and build courage for the journey ahead.
Enter the weird with world-inspired beats
Once your medicine has taken hold, it’s time to get into a conversation with it. Rather than be a submissive patient, it’s often better to be an active partner.
This can be achieved through upbeat music that can feel a touch antagonistic or unsettling. But this is the desired effect! You want to peel off the clinging fingertips of your ego and dive into the weirdness.
The following recommended tracks can help you feel empowered and confident as you walk the doors of perception...
Up the ante with not-quite-psytrance-not-quite-dub-step
You in the zone yet? You will be with these absolute bangers. Not quite dance, not quite chill, these lush, trippy beats fit the psychedelic space like a key in a lock.
Just the ticket when you fancy a boogie, but all the body load will allow for is a clumsy side-to-side sway...probably hunched over, wrapped in some kind of blanket.
This music, rooted in electronic wizardry, slashes through the air like laser-cut diamonds, slides through your body like a snake through a maze, and divides into endless fractal colours. In a ‘more real than real’ sort of way.
It’s also the perfect sonic landscape to take a psychedelic picnic in. I promise, you’ll never listen to music in the same way again.
Rock the boat with prog rock & experimental jazz
Let’s not forget, that the psychedelic space is fertile ground for combatting demons and ripping up the roots of generational patterns.
The perfect musical partner for this task is one that is often tricky, intense, and unsettling.
It’s easy to get lost in the weeds with groovy, ambient choons (see above). But sometimes, you need to make life a little hard for yourself. The way out is through, after all.
Get epic with soundtracks & classical
Psychedelics take you on a journey, through your mind, through your memories, through the many, many spiritual realms.
These musical works will aid that journey to help you climb the highest mountain and explore the densest of jungles.
The majesty and grandeur of these genres can also help shave off the last layers and ego and help foster feelings of gratitude and appreciation for all the beauty and wonder in the world...which, perhaps, have been taken for granted.
Descend gently with new-age & ambient
Approximately three-quarters of the way the trip, the molecule will slowly release you from its cosmic grip and you’ll find yourself floating back down to the Earthly realm.
Easy does it, as the magic isn’t over yet. Be patient and allow these relaxing vibes to fill your being with clear, calm energy as you collect your various thoughts and epiphanies.
This is also a great time to hear from spiritual and psychedelic thought-leaders such as Ram Dass, Terence Mckenna, and Alan Watts – many of their talks have been set to ambient backing tracks and will soak deep into your soul.
Re-program your software with solfeggio frequencies
Solfeggio frequencies were used around the world in sacred settings for eons, but have been hidden in the mists of time.
Deviating ever so slightly from the modern concert-pitch chromatic scale, these tones are (apparently) attuned to your brain wave states and are supposed to help to heal both your body and your mind. Either way, they sound super nice.
However, with your brain now in a super suggestible state, the last leg of any trip is the optimal time to ensure your neural pathways are reconstructed in the most beneficial way possible. So, use this time wisely.
Recommended listening (all by Miracle Tones):
The ultimate psychedelics playlist
Wanna hear more? Check out my lovingly compiled playlist, featuring all these songs – and more!