TikTok Trends: 8D Audio

Welcome back to our series, TikTok Trends! We’re looking at popular trends on TikTok that can positively and effectively benefit our mental health. Remember: no social media account, even a licensed professional, replaces actual therapy and should only be used for entertainment purposes. 

Scrolling on TikTok one night, I came across a video that said “wear headphones to listen” and curious enough, I obliged. What I heard opened my eyes and ears to my newfound favorite style of music to help self-soothe: 8D audio. But first I had to figure out what even 8D audio is.

“When a song is given the 8D-treatment, it can create the impression that you’re standing in the middle of a room (or a gym, or a concert hall, etc.) while all of the musicians and vocalists magically “move around” you” (Digital Trends, 2021). The key with this music is to wear headphones to receive the full effect. Even better, trying with noise-canceling headphones enhances the experience even more! If you want an in-depth video explaining the musical mechanics behind making 8D audio, check out this one. 

This music, especially for neurodivergent folks, has exploded with popularity on TikTok. The main hypothesis behind the use of 8D audio (or binaural music, a similar concept) is that it helps stimulate both hemispheres of the brain (bilateral stimulation) which can help induce emotion regulation. This is similar to a technique done in therapies such as EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) as a way to help regulate emotions and process trauma memories. TikTokers discovering these 8D audio sounds describe feeling calmer, at peace, and sometimes even tearing up. Others have described it as a “tingling” in your brain. While it’s gaining popularity on the internet, at the time of this writing, clinical research on the benefits of 8D audio is hard to find; it may not exist. Some people find the music annoying or uncomfortable, so if that is you- that’s okay! Everyone’s brain works differently. Any style of music can be a good resource if you are needing to self-soothe and regulate your emotions. 

Listening Your Way To Regulation: Jenny’s Playlist Recommendations

If 8D audio turns out not to be your thing, I have included some personal favorites of other genres of music that can help with self-soothing. Music is a great tool to use as a distraction or to help stay focused; it is so versatile!

  • 8D Audio: TikTok has a lot of popular songs that have been remixed; however, the artist ‘8D Audio’ on Spotify has great options!
  • Classical music: Multiple studies exist showing various health benefits from listening to classical music: improved sleep, decreased stress and anxiety, improved emotional connection, etc. 
  • Movie soundtracks: This is my absolute favorite genre to throw on while I am working to help me stay focused and recall pleasant emotions from my favorite movies. I also find it as an extra fun way to celebrate the artistry of an often-forgotten part of the movie!
  • Upbeat, happy music: What’s an album that gets you smiling and dancing? For me, it is any of Harry Styles’ albums. These feel-good songs can be good to have on hand for when we need a distraction! 

What genre of music do you listen to when you need help staying or getting emotionally regulated? Make a playlist to have ready so when distress hits, you are ready to listen your way to regulation! 

Want to learn more about how to maintain emotion regulation? Click here to schedule an initial appointment with one of our amazing clinicians.

Jennifer Garner (she/her), M.S., LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor that specializes in dialectical behavior therapy. Jennifer works with teens and adults in a nonjudgmental space to help them identify safer, more effective behaviors as they work toward a life worth living. Jennifer believes in being genuine with her clients to help promote connection and rapport. Click Here to learn more about Jennifer’s experience and therapeutic style. 


Cohen, S. (2021, January 29). What is 8d audio, and how can you experience it? Digital Trends. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/what-is-8d-aud  io/