In light of COVID-19, the need for personal well-being and self-care is greater than ever before. We consider ourselves as people who advocate for mental health but struggle to find a platform that allows us to find relaxation techniques without any tacky music in the background. As a team, we wanted to implement breathing exercises while playing our favorite songs. We know we are not alone in this. Hundreds and thousands of people worldwide have reported feeling anxious, stressed, and unhappy during the quarantine. That is why we decided to create a hack dedicated to supporting mental health.

Introducing Muse, inspired by a verb meaning to be absorbed in thought and our website. Select your favorite song using a Spotify URL and implement breathing techniques to ease your anxiety.

What it does

Muse is making health meditation and mindfulness more accessible one step at a time. You can choose what time of breathing exercise you would like to do so that the experience is catered to each individual. You can listen to your favorite songs using Spotify as you take deep breaths and meditate to calm yourself after the chaos that was 2020.

Oftentimes, breathing techniques can be seen as boring or ineffective. However, breathing techniques are often overlooked when thinking about ways to reducing stress, anxiety and improving one's wellbeing. Muse familiarizes the user with a new experience for meditation to achieve a state of calm.

How we built it

HTML and CSS were used to create the website, with a Flask-Bootstrap backend framework. The Python library, spotipy was used to find the bpm of a song from the Spotify URL provided by the user. Spotify API was used so that the user is able to select the song from Spotify's large song library and implement it into the breathing exercise. We also used Python to support the back-end.

Challenges we ran into

We had trouble finding a library that could take in a URL and not a .wav file for beat extraction. We tried using the Python package, librosa but it did not work because it required the user to have a .wav file. There is no easy way to turn a URL into a .wav file or even an mp3 into a .wav file. Since we were using a Spotify API, a user can't download a Spotify song just from the link for security reasons. Therefore, it's not like we could have download the user's song and convert it into a .wav file in that way. Calculating and dividing the beats for it to be precise using Flask-Bootstrap on HTML and CSS. We ran into a lot of trouble when we tried to communicate between different files of the program since it handles different types of media. (Special shoutout to mentor ✨Austin Wang✨ for staying with two of our teammates for over an hour and helping us reach the solution to our biggest problem)

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we were able to complete our project within a short amount of time given it was the first time many of us have used various APIs. From this hack, we were able to learn about new libraries we have never used before and that we got the Spotify API to work on our platform!

What we learned

We learned about using different APIs. We read about how guided breathing has been proven to be effective in reducing anxiety and brainstormed how we could implement this as a tech project. Also, we learned how to work together on a team from 4 different time zones. We were all from different time zones and learned how to manage our time more wisely when creating this platform.

What's next for Muse

We are looking forward to helping create an even more user-friendly app, with location-specific resources for mental health, a customizable user interface, and maybe even an "add a playlist" option. Perhaps utilize this application to improve customer patience levels, thus improving customer service. 🤔 The sky is the limit!

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