We wanted to find a way to use music to help users with improving their mental health. Music therapy is used to improve cognitive brain functions like memory, regulate mood, improve the quality of sleep, managing stress and it can even help with depression. What's more is that music therapy has been proven to help with physical wellbeing as well when paired with usual treatment in clinical settings. Music is also a great way to improve productivity such as listening to pink noise or white noise to aid in focus or sleep

We wanted to see if it was possible to this music to a user's music taste when given a music therapy goal, enhancing the experience of music therapy for the individual. This can be even more application in challenging times such as COVID-19 due to a decline in mental health for the general population.

This is where Music Remedy comes in: understanding the importance of music therapy and all its applications, can we personalize this experience even further?

What it does

Users can log in to the app using their Spotify credentials where the app then has access to the user's Spotify data. As the users navigate through the app, they are asked to select what their goal for music therapy is.

Upon this, when the music therapy goal is chosen, the app creates a playlist for the user according to their Spotify listening history and pre-existing playlists to help them with emotional and physical health and healing. Through processing the user's taste in music, it will allow the app to create a playlist that's more favorable to the user's likes and needs while still accomplishing the goals of music therapy.

Described above allows the user to experience music therapy in a more enhanced and personalized way by ensuring that the user is listening to music to aid in their therapy while also ensuring that it is from songs and artists that they enjoy.

How we built it

We used the Spotify API to aid with authentication and the users' music taste and history. This gave details on what artists and genres the user typically listened to and enjoyed

We built the web app representing the user interface using NodeJS paired with ExpressJS on the backend and JavaScript, HTML, CSS on the front end through the use of EJS templating, Bootstrap and jQuery.

A prototype for the mobile app representing the event participant interface was built using Figma.

Challenges we ran into

There are definitely many areas of the Musical Remedy app that can be improved upon if we were given more time. Deciding on the idea and figuring out how much was feasible within the time given was a bit of a challenge. We tried to find the simplest way to effectively express our point across.

Additionally, this hackathon was our first introduction to the Spotify API and using user's data to generate new data for other uses.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of how much we learned about the Spotify API and how to use it over the course of the weekend. Additionally, learning to become more efficient in HTML, CSS and JavaScript using EJS templating is something we'd definitely use in the future with other projects.

What we learned

We've learned how to effectively manage my time during the hackathon. We tried to work on most of my work during the peak hours of my productivity and took breaks whenever I got too overwhelmed or frustrated.

Additionally, we learned more about the Spotify API and the use of APIs in generals.

What's next for Musical Remedy

Musical Remedy has the potential to expand its base of listeners from just Spotify users. So far, we are imaging to be able to hook up a database to store user's music preferences which would be recorded using a survey of their favourite genres, artists, etc. Additionally, we'd like to increase the number and specificity of parameters when generating recommended playlists to tailor to the specific categories (pain relief, etc.)

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