Message Scripting and Listening Techniques

for Maximum Results in Subliminal Learning

and Behavior Modification

by Joelle Steele

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Want to lose weight, quit smoking, become more self assured, or be a better salesperson? For years, people have relied on subliminal learning to accomplish those goals. Subliminal message recordings combat negative ideas and beliefs by repeating positive ones that the brain cannot consciously hear but can still register, store, and adopt as its own. You consciously hear the music or sounds but are completely unaware of the repeated messages recorded at extremely low volume underneath the music or sounds.

Some people have been successful using subliminals while others have not. This is not because subliminals don't work, it is usually because the individual bought the wrong subliminal recording. So, it helps to understand which kinds of messages and recording techniques work best, as well as how to use subliminals for the greatest results. In general, subliminal learning and behavior modification work best with simple messages rather than bodies of complex learning. That's why many subliminal recordings are referred to as being "motivational" in content, and they are the ones that have the highest success rate.

In subliminal learning and behavior modification, everything begins with motivation. You have to want and be willing to achieve whatever goal you have set. Listening to subliminal recordings will not make you do something that you do not really want to do. For any subliminal to work, you must truly want to achieve your goal. Those who play subliminals when they are not motivated or have some resistance to achieving a goal are more likely to instead experience stress, anxiety, and headaches as a result. Remember, if you don't want to do something, no message is going to make you do it.


Before buying a subliminal recording, you should know exactly what the subliminal messages (scripts) are. The scripts are very important and picking the right ones cannot be overemphasized. The script is usually printed on the package or on a Web site where you downloaded the recording.

Not every subliminal message is an effective message. For example, an overweight person is less likely to benefit from a weight loss recording if the cause of the overweight is not addressed first. So, if the cause of your overweight is low self-esteem and that is not addressed in the script of the subliminal you are listening to, it won't work for you. You would need a subliminal for building self-esteem. Ditto if you have been programmed for failure since you were a child and would therefore fail at anything you tried. A subliminal on eliminating the failure response would be indicated before trying a weight loss or quit smoking subliminal recording, or even a "how to sell better" one.

There are at least four things you should consider when evaluating subliminal recordings:

Right Brain — Left Brain. Are the messages scripted to be processed by both sides of the brain and by left-handed as well as right-handed people? This can all be accomplished in the scripts themselves, and most experts say the messages (not just the music or cover sounds) should be recorded in stereo to achieve this as well. This is important, because in people who are right-handed, the left side of the brain is equipped to deal with language, problem-solving, organization, planning, etc., while the right side of the brain deals with creative abilities, intuition, and the processing of visual and auditory stimuli. But, in left-handed people, this is usually reversed. Recording the messages in stereo assures that the information is fed to the brain correctly regardless of handedness or any one-sided dominance of the brain.

Message Frequency. How frequently is each message played throughout the recording? This can vary considerably from one manufacturer to another. Some record each individual message 1,000 times or more. The optimum way for this to be achieved is by means of multi-track recording. Experts seem to agree that the controversial method of speeding up the messages (also called "time compression") is not effective because the subconscious perceives the messages as incoherent or meaningless noise.

Subliminal Voices. Is the message in a female or male voice? Subliminal message voices are usually soft and calm, but some people respond better to female voices rather than male voices, and vice versa. So, try to get a subliminal recording that has both, or that lets you make a choice for one over the other before you buy.

Script Content. What do the scripts (messages) actually say? No two weight loss recordings will have the same script. Some might emphasize eating less, some might emphasize eating the right foods, others may encourage exercise, and some may be combinations of each or all combined. Some may also include messages that help to build self-esteem. If you already eat right but are very sedentary, you might do better with subliminal messages that encourage you to get up and move around, to exercise, to take up dancing, to go for a walk — to be become physically active in some way.


Scripts (messages) should always be positive. They should not impart anything negative that plants frightening or ambiguous messages into your subconscious. Yet another reason why you should know what is on the script before you buy the recording. Some experts believe that even saying the words "no" or "not" or "never" are not accurately perceived by the brain which instead reverses the sentences and makes them positive. In other words, a sentence such as "I do not like to smoke" may be perceived by the brain as "I like to smoke." This has not been proven, but it is still worth considering.

Scripts should also be very short, simple, and direct. They should be single brief clauses with no conditionals such as "if" and "when." They should always be in the present tense only, as future tenses tell the mind that you are not achieving something right now.

Select subliminal recordings that do not have introductory and closing announcements on them. These are the distracting spoken commentaries that tell you what you are listening to or say that the recording is over. You don't want to have to listen to that every time you play your recording, and if you're listening before you go to sleep, you don't want to be jolted out of your relaxed or even sleeping state by this annoying narrative disruption.

Music or covering sounds (wind, rain, chimes, trickling water, ocean waves, etc.) are a matter of personal preference, as the script is always the most important. But, you will be listening to the recording many times, and if it has any kind of music or sounds that you find offensive or irritating, it may stop you from continuing to listen. Fortunately, most manufacturers of subliminals say that you can play their recordings at the same time that you listen to the TV or radio and that in this case the subliminal recording is perceived as just an additional background sound. But, if you read my article Subliminal Influence: Behavior Modification and Sleep Learning, you will know that you are most susceptible to subliminal messages when you are in very relaxed brain wave states, and TV and radio are not all that conducive to promoting that kind of brain activity.


Most subliminal recordings are only 30 minutes in length, so if you listen to your subliminal on an i-Pod or MP3 player, let it play in a loop so that you can hear it again and again without interruption while you work or while you meditate or sleep.

Play your subliminal recording for at least an hour or two every day. The more hours you play it, the faster you'll start to see results. It is important not to miss a day. With some recordings people experience results within a few days, others within a few weeks. Once you achieve your goals you should continue playing the recording daily for a few weeks to reinforce the behavior or learning. You should then continue to play it a few times a week for a couple months, and then a few times a month for a year. This continued playing of the recording helps you make the changes you wanted in your life be more permanent and lasting.


If you're really listening regularly and you aren't finding any success after a month, don't give up. Look more carefully at the messages and be sure they are really saying what you want to achieve. If they aren't, or if the recording is not the right one for you, find another that is more appropriate to your needs.

Unfortunately, subliminal recording is not an exact science, experts do not always agree on what is best, and manufacturers are not consistent either. This is one of those times where you need to evaluate recordings very carefully to find the one that works for you.

This article last updated: 04/09/2013.