Guess the Artist: Strengthen your brain and boost your mood with this fun break

Guess the Artist: Strengthen your brain and boost your mood with this fun break

“I’m about to play you a song from the 90s,” said my husband, one night as he was surfing his iPad. “Let’s see if you can guess the artist.”

It was one of those so-bad-it’s-good classics that I KNEW I knew, but couldn’t quite pull it off the tip of my tongue. I was pulling my hair, squinting and rocking back and forth.

“I know this…Gahhhh! I know this…OK, TELL ME,” I said.

“3 Doors Down,” David laughed.
“I KNEW IT! DANGIT!” I shouted.

Remember Kryptonite? Yeah, that was the one.

“MY turn!” I said with an evil laugh.

Not sure if I busted out 98 Degrees or Backstreet Boys, but I’m sure it was a boy band, and I assure you David immediately got it.

“How did YOU know that?” I asked.
“Dang…TRL of course,” he said.

Can you guess what ended up happening for the next FOUR hours? We got into a heated, hilarious match of guess-that-artist ping pong till 1 a.m. This game was SO good we didn’t even turn on the TV. My cheeks hurt from all the laughing. You know what else was sore?

MY BRAIN. Not only is this game and listening to music in general FUN, but it’s a total cerebral workout.

Research shows that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure and pain while also improving sleep, mood, mental alertness and memory.

“There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says one Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist.* “If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool.”

*Hold up: What the heck is that o-word, you ask? Otolaryngology, pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee, is the oldest medical specialty in America. These docs, commonly referred to as ENT physicians, help patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat, as well as connected structures in the head and neck.

Here’s another mind-blowing fact:

Music occupies more areas of our brain than language does. In the womb, it’s one of the first sections to form. (A fetus starts to develop its auditory system between 17 and 19 weeks!) Then, when memory declines, music recognition is actually one of the last things to go.

We humans are more musical than we think, and music is more *healing* than we think.

In his book Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks digs into the power of music in patients, musicians and everyday people: a lightning-strike victim who suddenly aspires to be a pianist at 42, a man whose memory spans only seven seconds for everything except music, how music can make those with Parkinson’s disease actually start to move, help non-speaking stroke patients speak again, relax those with Alzheimer’s and organize those with amnesia.

Are you SO inspired to turn on some tunes?

Here’s your suggested challenge:

  1. Grab a partner in listening crime and any song-playing device of your choice. (Wanna keep score? Grab some pen and paper.)
  2. It’s key to pick a genre or theme you both feel comfortable and knowledgeable with. When I started playing indie rock songs from 2004-2006 for David and he started playing Texas country for me, it quickly killed the mood. 😉
  3. Take turns playing the first 15-20 seconds of a song. (Want to make it even more intense? Play the first three seconds!)
  4. If your opponent can guess either the artist, the chorus or the song title, they get a point!
  5. Get ready to be HOOKED.
  6. Enjoy your sore cheeks and sweaty brain!

If this game is this entertaining for two people on a couch, just imagine the possibilities in other scenarios.

I could see this being a 10-minute ice-breaker activity at a conference, in a meeting or on a date. It could be a way to kick the afternoon slump at the office, a morale booster in the classroom, a bonding activity with kiddos and oh-so-much more.

And remember: It doesn’t have to be music. You could hop on YouTube and do this with movie clips, TV shows, celebrity interviews, animal sounds, Broadway musicals, languages and [insert your idea here].

Just have FUN and stretch. that. memory.

Want more where this came from?

Join my 5-day break challenge!

Not only are we tackling ALL NEW breaks this time, but I have a feeling that the five-minute mindset will be mega enticing and spark all kinds of possibility.

PLUS, as we all know, putting a little money in the mix surely ups our commitment, you know?

If you’re new to The Break Changer or need a refresher, here’s how the challenge will go:

  • For five days, you’ll receive an email each morning with your suggested mini break for that day.
  • This digital arrival will contain info on WHY this kind ‘o breather is good for ya as well as inspiration + tips on HOW to make it happen. I won’t share the actual break till that day, but we WILL be exploring these five categories:…stillness
  • When you’re up for it, you’ll take the break on for five minutes. Feelin’ adventurous? Go LONGER! (The five-minute mindset is really just a mind trick to get us GOING…)
  • Then, if you feel like sharing how it went/seeing what others are buzzin’ about, you’ll pop into a closed Facebook group and chat it up (or lurk it up! you do you!) with your fellow Break Changers.

It’s so simple it’s almost silly! But what RESULTS from it is magic. Why?

:: A little rest could CHANGE the rest ::

And I’m not just talkin’ napping, lying on the couch or soaking in a bath. In TBC land, we not only explore not-so-obvious ways to rest/recharge/chill, but we dig into the kind ‘o rest that goes beyond “standard stillness.”

In other words…

Rest *can* make ya sweat.
Rest *can* be creative.
Rest *can* give your brain a workout.
Rest *can* involve dry erase markers. (Ope! That’s a hint for one of the breaks!)

Here are some other hints:

>> You’ll get to take your mind on a limitless journey to anywhere you choose.
>> You might start finding unexpected solace in stop lights.
>> You might see your “soles” in an entirely new way.
>> You’ll definitely see a certain exercise in a whole new light.
>> You’ll never see a window the same way again.


Want some new ideas to get your break on and a sweet community to share it with?

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1 Comment

  • Holly Heartos August 24, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Hey Brit, great post as ALWAYS! Your words always make me smile…. anyway, I’m interested in the 5 for 5 challenge but have dumped Facebook. Is there an alternative?

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