Let's get your earworm tuned - Michelle Gibbings

A set of yellow headphones on an orange and yellow background

You wake up in the morning, and a song pops into your head for no apparent reason. You’re going about your day, and a piece of music plays in your head on repeat – again and again. You’ll likely have experienced both scenarios. That’s an earworm in action.

It turns out that more than 100 years ago, Germans coined the term öhrwurm (or earworm) to describe that experience we all have when a song gets stuck in your brain and feels like it’s playing on repeat. As this article explains, the earworm is at home in our auditory cortex, which is where musical memories are stored.

Those catchy tunes that burrow into our brains can be annoying but are also surprisingly beneficial. When a song gets stuck in your head, it activates various brain regions associated with memory and attention. This engagement can enhance cognitive function and even improve your mood and get your creative juices flowing.

But you also don’t want your brain stuck on one tune or channel, and that’s where listening to podcasts comes in. Podcasts offer a treasure trove of diverse ideas for exploration. They’re a great way to expand your intellectual horizons and satisfy your curiosity.

If you are looking for some new episodes, here are a few to consider:

CPA’s In the Black podcast – in this episode, I am interviewed by Jessica Mudditt on the topic of how to give your career a boost. A fabulous conversation.

Future Fit Leadership podcast – a great discussion with Sadhana Smiles about leadership and the work I do running Dr Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead™ program. And a shameless plug, Dare to Lead is back in September, so now’s your time to get involved. You’ll find everything you need to know here.

The Future of Work – this is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of appearing on David Frizzel’s podcast, and this time, we chatted about how to navigate the future of work. He always asks lots of challenging and probing questions.

Money News – a fabulous conversation with Radio 2GB’s Scott Haywood on the younger generation in the workplace, and yes, I do think they are unfairly maligned.

Weekend Wonderings – I always enjoy my conversations on Tasmania’s Ultra106five with David Wood. In this chat, we talked about how to turn a bad workday around.

So, the next time you find yourself humming a catchy tune or scrolling through a podcast app, don’t dismiss it as mere background noise.

Embrace the power of earworms and allow your mind to wander into uncharted territories of ideas and perspectives. After all, it is in these moments that we unlock the potential for personal transformation and the cultivation of a more curious you.

Getting you ready for tomorrow, today®

Michelle Gibbings is a workplace expert, the award-winning author of three books, and a global keynote speaker. She’s on a mission to help leaders, teams and organisations create successful workplaces – where people thrive and progress is accelerated.

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