Watching TED Talks can be an emotional process. Trust me, our team watched hundreds of hours of Ted Talks for our research on what makes certain Talks good and others great.

At the most recent TED conference in Vancouver, attendees were shown short videos between each Talk to reset their mood and to battle mental, emotional and even physical fatigue. According to an article in Quartz, the videos ranged in style from music videos to ads to short films, “much like Super Bowl commercials for the brainy set.”

TED’s media archivist and curator of this special TED segment, Anyssa Samari says:

“The misconception is that the videos always need to be funny. Sometimes you just need something to clear your mind.”

Need a little recharge or reboot? Want to clear your mind of Excel spreadsheets, calendar dates and to-dos? Enter:

10 Short Videos to Recharge Your Brain

#1 Upside Down and Inside Out

In OK Go’s newest music video for their song ‘Upside Down and Inside Out’, this pop group not only rented out a Russian airline for the shoot but did so in zero gravity. What you are about to see is real:


#2 Outer Space

Created with the use of only real space footage from Nasa Space Expeditions, this video montage is outta this world:

#3 Scrabble Love

Word-lovers and romantics alike will unite in this adorable Scrabble commercial:

#4 Change Is Everything

Created by musician Son Lux, this stop-motion music video was made with 200 push pins and 500 yards of thread. And a whole lot of time:


#5 School Portrait

This short film by Nick Scott depicts one callous photographer’s battle with none other than cheerful and innocent kids:


#6 Walking Contest

Ever get into a walking contest with a random stranger? Comedian Daniel Koren has in this thoughtful and quirky video:


#7 The Spark

Can a pretzel inspire a business idea? Created by Mr. Boonstra, the award-winning Amsterdam-based film and design studio, this video depicts an initial creative spark:

Pretzel from Mr. Boonstra on Vimeo.

#8 Freedom

Winner of Best Music Video, Pharrel Williams’ song, ‘Freedom’ encourages listeners to believe where they’re from and to believe in everyone:


#9 Mirrors

Have you ever wondered what color is a mirror? In this edition of ‘Did You Know?’, we explore the fascinating subject of mirrors:

*Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more science mental munchies!

#10 Argus v. Tater Tot

In this favorite from last year’s TED conference, poor Argus really wants the tater tot on the counter. The problem is, it’s just slightly out of reach. Who wins? Watch to find out:


Bonus Argus v. Tater Tot Part 2: The Crunchy Conclusion

The happy ending…


Bonus: You are Contagious | My TEDx Talk in London 

In this talk, I reveal that our behavior, from hand gestures to how we say ‘hello’, changes the way others perceive our confidence.

Whether you need a mental break from Ted Talk binge-watching or simply a reset in the middle of your day, save this post to rewatch again and again. Or better yet, we’ve compiled all of these awesome videos into a YouTube playlist:

Videos For Your Brain

This post was inspired by Watch: Short videos that TED says will recharge your brain

All Rights Reserved + COPYRIGHT 2016 Science of People, LLC
About Vanessa Van Edwards

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and behavioral investigator.

I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.

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