Emotional impact and repetition are two techniques for transferring short-term memories to long-term memories.
As I was driving today, I found myself singing out loud to the song on the radio. I knew every single word. I was feeling fantastic. As I sang, it dawned on me: I hadn’t heard this song since I was in high school – the year my best friend and I would ride the bus home from school field trips, listen to music, and sing at the top of our lungs. How did I possibly remember every single word to that song? I was emotionally engaged – to the lyrics, to the fun I was having, to my friend –when I learned it. And we sang that song over and over and over.
Not only do I remember those lyrics today, I can recall where I was sitting on the bus, how it smelled with the rain coming down, and how much I enjoyed singing with my best friend. My song? The Cure – Just like Heaven – listen to it now