2. Learn an instrument by imagining to play it
How: Mentally practicing a song rearranges the brain in the same way it would through physical practice, yielding almost identical results.
The science: Learning an instrument is a great way to express yourself (and annoy people at college parties), but it involves more time and effort than you're likely to devote when you've got a perfectly good Netflix subscription to distract you.
Thankfully, we now know that just thinking about practicing can be almost exactly as beneficial as actually doing it. A major study confirmed it.
From a group of participants, none of whom had experience playing piano, one group was taught a sequence of notes, practicing it for two hours a day for five days. Another was instructed to simply imagine playing the notes. As per usual, the control group sat on their asses.
After the five days, brain maps showed that the group which imagined playing the melody showed similar changes in the structure of their brains as the group that actually practiced. After only two hours of physical practice, the mental practice group was able to play the song just as well as those who had spent the week playing it.
Please, don't think this justifies air guitar at your desk.