At the beginning of the season I shared my workout playlist. Now, as I reflect on the coming New Year, I’m giving you a list of songs that have made an impression on me at different times in my life – and they bring back some major memories. These are songs I grew up with, got married to, play in the operating room – and even sing in the shower.
“Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin
This is the earliest song I remember liking as a kid. When I was 8 years old, this song came on the radio, and my father asked my mother for a quick dance around the kitchen. Those were fun, simple times. It also reminds me of my love of the ocean and the beaches of the Mediterranean.
“The Joker” by Steve Miller
This was one of my favorite songs toward the end of middle school. It’s a great anthem for anyone who loves pranks. To this day, it reminds me to not take life too seriously.
“We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters
This classic was another of my junior high favorites – though I never admitted it! Today, the song reminds me of my first crush. It was her favorite song back then, so it became one of mine.
“Free Bird” by Lynard Skynard
This was a motivational song for me in high school. If this came on the radio before football practice, during a pep rally, or before a big game, it was magic. Lynard Skynard remains one of my favorite bands.
“Hotel California” by The Eagles
This song was perfect for prom. It was on the radio all over the place at the time, and we slow danced to it on our special day. This song defines the 1970s.
“Miss You” by the Rolling Stones
This song was on the radio all the time when I graduated high school. The Rolling Stones are another of my favorite bands. And I love how they haven’t slowed down. Give me the Stones any day.
“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
This song represents the freedom I felt when I learned to drive and finally got my license. I still vividly remember that first car. The song makes me want to zoom down the highway with the wind in my hair.
“Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne
My love of this song shouldn’t come as a shock. I heard this song at my first concert. I also love his other hits “Running on Empty” and “The Pretender.”
“Shattered” by the Rolling Stones
Other than Harvard’s fight song, this was a song that motivated me when I played college football.
“Just an Illusion” by Imagination
When Lisa and I started dating, this was one of our favorite songs. Her father was a surgery professor of mine at medical school. Her parents introduced me to her, and we started dating ever since.
“Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel
This song rings in my head as I remember Lisa walking down the aisle at our wedding. I was close to graduating from medical school, but knew Lisa was the one.
“Jump Around” by House of Pain
This song came out as I was finishing my residency, and my fellow residents and I played it all the time. You need something to get you going when you’re on call.
“The Four Seasons” by Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
As I became an attending physician – and eventually a Professor of Surgery at Columbia – I chose classical music to listen to in the operating room. Spring was my favorite. Other favorites for the operating room include “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy, and Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
“Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer
This always reminds me of when The Dr. Oz Show premiered back in 2009. This song represents that important moment because my team and I were eager to make a change in the world by helping the nation improve its health. We even used this song to represent a pivotal episode in our first season that defines our mission and represents our core values.
“Sweet Lullaby” by Deep Forest
This is my favorite de-stressing song. I have this on my MP3 player for “emergencies.” When I’m wound up, I listen to this song and imagine myself traveling around the world on a bicycle – like the girl in the music video.
“Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
Whenever Lisa and I hear this song, we can’t help but start slow-dancing together. The hit movie Ghost put this song on both of our top 20 song lists. Even though the song belongs to our parents’ generation, it remains close to our young hearts. It reminds me of when Lisa and I started dating.
“Starships” by Nikki Minaj
This song never fails to get me on the dance floor – and I drag Lisa with me.
Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song
Finally, I sing this song all the time in the shower – to the kids’ and Lisa’s dismay, of course!
Bonus Tracks: We use these songs to energize the audience during tapings of the show. They energize me as well, and I even play some of this music during my workouts.
- “We Run the Night (feat. Pitbull)” by Havana Brown
- “Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z)” by Rihanna
- “Levels” by Avicii
- “Lost in the World” (feat. Bon Iver) by Kanye West
- “You Used to Hold Me” by Calvin Harris
- “Eyes” (feat. Mindy Gledhill) by Kaskade
- “Talk That Talk” (feat. Jay-Z) by Rihanna
- “She Doesn’t Mind” by Sean Paul
- “Calling” by Sebastian Ingroso
- “Alors On Danse” by Stromae & Kanye West
- “Comme un Enfant” by Yelle
- “True Faith” by Serge Devant
- “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber
- “Addiction” by Medina
- “Wonderman” (feat. Ellie Goulding) byTinie Tempah
- “Lights” (Bassnectar Remix) by Ellie Goulding
- “I Like 2 Play In L.A.” (feat. Hot Rod) by Alli Davis
- “Turnt 4 Da Weekend” by The Cataracs Ft. Dev Jam Blaster