How to get rid of songs stuck in your head? – Earworm phenomenon

September 10, 2017

You are on your way to work, switched on the radio , oh they are playing -Justin Bieber song Despacito- you arrived work , and once you started to work, you had that ” DES – PA – CITO” running like a worm all over your head ,laying the rest of the latino lyrics – which I doubt that you know it properly- in your brain until it’s completely spread over, leaving you humming it all day long, it’s called Earworm phenomenon.

Wait… What? 

What does this situation mean?

This phenomenon is called involuntary musical imagery (INMI)  “Earworm phenomenon”, also known as Brain worm, it is a tune or a song that will never leave you alone no matter how hard you try to get rid of it, it’s a catchy song but it doesn’t have to be good or bad, it’s just attractive and sometimes extremely annoying.

How a song get stuck in our head and why?

Science has revealed that when we play a song or when we accidentally hear it somewhere, it targets a part in our brain called: The auditory cortex, makes our brain wants to repeat the song over and over and the more we repeat this song the more it get stuck in our head.
Prime reasons why a song can be considered as an Earworm, sometimes because you may have repeated it a lot in a recent period of time.

Other reason might because it triggers a certain memory or a situation in our head, like breakups or grieving someone, and also just a one particular word can be the spark that start a war of an endlessly repeated song in our brain.

Unfortunately we don’t only repeat the songs that we love , two-thirds of us may not find Earworms troublesome , but at some point, an Earworm can become very annoying, and you’ll want it to shake it of your head immediately.
Additionally, researches have found that 74% of brains catch songs that got lyrics, 15% commercial songs and only 11% instrumental songs, and both men and women are experiencing the same Earworm phenomenon but women are most likely to experience it more which cause some sort of irritation to them.

 What does an Earworm sound like?

1- Fast tempo

A song which is very fast in speed than other songs, the truth is that our mind prefers to recall fast paced melodies that got speedy beats and bass more than the slow ones, also people most likely to get Earworms while they are doing activities that require movements like working out , jogging and walking.

2- Melodic shapes

The tendency of having shapes of tunes which have a very rising chorus followed by a falling one makes the brain able to repeat it easily like kids songs that played in nurseries -Twinkle twinkle little star.

3- Unusual internal pattern

Those songs that have unique patterns of tunes that is easily for the brain to remember because the concept of the Earworm tunes is all about being easy to be recalled in terms of the melody and also have unique tunes , not so simple and also not very hard for the mind to keep repeating it.

So how can you simply get rid of it?  

1- Chewing gums

Seriously ? it’s strange but it’s true, chewing gums really can make you get rid of the song that keeps repeating inside your mind and binding you from focusing on whatever you’re doing, as it limits your ability to hear the song that is playing in your head and ignore it.

2- Pass the song to someone else

When you hum the song out loud, oh god you will be spreading the infection among all those who surrounds you but surprisingly , this song is gonna get out of your mind, such an evil way..

3- NEVER spend time thinking how can you get rid of Earworm phenomenon!

It have the opposite effect , it’s like a mosquito bite, the more you itch it they more it annoys you and the deal gets bigger.

4- Listen to the song till the end

When we listen to a song and suddenly it’s interrupted, some evidence proved that we continue playing it mentally so listening to the track till the end will surely prevent this from happening.

5- Mind games

Previous researches in phycology proved that if your mind is engaged in something requires deep focusing it limit the ability of the Earworms to enter your brain like solving sudoku, mazes and puzzles.

on contrary, doing easy activities that doesn’t require any sort of mind usage, it’s just automatically done, like walking or driving saves enough amount of space in your brain so that songs can enter it easily and repeat it over and over.

Finally, we want to tell you about some android apps that will definitely refresh your brain, Try them out!

  • Lumosity 

  • Elevate

  • Peek

  • Skillz 

  • Happily 

  • Memorado

So if your mind keep singing songs that isn’t actually played around you , don’t worry , just let it go because suppressing this song will definitely bring more of it.

Rana Ghareeb

Rana Ghareeb is a Code95 Content Writer, who loves writing about Marketing and Business. Books and pens are her best companions as writing is the place where she satisfies her passion for conveying her voice...


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