Before you get too freaked out, no you do not have creepy crawly worms in your ears!
Earworm is a common term used to describe a catchy part of a song that keeps replaying in your head after the song is no longer playing. It happens to everyone at some point in time. Feel better yet?
Data collected by researchers points to four major reasons this may happen to you.
First off, music exposure, which is exactly what it sounds like: hearing a song whether it’s just once or repetitively.
The second is memory triggers. This is when you hear a note or beat, or even if someone says part of the lyrics of a song in regular conversation.
The third major reason that a song could cause an earworm, is your emotional state. Whether it is happy, sad, or just super excitable when you hear a song in that heightened emotional state you are more likely to have it repeat in your mind.
Last but not least is the “low attention states.” This is when you are staring blankly into space or zoned out in class or at work. Your mind is open to a great but possibly overplayed song to slip in your brain and not leave until you have completely annoyed yourself and everyone around you.
OK, so are you ready for the cure? Well, unfortunately, there is no medicine you can take. All you can do is listen to the full song again so that your brain can complete the task, so to say. The reason it keeps replaying in your head is that it feels unfinished since you cannot hear the whole song. So next time a song gets stuck in your head, listen to that song from start to finish and then immediately try to focus on something else.
The videos below are some of the most common earworm-causing songs. Take a listen if you’re brave enough!
“Don’t Stop Believing” By Journey
“Somebody That I Used to know” By Gotye
“Moves Like Jagger” By Maroon 5
“California Gurls” By Katy Perry
“Bohemian Rhapsody” By Queen
“Alejandro” By Lady Gaga
“Poker Face” By Lady Gaga
“Bad Romance” By Lady Gaga
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