Why do Songs Get Stuck in Our Heads?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be familiar with the annoying occurrence of having a song stuck on loop inside your head. Or maybe you’re more like my sister, who claims to have never had a song stuck in her head in her whole 15 years.
A song that gets stuck in your head is called a musical obsession or an “ear worm”. This phenomenon is extremely common with roughly 98% people experiencing it at least once in their lifetime. A song will usually get stuck in a person’s head because it will spontaneously pop up or because it has been triggered by an emotion, an association or by simply hearing the melody
The songs that get stuck in our heads tend to be catchy songs with a faster pace and with a generic and easy-to-remember melody. They also tend to have characteristics which set them apart from other songs and which make them unique: unexpected leaps or with more repeated notes than would be expected in a pop-song . Some examples of songs that frequently get stuck in someone’s head include: Bad Romance, Poker Face and Alejandro by Lady Gaga, Somebody that I used to know by Gotye, Can’t get you outta my head by Kylie Minogue and so on.
A person more frequently exposed to music might be more prone to “earworms”, same again with people of a particular personality trait for instance OCD as they are already prone to obsessive thoughts.
One way to rid a song from being played on loop in your head is to, as you may have heard, listen to the song the whole way through. This works by something something. Alternatively, distracting yourself with a task or listening to another song may displace the one stuck in your head. Another way to supposedly disrupt the loop is to chew gum.
The thing you should avoid doing the most is to actively try to forget or suppress the song because this will make the song more prominent, and you’ll be stuck with it for even longer.
So next time you have a song stuck in your head going into an exam or a meeting, chew song gum, try to distract yourself and you should be fine and dandy :)
Now, I'm no expert in this field, and I don't claim to be, so if you want to find out more give this video a watch and hopefully it will answer any additional questions that you might have, if any: Earworms: Those songs that get stuck in your head