This Trick Might Get That Song Out Of Your Head

by Jamie Kenney

True story: My friend Nikki once had the Doug theme song stuck in her head for about 5 years. She would sing it absent-mindedly, she would hum it when she was trying to recall something. It was extremely weird, especially since we weren't little kids. We were legit, college-aged adults and hadn't watched the show in years. While this is the most intense case of an earworm I've personally encountered, it's estimated that approximately 98% of people experience them. In the past, we've just had to languish through these annoying spells, it appears that chewing gum might help!

The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology recently published a (very, very small) study that suggests chewing gum after a song is stuck in your head may help the song... unstick. Frankly, after having the first line of "Take Me To Church" playing in my brain on loop for the past month, I will almost be annoyed if the answer is this simple. Over the years, I have collected some methods of my own and have had varying success:

Start Singing Another, Catchier Song

This is dangerous and sort of like Febreezing a horrifically smelly sweatshirt rather than washing it, but desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes. The song you choose to replace your earworm will almost certainly become a second earworm. Do I want "Fancy" in my head? Absolutely not. But it's better than having half of an equally annoying song stuck in my head so that I sing the same line (literally, one line) over and over again for days. Resolution will often help you get over this whole messy business quicker. Which leads us to...

Listen To Your Earworm

It may seem unpleasant, but sometimes you just have to face your earworm head on. I actually find this the most helpful. A lot of the time all you really need is to hear the song outside your own head in order to set it free.

Watch a New Movie

I feel like if you're concentrating on something where you don't know what's going to happen, then the new information is taking over your brain and it can't focus on that song anymore. This would probably also work with a book, but only nerds read books.

Try the Gum Chewing Thing

And let me know if it works!

Images: Getty Images; Giphy(3)