Can’t stop singing or humming Despacito or Gangnam Style? Here’s how experts say you can get rid of songs that get stuck in your head.
It’s happened to all of us – we hear a song, and then we just cannot get it out of our head.
These pesky tunes are sometimes known as “earworms” – and, like Despacito, they are universal across cultures.
The brain is particularly open to catching an earworm when it is functioning below capacity, says professor Michael Oehler, chairman of the German Society for Music Psychology.
Whether it happens to you very often or not has to do with your auditory memory.
“If this is particularly well-developed, you will be more prone to getting tunes stuck in your head,” says Oehler.
There are also some songs that are more likely to get into your head than others.
According to Oehler, that will depend “on the melody and speed,” among other things.
Sometimes, an earworm can be triggered by a sensory memory.
An example of this would be if you often listen to a particular song with your mother, the smell of her perfume might remind you of the tune.
To get rid of annoying earworms, it helps to give your brain something else to focus on.
Distractions such as something interesting to read, for example, may help.
Whatever you do, don’t dance
Moving to music can make catchy tunes stick in your head even more.
Moving against the rhythm could help, though.
And if you can face it, try listening to the whole song one more time.
“Sometimes that will make it disappear,” Oehler says. – dpa