Earworms or ‘involuntary musical imagery’ is a common phenomenon where songs involuntarily get stuck in your mind. This means that songs might end up just endlessly playing on repeat in your head regardless of the time of day or activities that you might be doing.
This may happen spontaneously or it may be triggered by emotion, word associations or having recently heard the song. You might see someone wearing a certain coloured top, or hear a humming tune and it can trigger a memory that in return can trigger the song to start playing in your head.
An earworm is defined as “the inability to dislodge a song and prevent it from repeating itself in one’s head,” which is also described as a “cognitive itch.”
For me personally, I have been struggling with earworms for as long as I can remember. I sometimes wake-up in the middle of the night and I have shaggy’s it wasn’t me is echoing in my head. More recently I have had work by Rihanna and Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten. So imagine waking up in the middle of the night and you hear Rihanna singing work work work work work… Or someone starts talking to you at work and suddenly Frozen’s Let it go starts playing so loudly in your head while you are trying to concentrate on what they are saying.
That’s me. Every single day. It might sound fun but it can be quite fatiguing.
Lets take a look at some of the following videos that explain in more detail how earworms work and why they get stuck in our heads.
Do you struggle with earworms? What do you do to get rid of them?
Also, for those of you who might not fully understand what it would feel like to have earworms… Take a listen to the below song, now imagine that at any given time, this plays at full volume in your head for absolutely no reason, and when you think it’s over, it simply starts again… enjoy!
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