How to cure an earworm

How to cure an earworm

You’ll know that drug companies have finally gone too far when they produce a drug that treats a common condition known as earworm.

Fortunately there’s already a natural method for extracting an earworm. Although I have to admit this therapy has its drawbacks.

You have an earworm when a song gets stuck in your head and goes round and round and just won’t stop. You hear an advertising jingle on the radio and it stays with you for an hour, or two, or all day. That’s an earworm.

Believe it or not, a study of earworms (also known as “stuck song syndrome”) was presented at a meeting of the Society for Consumer Psychology. Professor James J. Kellaris, Ph.D., of the University of Cincinnati, enrolled more than 550 subjects to find out how pervasive earworms are, what sorts of tunes are the most likely to stick, and how to get rid of them.

Only two percent of the study group reported no experience with earworms. So almost all of us occasionally succumb to this condition.

According to the study, popular songs that get stuck in heads most often include “YMCA,” “It’s a Small World After All,” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Great. Now I have all THREE of those stuck in my head.

The best way to get rid of an earworm is to think of another song and run that one over a few times in your head. Of course, this “therapy” creates a very high risk of developing a new earworm. But better to have an earworm of your choice than a tune that advertises next-day carpet installation.

My apologies if I just gave you an earworm.

“Songs Stick in Everyone’s Head” Daniel DeNoon, WebMD Medical News, 2/27/03,