earwigI woke up this morning with an Earworm.  No, not an earwig.    You don’t know what that is?  Yes, it is different than an earwig. According to Mirriam Webster, an Earworm is song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind after it is no longer playing.  According to Psychology Today, one study found that nearly 92% of people report having such an experience once a week or more frequently.  I definitely fall in the more frequently category.  For me, there are good earworms and bad earworms.  A Bad Earworm plays and replays catchy songs that I hate or even worse, commercial jingles.  Think Meow Mix (Meow, meow, meow, meow. Meow, meow, meow, meow. Meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow).   My Earworm today is a good Earworm, meaning it is a song I really like even though I’d like to turn it off for a while.  I contracted this Earworm listening to a live performance by on YouTube.   A forgotten song pops up, often by a performer I haven’t heard in a while, always with catchy lyrics and tune, and … CLICK … the music player in my brain starts playing it, over and over.  Today’s Earworm is typical …the tune is On the Radio by Donna Summer, a great song by a performer I perhaps underappreciated.

For me, the best way to deal with Bad Earworms is to prevent then.   I carefully choose where I listen to music to avoid well-known Bad Earworms like YMCA or Karma Chameleon … and I regularly mute commercials when I watch TV.  However, if you find yourself with an Earworm that is driving you crazy, Mental Health Daily (in an article Song Stuck In Head: “Earworm” Causes & How To Get It Out) offers some (admittedly odd-sounding) ways to bring your Earworm to a halt.  The article suggests chewing gum, working anagrams, doing Soduku, reading or listening to audiobooks.   The article has some interesting facts on the psychology of Earworms and also offers the solution I use … find a replacement Earworm.  When I find a song or jingle I hate has captured my earwaves … or even when a Good Earworm has overstayed its welcome, I listen to a playlist of favorites until new song I like takes over.  Like this one.

And the music plays on.

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