Why do we get songs stuck in our head?


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It’s the most annoying thing in the world. No questions asked. The worst. Having a song stuck in your head all day, probably not even a song you like! Probably just one line or even tune from a song. But why? Why does a song get stuck in our head and it feels impossible to get rid of it till the next annoying song comes through.

This article articulates how and why songs get stuck in our heads, and really there’s no reason. Great. It goes on to describe that really the reason we get a song stuck in our head is because we recognize the song and probably find the tune catchy enough for us to want to keep singing it, even if we can’t hear it.


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A song may be more likely to get stuck in your head if it was a childhood song you heard a lot. According to this article, it can my psychological. Hearing certain songs can trigger memories and emotions and cause the song to get stuck in your head. Further in the article it talks about how there can be treatments to ‘ear worms’. You can try by singing other songs with different tunes and that could potentially flush out the original song, but then you run the risk of getting the new song stuck in your head. Also light exercise or mind stimulating activities like puzzles could help.

Whether it’s a song you love or hate we’ve all been there. From the research done by experts, we get songs stuck in our head because of exposure and rhythm in our mind, and there isn’t really a ‘cure’ to it other than learning to distract yourself from it.

4 thoughts on “Why do we get songs stuck in our head?

  1. Madelyn Erin Peikin

    This post was relatable and funny to read. I found it funny that there really is no “cure.” We are stuck singing the same song until we can finally get rid of it–even if it takes all day. I did theater in high school, and currently have a show tune stuck in my head. It is the absolute worst! I am also always listening to music on my way to class and sometimes during class I find myself singing those songs in my head. After reading your article, I did some research of my own and found that some people are at higher risk of getting songs stuck in their heads. people with obsessive compulsive disorder are at very high risk! Here is the website: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/earworms-why-songs-get-stuck-in-your-head/ Thanks for sharing– this post made me laugh.

  2. John Rutledge

    This is a really interesting post actually. I have always wondered why only a certain song would stay in our head vs. some other song. I think that it just has to do with the beat in the song and our brain would just tell us that this is enjoyable.

  3. Raegan S Pechar

    This topic is extremely interesting because I ALWAYS have a song stuck in my head – right now, it’s Kanye, haha. For some reason I never sought to explore the actual science behind it. After some of my own research, it was interesting to find that most “ear worms” have similar melodies and rhythmic tendencies that get inside our heads. It is also very interesting to explore the actual brain science behind it, and how your brain interacts with music and memory. I think it would be interesting to explore actual scientific research studies on ear worms and specifically the brain, rather than articles!


  4. Matthew Edward Simco

    This is an interesting post. I can attest to your statement about saying getting a song stuck in your head is one of the most frustrating things in the world, especially when it is a song you dislike. I have never been able to find a clear solution for this problem either. Usually if I get a song stuck in my head, it is there for the remainder of the day. There is one website that works to get songs stuck in your head. How it does it is by getting another song stuck in your head! This is not helpful, as you still have a song stuck in your head, but I found it interesting/funny. That website is posted below.

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