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What causes 'earworms,' and how to banish them

What Causes Earworms And How To Get That Pesky Song Out Of Your Head

Don't worry, earworms aren't the newest creepy bug out there -- though they are incredibly annoying.

You know when you get a little piece of a song stuck in your head that you just can't shake? Those tunes that you can't seem to stop humming are called 'earworms' (though the fancier name is 'stuck song syndrome').

Whether it's the chorus of a Justin Bieber song or one sentence from a jingle you heard on the radio, earmworms can make you feel like you're losing your mind.

So, just how did it get in in there, and how do you turn it off? Some scientists think this happens because for eons humans have passed down knowledge through song. But, it also depends on your personality type, how often you've heard a song, and if it's associated with a particular memory or task, like if it's overplayed on the radio.

Plus, if you associate the song with a time in your life or memory, it has a better chance of getting stuck too.

Now, how do you get it to go away? For one, engage your brain with other stuff. Try talking to somebody or doing a crossword puzzle. Another way to get that little chunk of a song out of your head is to listen to the whole song. If your brain gets the full picture, you'll be less inclined to get just a part of it repeated over and over in your head.

Want to take your mind off an earworm? Check out this fun photobomb gallery:



So, the next time "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea pops into your head, go ahead and listen to the whole thing. You know you want to, anyway.

What song is always stuck in your head? Share your earworm-y thoughts in the comments.

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