I have earworm issues.
Sorry, didn’t mean to shout that at you, but it approximates the amount of blasting irritation it causes me.
Dictionary.com defines earworm as
a tune or part of a song that repeats in one’s mind.
Of course, most people have the experience of a song that they can’t get out of their head, so it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But for me, it’s a huge problem. I consider it actual torture. If I get an earworm, that bit of a song will play in my head 24/7 for weeks, with no relief. It will play when I’m sleeping, reading, working, and even when I’m talking.
It tends to trigger most frequently if I hear a song at night, and that song is generally one that I know the words to.
Of course, I enjoy music, so although I don’t completely eliminate music from my life, I tend to avoid it a lot more than I’d like.
I Love To Dance
Dancing is high on the top of my list of fun things to do. I have a playlist that I use when I want a good dance workout. The songs are familiar to me, and I basically know the words to each song, but the words aren’t deeply ingrained in my brain, so they don’t tend to cause an earworm. If any of the songs on the list would become that deeply ingrained, I’d have to replace it with something else.
My Favorite Dance Playlist
How I Kill An Earworm
Although I can’t always kill an earworm, I have found a way to stop it at least some of the time – maybe even half the time. The secret to zapping an earworm out of my head is to listen to instrumental music. A tune, without words, often drowns out the tune with words that is taking up far too much space in my brain. Luckily, I like instrumental music, although I pretty much hate classical music, so don’t confuse the two. And I’m not terribly fond of elevator music either, which is generally just an instrumental version of songs with words. Those usually sound a bit cheesy to begin with, but in addition, my head tends to supply the words, and then all hope is once again lost.
Smooth Jazz is a favorite of mine, but unfortunately, the list of smooth jazz tunes is fairly limited. I’ve heard them all so many times over the years that I’m a bit bored with them by now. So I often go down the rabbit hole to find new instrumental music that fits my taste.
Here’s an example of an instrumental album that I never get tired of listening to. It is the perfect mix of music that is upbeat, isn’t just a rehash of songs that normally have words, and hasn’t yet become too boring for me.
The Instrumental Playlist I’m Listening To Right Now
I think part of the reason I enjoy this album so much is that I love the spanish guitar sounds. It’s called “Instrumental Music to Love, Smooth Jazz Cool Blues Spanish Guitar for Massage, Dinner Party, Intimate Moments”. That’s a hell of an album title, eh? It’s like someone wanted it to rank well in the search engines so they threw in every keyword they could think of into the title. I imagine that thought process was something like this:
“Oh, what if someone searches Google for “massage music”. Our album would be great for that! Let’s put the word “massage” in the title. Yeah, ok, but what if someone searches for music for … er … um … intimate moments? Yeah yeah, let’s put that phrase in there. Our music is great for that! Sure, fine, but it’s also kinda like smooth jazz. Yeah, kinda like cool blues too. It’s everything! For everyone! Okay, it’s not rock or rap or all those things, but it’s multifaceted, right? Yeah, let’s call it “Instrumental Music to Love, Smooth Jazz Cool Blues Spanish Guitar for Massage, Dinner Party, Intimate Moments”. That should cover it all.”
Whew. Anyway, as iffy as the title might be, I enjoy listening to this playlist, and it’s the best one I’ve found to help drown out any errant earworms making their way through my head. This playlist is just one album, so it’s short – only about an hour long. That’s about right for the amount of time I would have to listen anyway.