How to Get a Song Out of Your Head

There’s nothing more distracting and annoying than having a particular song stuck in your head – this predicament is also known as having an earworm. More often than not, this will be some awful song or jingle you happened to hear by accident, which will start playing in your head at inconvenient times (during work, or when you are giving an exam, for instance). While there is really is no way to un-hear it, there are several things you can do to make the mental torture stop, and get that terrible song out of your head.


  • 1

    Part of what makes it so annoying to have an earworm is the loud volume at which the song keeps playing in your head, preventing you from focusing on anything. Take control of your mind, and concentrate all your energy on turning down the mental volume of the song to a whisper. This should make it less annoying.

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  • 2

    Usually, when you have a song stuck in your head, it is just a small part of the entire song, and the predicament is a lot like a disease that hasn’t reached full term yet. To get it out of your system, go to a place where you can make as much noise as you want. Here, play the whole song at full volume, and sing along with it at the top of your lungs. Feel free to vent your frustration by incorporating a fair bit of screaming and shouting into your performance - sing it like Corey Taylor would. Hopefully, this will flush it out of your system.

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  • 3

    Look for an “antidote” song. Every time the earworm strikes, immediately plug in your earphones, and start listening to another song. The only downside to this solution is that the antidote song could become your next earworm. In order to avoid this, make sure the antidote is a song you really like.

  • 4

    Try distracting yourself with extreme physical or mental exercise. Go rock-climbing or try sky-diving. Less adventurous people can simply sprint around the block, lift weights, do push-ups and pull-ups, or even dance for a bit. If this doesn’t work, turn to mental distraction – try out a couple of difficult math problems, do a crossword, or try solving a Rubik’s cube. You could also combine both mental and physical distraction techniques – e.g. try completing a Sudoku puzzle while standing on your head.

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  • 5

    Listen to songs from different cultures. This should give your mind something to think about, and drive the earworm out of your head completely. Try out gamelan music from Indonesia, or Sufi songs from Turkey. It is best if these songs have lyrics that you do not comprehend, or don’t have any lyrics at all – this will make it more difficult for the song to get stuck in your head.

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