What Are Earworms – Why Do Songs Get Stuck In Your Head?

What are Earworms? Read about the songs that get stuck in your head and find ways to get rid of an ‘Earworm’. Why are they even called ‘Earworms’ at all.

Ever came across an Earworm that’s on your playlist played continuously in a loop? Even worse, listening to the song that kind of sticks in your mind.

What is an Earworm?

Well, experts define it as follows:

Earworm is a catchy melody or a song that runs continually through someone’s mind.

Brain worm, sticky music, or stuck song syndrome are the alternative names for the Earworm.

Is it a disease?

Probably not!

However, it is critical for your mental health and stability of mind.

Guess what?

You kept that perfectly seasoned pizza dough in the furnace, however, the Earworm made you forget about it.

That’s a lot of happiness that will go down the drain if you don’t look at the pizza while you listen to the Earworm.

What were the recently released songs that were an Earworm?


You are right!

The popular songs like “Shape Of You”, “Gangnam Style” and “Despacito” may be considered as Earworms.

Are they an earworm for everyone?

I don’t think so.

Many people have their own taste in music. A person may or may not like the music that his friends are actively listening to. Many people may not like these songs at all.

What makes a song an Earworm?

I think, for a song to be an earworm it has to be either too good to be on the playlist loop or too bad to be not on the playlist at all.

Sometimes a bad composition can also become an Earworm.

What makes a bad or good composition an earworm?


A composition, no matter how good or bad it is; if it is unique – it is going to be an earworm.

Our brain starts to buffer the earworm music while we are in any way connected with the song.

The lyrics, listening to a note or two or an abstract emotion can trigger the earworm to be played in your mind.

Experts say that there is no particular pattern that people experience while remembering a song.

Based on a study it is said that:

75% of the songs with lyrics are subjected to becoming an Earworm. The possibilities are very little for the instrumental music.

How to get rid of Earworms?

Switch off your music player and assume that you are in space!

Jokes apart, scientists believe that engaging yourself in moderately difficult tasks like solving Sudoku puzzles, solving a Rubik’s Cube or even reading a dramatic novel can get the earworm out of your mind.

That’s it from my side. Thanks for reading my 36th article in the series 100-day music blogging challenge. Stay tuned for more such informative articles.

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Published by Bharat

Hi, I'm Bharat. An artist, blogger, musician and digital marketing professional dedicated to sharing musing and stories about music, art and mindful resonance! Follow me @bharatpc