Although it seems maddeningly impossible, new research suggests we really can get rid of that nagging tune that endlessly plays over and over again in our head.
For those of you who had Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” in your head for most of 2012, or haven’t been able to stop your brain from playing “Master of the House” since seeing “Les Miserables” over the holidays, you’ll want to take note.
The trick is this: We can banish earworms from our brains by engaging in an absorbing task – something that is not too easy, but not too difficult, either.
Study subjects attempted puzzles of varying complexity, and those who worked on more difficult ones reported experiencing the earworm phenomenon more frequently.
“You want to find the point at which you’re pretty engaged in a task so there’s not much room or consciousness for music to be playing in your head,” Hyman suggested.
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