Get That Song Outta Your Head With Science
    • MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013

    • Posted by: Matt Howard

    This morning, I underwent my normal, everyday commute: mile walk to the Path train that carries me swiftly (most of the time) from Jersey City into the heart of Greenwich Village, during which I sit (if I'm lucky) and enjoy catching up on the massive Stuff You Should Know catalogue of podcasts. So, why in the hell did I arrive at work with Will Smith's Men In Black theme song embedded in my brain? It drove me nuts, hearing the chorus on repeat without any sign of letting up made my Monday even more of a drag.

    So why the hell does this happen? Surely Josh and Chuck have addressed the issue of "earworms" in one of their many podcasts (maybe "How Commercial Jingles Work"), but this morning I luckily caught an article in The Telegraph that provided a scientific explanation, as well as a simple remedy for these musical looping pests.

    So what's the solution? According to researchers, the best way to absolve the earworm issue is to crack a few tricky anagrams. Yeah, that's it. But according to Dr. Ira Hyman, a music psychologist at Western Washington University, the puzzle shouldn't be too hard, nor too easy. So shoot for the "Medium" setting on that puzzle app folks, and you'll shake the chorus of Rihanna's "Diamonds" right outta your brain.

    According to the article, the researchers found the following songs to be the easiest to squeeze into your brain (and are those which were used in the tests:

    "Alejandro" Lady Gaga
    "Bad Romance" Lady Gaga
    "Call me Baby" Carly Rae Jepsen.
    "Single Ladies" Beyonc
    "She Loves You" The Beatles
    "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" The Beatles
    "She Loves You" The Beatles
    "SOS" Rihanna
    "You Belong with Me" Taylor Swift

    I have undoubtedly had each of those songs embedded in my head at some point. As you could imagine, there's a persistent echo of songs saturating our office, so just for fun, I asked around to find a few titles that have been pleasantly soundtracking our cognition.


    Justin Timberlake - "Suit & Tie" ft. JAY Z

    I know it's early, but I'm suddenly craving a Bud Light Platinum...

    St. Lucia - "September"

    Watch the full video at

    As soon as your head starts bobbing, you're a lost cause for sure.

    The Trouble With Templeton - "Six Months In A Cast"

    This sinister, yet heartwarming tune will puzzle your subconscious into submission.

    CHVRCHES - "Recover"

    Watch the full video at

    Even if the song doesn't stick, Lauren Mayberry will certainly latch onto your heart. Or is that just me?

    Solange - "Losing You"

    Watch the full video at

    Good luck trying to get that "pulling the cat's tail" loop out of your head! (Maniacal laugh...)

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