Earworm killer

Steely Dan: The Royal ScamI GUESS I SHOULD begin with an apology for putting “An Old Fashioned Love Song” in your head last month. I haven’t talked to anyone whose computer does the same thing to them—does yours? As promised, here is a short post to tell you how I am able to get earworms out of my head.

This came to me the other night while I was lying in bed with a song going through my head. It was “The Fez” by Steely Dan, which is actually a kind of pleasant song to have as an earworm, within reason. Who doesn’t like Steely Dan? I even know why it was in my head: because I’d just played the word “FEZ” in Scrabble (for 35 points). But I needed to sleep.

I can’t claim that my earworm-killing technique is completely original. Earlier in the day, I had read about techniques for eliminating worries from your head in a good article in Brain Pickings, a self-proclaimed free weekly interestingness digest that I recommend you subscribe to. My technique is sort of similar.

Brain PickingsIt requires visualization. If you’re not a believer in such things, then this won’t work for you, sorry. But it really will work for folks outside of Northern California if you give it a shot. Here’s what you do if a song is stuck in your head:

  • Picture the record of it going around and around on a turntable. (If you’re too young and I’ve already lost you, go and ask an old person what that means.)
  • Picture yourself lifting the needle off the record.
  • Picture yourself taking the record off the turntable (holding it by the edges, of course), slipping it into the paper sleeve, and slipping the sleeve into the record jacket.
  • Put the record on the shelf.

That’s it. Let me know if it works.


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