Ear worms with something to say

29 Aug 2022
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… or should I say ohrwurm, stuck song syndrome, sticky music or even brain worm according to Wikipedia. Whatever we call it, do you ever find yourself with a melody repeating endlessly in your ears, or lyrics scrolling past in a loop in your head?

 

For me, music is a key feature in the life of my mental health for two reasons. The first is when I am feeling up and have music – loud and singalongable and often punky – leaking out the corner of my mouth behind my covid mask if I am in public or shouted at the windscreen if I am driving to work.

 

And reflecting on music in the car (accompanied by “Suddenly I see” ;^) has made me realise that often the sing/shout along is a way of blocking out too many thoughts chasing around my head and enabling me to get a bit of focus. It’s also an indicator of an impending crash when I just don’t have the energy to listen to the full on performers, let alone join in.

 

The other thing I have noticed about my dear ear worms is the number of times I wake with a song already in my head – whether its “You’ve broken every rule” or “She did it all”. And often the apparently random sentiment is linked to what is going on in my life just then, how I’m feeling or what I am thinking.

 

Over the last year I have learned to listen to the worms in my ear and pay attention to what my sleeping subconscious is trying to tell me. It has been surprisingly insightful.

 

So how about you? Whats going on in your head? And is your subconscious blocking things out, or trying to tell you something? Meanwhile, I have Aretha’s “Think” to keep me company.

Guy

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Comments

Lifelong Learner

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:14 a.m.

Thank you Guy, your post struck a chord for me :)) I call it the Jukebox in my Mind, and often wake to the lyrics of a long forgotten song whirring round inside my mind....nothing this morning ..and I can’t think of an example right now, but I find the words of a song can often give me insight to my state of mind. Great blog!

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Lifelong Learner

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:14 a.m.

Thank you Guy, your post struck a chord for me :)) I call it the Jukebox in my Mind, and often wake to the lyrics of a long forgotten song whirring round inside my mind....nothing this morning ..and I can’t think of an example right now, but I find the words of a song can often give me insight to my state of mind. Great blog!

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Daisy

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:20 a.m.

Dear Guy I think the subconscious worms it’s way out even if you are trying to suppress something- for me it is speaking in my sleep- I don’t speak much during the day- so seems weird I sleep talk. Often it will be ok -at times of stress when under pressure I think my subconscious is telling my conscious not to worry In last week’s I wake from dreams where I am trying to escape something- my guess is I have been mainly at her for 3 years Covid restricted work from home then stopped working- May be I need to shift to spend more time in the world Thanks for the blog- though provoking

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Teg

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:52 a.m.

Hi Guy Thank you for reminding everybody of the benefits of music. I also often wake with lyrics in my head and it only takes small triggers to identify more. On my early morning walks I often sing along to myself. I was reading yesterday about ways in which certain positive activities can hep with physical pain. According to a 2019 study in the "Journal of Pain Research" happy music can reduce pain. Most evenings I listen to music. One of my favourite songs is "One Moment in Time" by Dana Winner. It makes me emotional every time. As the old saying goes "The early listener catches the lyrics". Txx

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Jul

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:54 a.m.

Hello Guy When I worked at a job I liked but the environment and many colleagues created an unhealthy atmosphere, I would play Madonna on the radio at full blast driving into work. I would sit and listen to her before I plucked up courage to enter the building! I would quote her words "Express yourself. Don't repress yourself as I walked in. You've got me singing "Suddenly I see.." in my head now. I do agree that what goes in in anxiety dreams and in our head with which we apparently have little control can tell us a lot about our underlying worries. Great Guy. Jul xx

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the room above the garage

Aug. 30, 2022, 7:20 a.m.

Suddenly I see is my ear worm today too, very happily! :-)

Jul

Aug. 31, 2022, 7:01 a.m.

Good ratg. Mine too today aswell as yesterday! Suddenly I see...Jul xx

the room above the garage

Aug. 30, 2022, 7:23 a.m.

I’ve not paid attention to the sub conscious side (and I will now!) but I definitely have better mental health when I use earphones and audiobooks during my working day. It not only helps me concentrate but helps me block out my own narrative. Music is my first love and thank you for my ear worm today :-)

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Sue

Aug. 30, 2022, 8:01 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Guy, yes i often have earworms and love them mostly. Reading this reminded me to put some music on while I am working here. I've started putting it on shuffle as I have difficulty deciding what to listen to. I wonder what I will be singing to myself later?

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Valerie

Aug. 30, 2022, 9:33 a.m.

Hello Guy, I am currently going half crazy with an ear worm.I caught a ****** of "Little White Bull" by Britain's pitifull answer to Elvis,Tommy Steele.I hate this song for so many reasons,not least the comical portrayal of bull-fighting. Generally this is what I find with ear worms,they are songs I hate.I did have a good one recently though,War by Edwin Star-great stuff.I am going to play it again,maybe he can drive away *******Little White Bull ! x

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Teg

Aug. 30, 2022, 5:40 p.m.

Hi Val What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Txx

Lexi

Aug. 30, 2022, 11 a.m.

Hello Guy, my 13 yr old has me singing along with her in the car these days to who knows but they are catchy tunes. I have started leaving Radio Paradise on in the house all day while I work. I realized the other day how much music affects my moods! xo

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Oli

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:21 p.m.

Curious, checked out Radio Paradise. So far, so good. Many thanks for the heads up!

Lexi

Aug. 30, 2022, 8:44 p.m.

Glad to help Oli! :) The story behind it is a cool one - guy was in prison and I believe he started a radio station there. There are no ads - he only asks for donations. I usually select the Radio Paradise Mellow mix for the mornings, but straight up rock if I need to get a lot of work done!

Just some guy you know

Sept. 8, 2022, 4:52 p.m.

Another prison radio story at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001bs04!

Patty

Aug. 30, 2022, 2:06 p.m.

Regarding ear worms, I have been liistening to a country artist named RaeLynn lately. I have her songs in my head constantly now. I really like her. She was a contestant on the Voices 2nd season. I have been having a lit more earvqirmavsince listening to her lately.

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Oli

Aug. 30, 2022, 6:37 p.m.

Hi Guy, thanks for the blog. I don't know if my own subconscious has any insights -- I think I just hear stuff, I'm not convinced it's trying to tell me anything or block anything. But I'm not discounting it -- just because I can't imagine something doesn't mean it's not a thing for other people. There are some really great lyrics out there. Lots and lots of rubbish too but some gems.

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Another Sally

Aug. 31, 2022, 7:13 a.m.

Morning all, just trying to catch up with comments of the last few days. If I want to try and ditch an ear worm, I sometimes sing The hills are alive, with the sound of music, or even the tune to the Marseillaise - because it doesn’t stick. I’ve recently taken to humming bits of the Pilgrim’s chorus from Tannhauser. It has an uplifting orchestral backing. We have a local ice cream van that plays a TV sport theme tune and I have to avoid hearing that or it can stick in my brain for hours. Aargh. AS x P.s from yesterday. Good blog Lex. Just on the approach to Moreton there are a couple of dead oak trees, but their skeletons are magnificent. Or were - sadly their limbs are starting to break off. A couple of years ago the best one had a beautiful silvery trunk, where the bark had come away. I love them. AS xx

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Just some guy you know

Sept. 8, 2022, 4:54 p.m.

Sounds like some of the old dead trees I swim past in the river just above town! Bone white, like skeletons as you say 8^D

Mary

Aug. 31, 2022, 11:19 a.m.

I'm a retired musician and singer. I've been listening/playing/performing songs for 5 decades. I have a tremendous back catalogue which my brain trawls through. I wake up every day with some ditty running through my head - often just a little snippet, over and over. I can't rest till I've identified it and found it on Youtube. Today's offering (thank you brain) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoX52Sua8Oc

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Just some guy you know

Sept. 8, 2022, 4:55 p.m.

Glad to see the post struck a chord with some ;^) ... and apologies for not replying to people sooner or more fully. Been in a bot of a slump the last week (or four) and didn't realise it had been posted!

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Just some guy you know

Sept. 8, 2022, 4:55 p.m.

Glad to see the post struck a chord with some ;^) ... and apologies for not replying to people sooner or more fully. Been in a bot of a slump the last week (or four) and didn't realise it had been posted!

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