How to I 'forget' music that plays on repeatedly in my head?

It just has to happen sometimes. You have spent the entire day on a video game or just happened to hear the same piece of music over and over again. So much so that it is stuck in your mind.

You can’t just let it ends. It’s forever looping. After it comes to its end, it will just jump to the most memorable part of the song.

You can’t just will it away. Nature adhors a vaccum.

You can’t replace it with another music. You blast your ears with another music, but once you stop doing it, the song comes back. Or you are so successfully that the new piece of music is stuck.

You can try humming. But once you stop humming, that 'og-damned piece of music comes iterating back.

You can’t sleep at nights, because the music keeps looping and looping and looping…

How do you stop music from looping in your mind?

This only happens to me from time to time. After seeing a Futurama episode featuring The Lost City of Atlanta under the ocean a few weeks ago, I couldn’t get the Donovan song Atlantis out of my head for several days (which was parodied in the episode by Donovan himself!). Finding the song and listening to it did not help. In fact it may have made it stick longer.

Oh no… here it comes again… Thanks a lot. Back! Back, I say! Way down below the ocean, is not where I want to be!

Try absorbing yourself in something intensely analytical to throw the mental transmission into another gear. 'Swhat I’m gonna do.

You’re talking about a brain itch, or earworm.
At the end of that linked article, it says:

In my own experience, I’ve found that if I play a recording of the song and really listen to it (or hear it on the radio) then the phenomenon tends to fade.
(Except for the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark, which has been in steady rotation in my head for the past 20 years).

This is the strategy that works for me. Think about a song that you don’t mind getting stuck in your head, and switch to that. The only time it doesn’t seem to work for me is when I try to switch from a fast song to a slow song. That never works for me. The music that works the best for me to switch to is the Doctor Who theme music.

I get this in the worst way. At times its nice since I basically get a soundtrack to my life but its not always appropriate and sometimes very annoying. Listening to a different style of music usually helps me.

Take a hammer and slam it on your big toe. This has a 100% success rate. I guarantee you forget about the music.

I find just listening to a radio works. It’s when I get up and walk away that some song is stuck in my head. "Sweet Home Alabama or worse, Freebird. {shudder}
But concentrating on another task also helps.

I find that listening to another peice of music that you like tends to make the mental soundtrack go away.
Of course, then you might find the second song sticking around as well…

This never happens to me and I think I know why. I’ve been playing guitar for 30 years (and boy are my arms tired). Anyway, because I’ve listened to, learned and played literally thousands of songs, there’s so many tunes in my brain that it never gets fixated on any one melody for any length of time. “Eve of Destruction” is replaced by “I Love Rock and Roll” which gets replaced by … well you get the idea.

For any other Dopers that play instruments, does this hold true for you too? Or do you get the infamous "song stuck in your head syndrome?

Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of the music is to pass it on. Go up to a friend you don’t mind losing and ask “Did you ever have a tune stuck in your head? Mine is…” then hum it for them. Now it’s in their head, and can fade from yours. A harsh solution? Perhaps. But it works! :smiley:

Take a nail. Then put it againest you head, now take a hammer and hit the nail hard with your other hand.

The hole will allow the song to escape…well, actually no, but I bet you won’t be thinking of the song.

Damnit, Now I’ve got it!

Thank you very much, buddy.

Guitarist Leo Kottke says another musician told him the cure is to play the song backwards. He used this to not only forget the *Woody Woodpecker Song,*but to stretch it into a song of his own.

For some odd reason, my friends and I have found that humming the **Australian National Anthem **gets any song out of our heads!

It’s the only thing we’ve found that we can hum that doesn’t simply replace whatever piece of music is currently sewing it’s every note into the delicate lining of your conciousness.

I don’t know why this is , whether it just works for us or even if it just works because we’ve convinced ourselves it does.

One friend thinks it is due to the fact that its something we’ve heard fairly frequently in our lives and our brains are ‘immune’ to it, if you will, and cannot be invaded by it’s evil, evil melodies of malady.

Though now that I’ve written that down and looked at it, it doesn’t seem all that valid a theory. After all, it’s often a song I know extremely well that imprints itself on my skull.

Who can say…?

“Some people swear by completion strategies - if you listen through a piece in its entirety, some times that will make it go away.”

I find that this sometimes works. Just wanted to second it.

I just thought I’d let you know I now hate you with rage and fire :wink:

Rassirfrassin’ Dr. Who Theme music… Dooo dee doooo… Dooo Dooo… Hey! I can watch Dr. Who this week. Yay for not working weekends!

Listen to something similar, if such exists; I got the chorus of Pink Floyd’s Wish you were here stuck in my head once and I managed to prise it out by listening to Phil Collins’ How I wish it would rain down - the melody for the title phrases (as well as the words themselves) is quite similar, but after that bit, they’re different and this was sufficient to ‘break’ the loop.

I agree with Buckler of Swashing’s friend that a frequently heard melody will be immune to becoming an earworm. My fix is to sing the ABCs. Try it! It works for me every time.

What works for me is to mentally slow the song down, slower and slower and slower, until you are concentrating on one single tone. Then hold that tone in mind for as long as you can.

Great, but it will be strange humming the National Anthem at 1am, in the middle of a dark and stormy night when you are trying to sleep.

The problem is usually tolerable - I fix it by having a MP3 around. The darned part is when you are trying to sleep and the music just loops and loops…Most of the method above works great if you are not trying to sleep…

I tried to imagine ‘radio silence’ before - it stops the music, and also me from sleeping.