Catchy songs are infectious, so you shouldn't feel bad if you've spent the last six months muttering about being all about that bass. Treatments for this persistent condition normally include either playing the track on a loop until you're bored of it, listening to anything else or forcing yourself to put it out of your mind. They all work to some degree, but it looks as if researchers at the University of Reading have found a far more successful solution: to chew gum. According to the findings, the best and easiest way to eliminate an earworm is to crack open a pack of Wrigley's.
The researchers believe that the mental pathways that run to the ear are the ones that hold onto catchy songs. When you start to chew gum, the mechanical action of your jaw disrupts these pathways to wash away the tune. Even better, of course, is that there are several other reported cognitive benefits of chewing, including improved concentration and alertness. Unfortunately, the scientists can't be sure if the chewing is a specific magic bullet for earworms, or if it's just sufficiently distracting to help you forget -- but if you'd like to try for yourself, grab a pack of sugar-free gum and try to beat these songs out of your subconscious.
Now we move into the harder leagues...
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