How I Stop Listening to a Song That I Get Obsessed With

a young woman putting a finger in both her ears to shut off noise

Does the post title bring back memories of Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey starrer “How to lose a guy in 10 days”? The first I heard of the movie might have been a couple of decades ago, And I remember thinking to myself, why would someone want to do that? 

I was naive at the time. Also, the movie didn’t do much justice to the title, seeing that both the characters eventually achieved the opposite of what they set out to.

Back to losing a song. That is way easier. All I have ever done to make that happen is to hear it on replay 100 times. 

Depending on how desperate you are to get it off being your earworm and how lengthy the song is, you could accomplish it in less than a day. If you don’t want to go cold turkey and have some mercy/respect for your ears, you might want to space it out over 3-4 days. 

I have learned over years of experimenting with this technique that the former works better. If you give your brain some rest, it will make hating the song a slower process. Your ears will thank you for choosing that option, though. 

Now, someone might very well ask the logical question(s):

“Why do I even have to do that? What does it matter that I am addicted to a song? Why can’t I listen to it as many ever times as I want… the last I knew, this was a free country.

And they’d be right. This article is probably not for people in the last category. The article post is for people desperate to escape the grip of their earworms- whatever the cost. 

You will find a variety of explanations out there as to why that happens – in literature, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy. These are everywhere. Here are a few: 

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” ergo… constant presence does just the opposite?

I know I am probably reaching now, but even the Maxwell distribution curve, which describes the behavior of gas particles, could be leveraged to understand this human tendency. 

With time, we develop an immense admiration for something and then comes a peak, a maxima of the feeling, and then it gradually decays with time. Happens with almost every feeling that we have.

“Law of diminishing marginal utility from economics.”

Simply put, as consumption increases, the marginal utility derived from each additional unit declines.

But the best of all comes from the great science of living the good life. And from the stoic of all stoics – Epictetus.

If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.

Ironically, I stumbled upon this famous quote while listening to a song I wanted to get rid of.

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2 thoughts on “How I Stop Listening to a Song That I Get Obsessed With

  1. Your technique would probably work for me but if I listen to a song dozens of times in a row, I’m likely to no longer appreciate it. The way I get a song out of my head is to listen to different music. There are so many songs that one can enjoy and services like Spotify make it so easy to stream brilliant content.

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    1. That’s definitely the rational/moderate way to do it, but unfortunately not pour moi! If a song is stuck in my head, any new song will just make me want to listen to my ‘hook song’ more. Vicious cycle really, I am thinking I might have an undiagnosed condition. Time for me to go read DSM IV manual!

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