You know how you’re told too much of something is bad for your health? Like doughnuts, sitting, and bad news, too much Christmas music is not good for your well-being.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll hear holiday songs blasting through speakers at stores, restaurants, work, or maybe your own car. As much as we love to hear Mariah Carey singing about what she wants for Christmas, science backs that the endless lineup of tunes you’re listening to everywhere you go is like a slap to your mental health.
While there is evidence that music – even holiday music – can have positive effects on the mood and consumer spending, it can also trigger stress about finances, family, and travel. We know that music taps into our brains and emotions, but researchers have also found that due to the “mere exposure effect”, the repetition can cause a person to feel distracted, cranky, or just plain fed up.
According to UK clinical psychologist Linda Blair, Christmas music can be particularly draining for those who work in retail:
“People working in shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out – tune out Christmas music because if they don’t, it really does make you unable to focus on anything else. You’re simply spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”
In some cases, it has gotten to the point that shoppers will complain to management about the never-ending stream of holiday songs, prompting retailers to switch things up. Good idea!
If you’ve just realized that you are someone who gets annoyed after hearing 20 versions of Silent Night for weeks on end, it’s suggested that you shut off your radio, request a change in the playlist, or invest in some ear plugs. Otherwise, you’ll just have to manage your stress levels until the holiday season is over.
Can you relate to Christmas music fatigue? Does holiday music cheer you up or bring you down? What do you think of Christmas music’s negative effect on mental health?