Megan Garber’s artlicles on the Atlantic Monthly site always delight. (See a previous post that I did for Zeteo is Reading.) I’ve read various versions of this article earworms on different sites: How to Get Beyonce Out of Your Head: The Scientific Solution.
To defeat an earworm, they suggest, you just have to fool your brain into solving another puzzle — a non-musical puzzle. The best way to do that? Give it actual puzzles to concentrate on. Do a quick crossword. Tackle an anagram. Spend a few minutes, even, reading a novel. Replace the earworm with another worm, tricking your mind out of its need to finish what it started by giving it something else — something simple, but not too simple — to focus on.
My only issue with this solution is that most earworms find their way into my head when I’m trying to fall asleep.