Stay Away From the Mall Because Research Shows Christmas Music Can Actually Drive You Insane
It’s already November, which means that “Christmas Creep,” the phenomenon of holiday items appearing on shelves earlier and earlier every year, is well underway. Gingerbread houses and advent calendars started popping up in my local grocery store about a month ago, but this weekend I officially heard my first holiday song. If you’ve managed to avoid the holiday tunes thus far, don’t expect to go much longer. But beware: studies show that too much Christmas music is bad for your mental health.
Now, mind you, I’m one of those people that loves the holiday season, and while those opening jingle bells of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” send shivers of holiday cheer down my spine, I already know that that joyful tingle will turn into rage before long.
According to researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, there is a u-shaped relationship between the number of times we hear a song and our reaction to it. This is called the “mere exposure effect” and it’s never more prevalent than during the holiday season.
This phenomenon explains why, at first, you may be excited to hear holiday music, but eventually reach a limit to how much your can take before mentally crashing. You reaction depends on your pre-existing mental state, but for many people, it can trigger stress and anxiety, often surrounding the idea of family gatherings and holiday gift shopping.
The catch-22, of course, is that to relieve the stress of gift shopping, you need to spend more and more time in stores, where the Christmas tunes are inescapable. Studies show that a combination of holiday themed music and scents are the most successful way to keep customers shopping for longer periods of time and buying larger quantities.
So this year, to keep your anxiety at bay, maybe stick to online shopping. With Christmas invading literally every public space, nook, and cranny, leaving the safety of your own home is dangerous for your peace of mind. Plus, more time at home means more time on the computer, which means more time for you to browse through FML!
We’re all a little mentally unstable here so we won’t judge you, and above all, we promise not to bombard you with nauseating Christmas spirit!