My five year old son asked why we don’t have an Elf on a shelf in our house. I said we did but the cat ate him. Photograph: AP
‘Science’ Says Christmas Music Is Bad for Your Mental Health. Oh, OK.
by SARAH TAYLOR
Tis the season to be … miserable?
Just in time for the holidays, science apparently says that Christmas music is detrimental to a person’s mental health.
A study reveals that the repetitive nature of Christmas music making the rounds on holiday radio damages the psychological disposition of a person.
Reportedly causing serious psychological injuries like boredom and distress, Christmas tunes on repeat also reportedly bring up negative emotions connected to holiday stressors, such as finances, family issues, and more.
Business Insider reports that hearing a deluge of Christmas music makes the brain “oversaturated,” which then, in turn, triggers a negative reaction.
“If you’re already worried about money, work, or seeing family during the holidays, the constant inundation of cheerful tunes may reinforce your stress instead of relieving it,” the report notes.
Also, Christmas music is said to affect employee productivity, and serves as a distraction.
Clinical psychologist Linda Blair says that holiday music can also create a psychological vacuum and negatively impact retail employees and their job performance.
“People working in the shops [have to tune out] Christmas music, because if they don’t, it really does stop you from being able to focus on anything else,” Blair says. “You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”
Blair did not explain how Christmas music was allegedly different in this respect from either the pop music or elevator music retail employees usually listen to in their workplace.
Additionally, Blair tells Sky News that “Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it’s played too loudly and too early.” Blair did not explain how Christmas music was in any way unique in its ability to irritate people when played at high volume, nor did she cite any studies showing that loud Christmas music would be more or less irritating than, say, loud Metallica.
In 2017, Blair spoke with the BBC, where she said that human brains process music on an emotional rather than physical level.
“There is always an emotional reaction to music depending on our memories,” Blair explained. “So that means if you play songs people associate with difficulties in their past, they’ll have a negative reaction to it. And of all music, Christmas probably gives the strongest of those reactions. Shops really can’t win on that one.”
Psychologists say playing Christmas songs on a loop can damage shop workers’ mental health.
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