I’m sorry to burst your bubble, Michael Bublé fans, but listening to too much Christmas music is apparently bad for your mental health. It may come as no surprise that hearing countless versions of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” on repeat isn’t exactly good for your sanity, but according to Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist in Great Britain, festive jingles also force people to think about all of the things they have to accomplish before the holidays, like shopping, planning parties, prepping meals, and organizing travel.
The constant reminder of sleigh bells in your ear can exacerbate feelings of stress during the holidays, she explained to Sky News. “It really does stop you from being able to focus on anything else,” she said. “You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”
It tends to be worse for retail workers, as stores are known to use music to boost sales. Blair added that employees are most at risk because they hear the same songs over and over each day, and it can become hard to “tune it out.” Considering the Christmas Creep starts as early as October now, it is safe to say we can expect to see a few scenes straight out of Bad Santa this year.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try turning off the tunes and avoiding the malls (unless, of course, you work there). Happily, holiday shopping can be done from the comfort of your home these days.