When Christmas music may harm mental health, according to expert
It's almost time to deck those halls, New Jersey. The Holiday season is right around the corner, and so are the Christmas tunes.
Whether you like it or not, get ready to hear about the arrival of Rudolf or the adventures of Frosty at least 5 times a day. Not to mention the 5 golden rings that come with it.
And with how holidays seem more and more rushed, those tunes will certainly be on the playlist at many of New Jersey's retailers. 'Tis the season after all and there's no way to avoid it.
Some places wait until after Thanksgiving to start playing them, while others do it sooner than that. And in the most extreme cases, some might crank up the jingle bells before November 1.
The bottom line is this. Once October rolls around on the calendar, Christmas music slowly starts working its way out and to our ears.
Before we go over what this expert says about it, let's first ask you. In your opinion, what is the absolute earliest retailers should be playing Christmas music in their stores?
The reason we're focusing on retail and restaurant establishments is that we don't have control over when they decide to flip over full-time. Christmas and holiday tunes, however, are always readily available for us to listen to personally in one form or another.
With that said, is there a time of year for Christmas and holiday music when it has a negative effect on our mental health? Apparently, there is.
According to clinical psychologist Linda Blair, listening to those holiday tunes too soon may be harmful to your mental health. But there's sound reasoning to back her claim.
According to a story on observer.com, Psychologist Linda Blair "warns against jamming out to Christmas music too early in the holiday season, because it may prematurely trigger the stress of Christmas shopping, cooking, cleaning, and interacting with your weird in-laws."
This honestly makes sense since Christmas music puts us in that holiday mode. But that also gets us stressing out over everything else that comes along with the holiday season.
Aside from that, the repetitive nature of Christmas music can also take a toll. It's the same tunes year after year after year.
Sure, occasionally a new song comes along and gets added to the rotation, but that doesn't happen much. More often it's usually a cover version of a Christmas song that already exists.
Speaking of cover versions, think about how many versions of your favorite holiday tunes there are. Even if the versions of the songs are different, it's still technically the same song being played again and again.
Combine the repetitive nature of the music with the added stress it triggers thinking of shopping and seeing family you might not necessarily want to, it's no wonder it might have a negative impact on mental health.
And the same effect happens with retail workers, where they don't have a choice for hours a day. According to Linda Blair, “You simply are spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.” Not only does that affect customers, but productivity from employees also goes down.
So an argument could certainly be made for retailers to hold up on playing those Christmas tunes too early. But what exactly is considered too early?
When it comes to retail, we know what New Jersey thinks based on the poll results above. But apparently, retailers should try to hold off on going full force with Christmas tunes until at least December.
Closer to the big holiday is better. But traditionally, Thanksgiving typically marks the official start of the holiday season and flip to holiday tunes.
That's not to say Christmas displays can't be put out sooner. It's more about the overall mood created by the music itself.
So for retail and restaurant establishments, take note. For you, it might be better to wait until at least Thanksgiving or December to flip the music over full-time.
Is there truly a right time?
In my opinion, I don't know if I agree with this as a firm time to start listening to Christmas music all the time. I do, however, agree and believe retailers should hold off from playing them too soon.
But aside from that, I think it should be up to the individual. This psychologist does make a good point about listening too early in the season for some, but it shouldn't apply to everyone.
Retail yes, but not individually. If listening to Christmas music doesn't phase you whatsoever, then there really isn't a time that's too soon.
However, if listening to Christmas tunes does trigger that stress, then maybe this advice is something you should take into consideration.
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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.