Why Do People Hum? (9 Reasons Why)

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Freya Crawford

Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

You can hear people hum on any daily occurrence. You may hear someone humming as they walk past you on the street. Or maybe you notice that your friend hums quite often while you are around them.

People hum all the time and for different reasons. However, not everyone hums regularly. If you are not someone who hums often, you might wonder what causes people to hum. So, why do people hum? 

Why Do People Hum?

1. Song Stuck In Their Head

If you have ever had a song stuck in your head, you know how difficult it can be to forget it. You may hear a song on the radio or while watching a video, and it sticks with you for the rest of the day.

People who hum a lot may be humming if they have a song stuck in their head. Many people say that hearing the song again can help get it out of your head. Humming the song can do the same.

Someone may not necessarily want the song out of their head. Maybe they heard their favorite song and want to hum it because they like it. Nonetheless, having a song stuck in your head may incline you to hum it.

2. People Want To Remember Songs

In a similar way that someone may hum a song because it is stuck in their head, they could also hum to remember a song. If they have never heard it before, humming it can help them remember to find it later.

Suppose someone hears a new song but does not have a phone or paper and pen to jot down what the song is. Humming the song can help them keep track of the melody to find it and make note of it when they are able.

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3. People Make Up Tunes

One of the most popular reasons people hum is because they simply like making up their own tunes in their head. A particularly vocal person may choose to hum a made-up tune in their free time.

Humming made-up melodies can be especially useful for people who work in the music industry. If they constantly pursue new music and think of a new tune, they can hum it to keep it in their head.

Humming a new tune can help them remember it if they want to record something like it later. Of course, even those not involved in music often make up their own melodies when humming.

4. Humming Occupies People’s Time

An immense amount of people hum when they are bored. Humming can help someone bide their time when they have nothing that important to do. Humming is a good way to stay occupied for a short time.

If someone is traveling to work and trying to get ready for the day, they may hum to stay focused on the tasks ahead. In the same way, a student may hum while they are doing their homework.

You may hear someone hum while they are on a hike, walking around a city, or doing anything else where humming can help them pass the time. Humming is great for boredom or staying occupied.

5. Humming Is Self-Soothing

Humming Is Self-Soothing

Some people hum because it is self-soothing. If they are nervous or anxious about an upcoming event, humming can help them stay calm by grounding them in the moment.

Like other instances, people who hum to self-soothe may not even hum a song or melody. They could simply hum noises or syllables that help them remain calm and be present right where they are.

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Humming to self-soothe is also useful if someone is upset. It can help take their mind off of something for a time and keep them calm when they are not feeling the best.

6. People Are In High Spirits

People can hum if they are in high spirits. A good mood can boost one’s energy and make them more open to expressing their emotions. Humming is a great outlet for someone to let some excitement out.

Someone may wake up well-rested and hum while they are getting ready because they are enthusiastic about starting their day. They may choose to hum over singing or whistling if they live with other people.

Another person could hum because they are driving home from work after getting a job promotion. Any reason that may raise a person’s mood can make them more inclined to hum happily.

7. Humming Helps Singers

Humming helps singers. If you are not a singer, you may not have thought about humming being beneficial for your voice. Humming warms up your throat and releases tension from your vocal cords.

If an artist is rehearsing for a show or about to go on stage, they may hum some of the pieces they will be singing to warm up their vocal cords while staying familiar with the material for the show.

Singers have to fine-tune their voices just as much as a musician must keep their instruments in check. Humming can help them train their vocal cords and improve their singing.

8. It Aids Concentration

Much like self-soothing with humming, humming aids concentration. If someone is doing difficult homework or completing a complex project at work, humming can help them stay focused on the task at hand.

Humming allows you to free your mind of outside distractions and stay focused on what you are doing. Especially if you find a rhythm to the work you are doing, humming can also help you keep pace.

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If you have trouble concentrating when you need to take care of your responsibilities, you should try humming your favorite song or a made-up melody to see if it helps you stay focused.

9. Babies Hum In Early Stages

If you have been around babies, you might notice that some of them hum often. Babies hum for many reasons. One main reason is for the same self-soothing purposes mentioned above.

If a baby’s parent sings or hums them to sleep, the baby can remember those moments and try to imitate them. In this way, you may hear a baby humming quite often.

Another reason babies hum could be in an attempt to talk. Before their stages of being able to articulate words, they may hum to mimic noises they have heard before.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why hold music is so bad, why 80s music is so good, and why music is so powerful.


People hum for several reasons. If you do not hum regularly, you may wonder why people hum so often. They could be in a good mood, have a song stuck in their head, or be trying to pass the time.

If catch yourself humming, consider the reasons that might have caused it. This technique is an interesting way to learn about why you hum.


  • Freya Crawford

    Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

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