by Brooke Katz and Kelsey Mittauer | CBS 11By Brooke Katz

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.

Retailers, restaurants and other businesses are playing holiday music non-stop these days.

For many people the songs bring excitement about the season, but for others the tunes can be a trigger.

“It’s not uplifting for everybody,” said Leigh Richardson.

The licensed professional counselor says a lot of people are actually stressed by seasonal music.

“I have a friend that says, ‘I hate Christmas music,’ and I said ‘why?'” said Richardson, “and she said, ‘because all I think about is long lines.'”

Richardson continued, “For some people they think ‘I’m going to gain so much weight’ or ‘I’m going to go into debt.’ It doesn’t always produce those positive memories.”

She suggests taking a deep breath and looking past the lyrics because there’s a good chance the songs are not the root case of stress. There’s something else triggering those emotions.


Then there’s the matter of repetition, which can ruin the greatest hits.

“Background music isn’t really background music,” said Ola Sars.

He would know; he’s built a business helping stores and restaurants increase sales with the use of music all year long.

“It should enhance the experience and it should improve the experience.”

Sars founded Soundtrack Your Brand as a joint effort with Spotify in 2013.

He says the right music has the power to activate consumers.

Recent company research found that if a retailer is playing good music, 41% of shoppers are more likely to stay longer and 21% are more likely to buy more.

“Whatever small business or big business you’re running, you want people to stay there because time means money,” said Sars.

Too many times, he says, businesses don’t check their playlist once or twice.

“Okay it’s time everyone,” he laughed. “Let’s get out the Christmas CD with 29 tracks, with Mariah Carey and Billie Holliday and let’s run it until people basically faint.”

While shoppers can pop in and out, Sars says employees have it worst of all.

“The employers really need to think about what staff goes through. They’re basically hurting, really hurting during Christmas.”

That’s why the Stoneleigh P bar in Oak Lawn only allows the Mariah Carey classic to be played once a night. “Once we hear those twinkles, we run for the remote,” a manager recently told CNN.

But if you can’t get enough of Mariah and all the rest, there’s a place for you.

The Decorator’s Warehouse in Arlington plays holiday music seven months straight. “For us, we pretty much live in Christmas mode all year,” said manager Kristin Black. “We’re just used to it, we enjoy it.”