#5. Listening to Pop Music
Yes, pop music is basically cranial crack, to the point that scientists have actually been able to predict which songs would become big sellers by hooking kids up to an MRI scanner and playing previously unheard pop tunes for them. When a future hit came on, the pleasure center of the brain lit up like a Christmas tree.
Here’s the curious thing: The participants were also surveyed about the songs, and the reviews they gave them were significantly different from what their brain scans revealed. Yes, although the songs gave their brains the kind of high you usually have to break a bunch of laws to achieve, they consciously went against their brainwaves in order to seem less inclined to pop music than the MRI scanner showed they were.
#4. Eating Salty and Spicy Snacks
Let’s take on salt first. You need salt (or more specifically, sodium) to live — it regulates blood pressure and keeps your nerves working. Your body has no means of producing it, and humans evolved in an environment where salt is a trace element (making it so valuable that in the old days it was commonly used as a form of currency). So your brain has evolved to treat it like precious gold. Or, you know, cocaine.
#3. Using Lip Balm
The supposed buzz you get from using lip balm is actually caused by the menthol, camphor and phenol used in it. Now wait just a second. Phenol? The same phenol that is corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract, and is also used as an embalming agent? The same phenol that can cause instantaneous death after injecting one gram?
Tanning meets all the criteria for a drug that creates psychological addiction. The mechanism isn’t much different from spicy foods — in the process of frying themselves, a frequent tanner experiences a release of those same beta-endorphins, the morphine-like opioids that your brain creates to numb pain and deal with stress, presumably because it thinks that your body is currently in the process of being slowly grilled to a crisp. And just like with regular morphine, you can get addicted to the pleasurable sensation.
#1. Chewing Ice
Ice chewing, or pagophagia, is a subset of a larger disorder known as pica, which causes people to crave things with no nutritional value (including much rarer and weirder compulsions like dirt, paper, chalk or even feces). Ice chewing specifically usually indicates iron deficiency, and chewers may actually be subconsciously trying to get the nutrients they’re lacking from the water. This is further evidenced by the fact that ice actually tastes better to an anemic person, presumably because the brain is jonesing for a fix of that sweet, sweet Fe.
Extensive Details on Each at The Link