While Christmas music is one of the best parts of the holiday season for many, too much of a good thing too early can be stressful and bad for mental health.

That’s the finding of a clinical psychologist in England, who says that Christmas-music fatigue can happen when the music begins too early, is played too often, too loudly and is aired in a public space.

“That can be very irritating,” British psychologist Linda Blair said in a phone interview.

And when we hear the same music over and over, we can get sick of it. “We love it, we love it, and suddenly we hate it,” Blair said. “Playing it too early, we’re pretty likely to hit the, ‘We hate it.’ “

Blair researched the effect of Christmas music played too early, which was featured in the British Sky News on Nov. 1. Since then the story has been picked up internationally.

“It clearly hit a nerve,” Blair said.

Hearing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Feliz Navidad” or “White Christmas” in mid-November can rub some the wrong way.

Those most at risk can be retail workers and others “where they are subjected to background noise they don’t want,” Blair said.

While working they have to use energy to block the music so they can focus and serve their customers. “That can make them more tired at the end of the day,” Blair said.

The situation can be worse with shorter playlists.

For instance, if a store or office has a playlist of the same holiday music that loops around every 60 or 90 minutes, it can be more draining, Blair said. “You know what’s coming. It also means you work harder to screen it out.”

Some individuals are better able to minimize external noise distractions than others, she said.

Music hits our emotions, not our logic, she said. “Whenever we talk about music, we think emotionally first. That’s why it hits people so powerfully.”

And, too much, too early can be hard on those worried about money, which probably is a large group.

“It can remind us of things we’re supposed to be doing, like buying presents,” Blair said. “But the budget is already stretched. You just don’t want to be reminded. It can make you quite anxious.”

One solution could be talking to managers in stores or workplaces. Blair recommends asking managers not to play the songs so loud, to have longer playlists, and to intersperse the Christmas songs with non-holiday tunes.

For shoppers, festive music can prompt a different outcome.

“I think retailers are counting on customers getting very cheered up” or pressured to buy. “They say, ‘Oh, crumb, I better get something for Christmas,’ and do more impulse buying,” Blair said.

However, she cautioned that it can backfire. “A customer might say, ‘I’m not shopping here, I hate that noise,’ and leave. It’s a gamble.”

Some experts say there’s a connection to more Christmas music and higher sales.

Blair’s not convinced.

It may not be the music, it could just be “that it’s Christmastime.”

In England, there’s a social expectation that the Christmas season begins Dec. 1. Anything before that is early.

In the United States, the season starts earlier.

The expectation is that the Christmas season begins as Thanksgiving ends, Blair said.

But for decades, retail stores have created what’s called the “Christmas creep,” when Christmas merchandise is put out in October.

This year, Target announced it would hold back on big Christmas displays until Thanksgiving.

Target’s chief marketing officer, Rick Gomez, said customer feedback led the store this year to hold off on Christmas and “recognize Thanksgiving.”