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Why do we love nostalgic things?

Wong Shu Lee  


  March 24, 2022

We love nostalgic things. Whether it’s nostalgic snacks, old movies, songs in the 70s, or high school memories, we couldn’t help but just love them. 


It turns out, there are scientific reasons behind it. 


It causes us to feel happy.


Nostalgia has some pretty amazing effects that leave us wanting more. Firstly, nostalgia tends to keep us feeling as happy as can be. Studies have actually found that when nostalgia is triggered in participants (by having them do something like write down a nostalgic event), they tend to feel positive emotions. This can be enhanced by focusing on all the things we’ve gained in the past (like Harry Potter movies), rather than thinking about all that we’ve lost (like Harry Potter characters).


Nostalgia brings us together


Since nostalgic events are often associated with certain people, nostalgia can easily bring us closer to others. Example: Watching Disney Channel Original Movies with your besties during a sleepover. Plus, many researchers refer to nostalgia as a psychological resource, since it can make us feel safe and loved. 


Warms our hearts & our bodies.


In 2012, a series of scientific studies found that listening to nostalgic music caused participants’ ambient temperature to rise. In other words, nostalgia made them warmer. These same individuals were also more tolerant to cold when they were asked to dip their hands in ice water. This would also explain why the study’s volunteers felt more nostalgic on cold days, since it helped their bodies regulate temperature. 


Looking at the past gives us hope for the future. 


Though nostalgia tends to focus on the past, that doesn’t mean we’ll get stuck there when reflecting on bygone days. In fact, nostalgia can remind us that there’s good in the world as it helps us look forward to the future. 


Nostalgia is basically like a free form of medicine. So, when you’re feeling stressed or down, let’s watch an old movie or listen to some oldies songs! 


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