Feel Good

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane Next Time You’re Feeling Down

The scientific reasoning behind nostalgia

BY June 20, 2017


Every now and again, you may recall memories of everyday life that at the time may not have been significant, but now make you remember good times. You may look at your social media and see an old post of you with all your childhood friends. If your mother is like mine, you may remember her singing at full volume while washing dishes.

All of these events without a doubt create a mixture of emotions. They could produce a tear or cause you to burst out laughing. They form nostalgia.

According to a New York Times article, nostalgia’s original roots focus on a negative concept. In the 17th century, Johannes Hofer, a Swiss doctor, referred to nostalgia as a “neurological disease of essentially demonic cause.”

However, this has since changed, making nostalgia appear to be a healthy response.

A study released in 2006 by Southampton researchers found nostalgia to be positive. Rather than a neurological disease, it’s an emotion experience akin to love, not fear. It’s been shown to boost self-esteem and mood. It’s a way to remind yourself of a larger context in your life rather than a situation that’s stressing you out or making you feel down.  

So go ahead and open that photo book, or, better yet, make plans to go out with your loved ones. Tell them you want to take a stroll down memory lane with their company.



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