Power of Nostalgia


Power of Nostalgia

Nostalgia often gets a bad rap, but recent research shows that it can be quite beneficial. Taking just five minutes to indulge in nostalgic memories can boost your positivity and optimism. Reminiscing about the good times in your past can enhance your confidence in the future and elevate your self-esteem. Nostalgia helps you find meaning in your experiences, discover the purpose of life, and heighten your inspiration. It also fosters empathy, a sense of connection with others, and reduces feelings of loneliness.


Nostalgia has a "warm" quality, which can be especially comforting during cold or cool times. It alleviates boredom and anxiety, fostering forgiveness and generosity. Sharing nostalgic moments brings friends and partners closer and enhances team spirit. A few minutes of nostalgia can make you more open to new experiences, boost your creativity, and increase your sense of hope.

So, how can you tap into the power of nostalgia? It can be triggered by smells, music, memories, or photographs. Holidays, like birthdays and weddings, often evoke nostalgic feelings. People turn to nostalgic memories to deal with stress and uncertainty – for example, more than 50% of respondents enjoy watching movies and listening to music from their youth during such times. Nostalgic memories are more vivid and enjoyable for those who savor events and remain mindful.

Build your own "nostalgic" library – a collection of happy moments in the form of photographs, places, scents, songs, books, and emotions. Regularly revisit this collection for relaxation and inspiration. You can also virtually travel through places from your past using Google Street View. Avoid comparing your past life to the present; instead, focus on discovering the meaning and purpose of your life. Remember that your memories are unique cognitive and cultural assets that belong to you alone. The more meaningful moments you capture, the richer your treasure trove of nostalgia becomes.



Is Nostalgia a Past or Future-Oriented Experience? Affective, Behavioral, Social Cognitive, and Neuroscientific EvidenceFront Psychol. 2020; 11: 1133.

Nostalgia as a Psychological Resource for a Meaningful LifeThe Happy Mind: Cognitive Contributions to Well-Being pp 427-442| Cite as

Finding Meaning in Nostalgia First Published March 1, 2018

The mnemonic muse: Nostalgia fosters creativity through openness to experienceJournal of Experimental Social Psychology Volume 59, July 2015, Pages 1-7

Back to the Future: Nostalgia Increases Optimism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(11), 1484-1496.