Why We Love Nostalgia!

You may have noticed that a lot of old movies are popular again… Jurassic Park from 1993, The Empire Strikes Back from 1980, and The Goonies from 1985 have hit box office charts over the past few months. And people are listening to songs they grew up on – from 80s hits by Journey, up through the Spice Girls from the 1990s. Even Fleetwood Mac is having a resurgence! People are also playing 16-bit video games, like Super Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog.

And there’s a good reason…

Because tapping into nostalgia is the ultimate coping mechanism for these stressful times. People are escaping into the past – when the world seemed simpler. Old favorites offer solace and predictability in troubling, unpredictable times.

Psychology professor Dr. Wing Yee Cheung, at the University of Winchester in England, studies nostalgia. And her research shows that embracing nostalgia by watching old movies, listening to old songs, or even taking up old-fashioned hobbies is an effective way to cope with stress and anxiety. It can lift people’s moods, boost confidence and inspire optimism. We can feel comforted by revisiting something that reminds us of a time when we used to feel more connected to other people. Dr. Cheung says it gives you energy to cope with what is going on now and move forward.