Why Does Music From Our Youth Make Us Nostalgic?




When we talk to individuals in their young, middle, or late adulthood, we often find them referring to music from their adolescence. You would almost always notice a change in their facial expression, reflecting the nostalgia they are experiencing. (Thinking about “Linkin Park” while I write this.)

I prefer music from my adolescence, and it takes a unique melody or synth in the current times to emotionally connect with me.

Ask your parents, elder siblings, or role models about their “Most Favourite” songs. There’s a high possibility of getting replies such as, “Ah! This song by XYZ from XYZ year. That was a different era of music altogether.

Why does music from our youth stick so tightly with Us?

Key Takeaways

Music can evoke memories from our past. Scientifically, it is known as the “reminiscence bump.” It is the ability to recall important memories from our formative years.

Music from our formative years is associated with positive memories, themes, and specific individuals.

When we listen to familiar music, our brains stimulate the pleasure circuit in the brain, releasing dopamine (reward chemical), serotonin (mood stabiliser), and other neurochemicals that make us feel good.

Additionally, our formative years contain self-defining experiences encoded in our brains more deeply, contributing to the magnitude of the emotion being experienced.

Want another example? Look at the advertising industry.

Advertisers spend large sums of money to get permission for a specific song from a particular era. Why?

To evoke Emotions: memories are meaningless without emotions.

So, if you’ve been wondering why you listen to music from adolescence, you are not alone. It happens to most of us.

Happy Listening!

You can download this atomic essay here.

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