Nostalgism, For Better or Worse


14 February 2010

BBC News reports on a new study by psychologist Clay Routledge at North Dakota State University on the positive health effects of nostalgia.  There is, apparently,

dedicated research in recent years suggesting that nostalgia is “good psychological medicine”.

Studies by Mr Routledge, along with colleagues at the University of Southampton, have found that remembering past times improves mood, increases self-esteem, strengthens social bonds and imbues life with meaning.

But then another dude named Damian Barr

fears the generation that reached adulthood in the 1990s and 2000s could find themselves handicapped by excessive nostalgia

“We are less prepared for our difficult present by having had a very easy time of it when we were very young,” he says. “We grew up in a boom – we are living in a bust.”

Facing a present defined by recession, the threat of international terrorism and warnings of environmental doom, young adults are fixated on the happy associations from a more hopeful past…

All of this by way of feasible explanation for why I’ve been playing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” on repeat all night long?  (Don’t knock it ’til you try it…)

2 Responses to “Nostalgism, For Better or Worse”

  1. margosita Says:

    Do you watch “Mad Men”? The nostalgia scene, when Don is pitching the Kodak Carousel is amazing.

    • sonyachung Says:

      Ah, yes. Don’s visionary artist moment.

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