Picture this: You’re sitting in your car at a stoplight mindlessly staring off into the distance when a memory from your childhood pops into your mind. Initially, thinking about the memory makes you feel happy, but then you start feeling a pang of sadness for that time long gone. If you’ve experienced that feeling of happiness tinged with sadness, you’ve experienced nostalgia.
My guest today is a psychologist who has spent his career researching this oft-overlooked emotion. His name Clay Routledge and he’s a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, and author of "Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource." Today on the show, Clay takes us deep into the psychology of nostalgia. We begin by discussing what exactly nostalgia is, what it feels like, and what induces nostalgic feelings. Clay then delves into the benefits of nostalgia, such as alleviating depression and loneliness and providing meaning in your life. We then get into the downsides of nostalgia and how to avoid them. We end our conversation discussing why we feel nostalgic for time periods we didn’t even experience ourselves and the possible benefits of that type of nostalgia.
After this show, you’ll be wanting to bust out old photo albums to take a trip down memory lane.