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It's Okay to Listen to Comforting, Nostalgic Music Right Now

by Christine Occhino on November 11th, 2020 via Soundfly

It goes without saying that these days have been weird, and we are all craving some comfort and familiarity at a time like this. Sometimes you just need something to help you get away for a little while, even if just mentally. Nostalgic music tends to do just that, and besides bringing you right back to your frosted tips, guyliner, or low-cut hip-hugger phase, it really does bring us a level of calm and joy when we hear an old favorite play. And that is okay right now, and something I think we all need.


Many times our musical tastes grow and develop as we evolve and get older. But there’s something special about that beat drop or opening guitar riff that can seemingly take you back in time. But why does it feel so good? Well there’s actually some science behind it, my friends! Our old buddy, dopamine, is at it again! And we’re getting a fat hit every time a song stimulates certain areas of our brains, according to neuroimaging. Science has found that even from birth, humans have an uncanny ability to recognize music, commit it to memory, and draw very specific associations from it during particularly formative parts of our lives. This happens almost immediately when you hear a tune you know, lighting up your brain’s visual cortex like a Christmas tree! Studies have shown that music has an amazing ability to recollect memories from the listener, and that’s part of the nostalgia behind it. It quite literally brings your mind back to different points and life events you’ve experienced, anything from your middle school dances, to spring weekend college parties, wedding day, trips with friends, holidays with your loved ones, and more.  Even more specifically, the music we listened to as teenagers is said to be incredibly influential to us for the rest of our lives, as it occurred during the most formative years of our brain development. So not only is that nostalgic feeling something we seek out for a little throwback vibe, it’s quite literally science that’s making you feel targeted and specific emotions that you draw comfort from! 

With everything happening in the world these days, comfort is something we all want, and deserve lots of after getting through this crazy year! So it’s okay to blast that old-school jam that comes on the radio, it’s okay to rock out at the grocery store when their playlist is unexpectedly awesome, it’s okay to have your guilty-pleasure Spotify playlist in heavy rotation. Music makes us feel. Feeling makes us human. And nostalgic music makes us feel good.  So break into your running man in the kitchen! Embarrass your kids with an epic air guitar solo in the pickup line! Sing your heart out, and bring yourself all the way back to a simpler time that makes you smile. You’re a rockstar, and you deserve it!

Christine Elise Occhino (@XtineElise) is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for the music business. In addition to being a vocalist herself, she is the Founder & CEO of Lock City Music Group, offering artist services, recording studios, and professional music education. She is also the proud Founder & Executive Director of Hope in Harmony, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses music to help and heal those in need. Christine is a member of the Grammy Recording Academy, the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers, and Berklee College of Music Alumni Association. She has experience speaking on many music industry panels, has been a contributing writer for music business publications for over a decade, and also currently hosts the music-based web series & podcast, Soundbytez. For more about Christine, visit


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