Is nostalgia a pleasant feeling?

Retromania - Why this love for the past?

ARD theme week "#WIE LIEBEN": Retromania - Why this love for the past?
Audio [SR 3, Eva Lippold, 11/18/2020, length: 03:14 min.]
ARD theme week "#WIE LIEBEN": Retromania - Why this love for the past?

Whether vintage fashion, oldtimers, Bauhaus furniture - there was one revival after another, especially in the noughties. Cultural scientists have already proclaimed an "age of nostalgia". Nostalgia is nothing new, but a feeling that has always been inherent in all people, says the psychologist Julius Frankenbach: “We now also know that nostalgia is a universal feeling that is experienced with similar frequency and intensity in all age groups and in many cultures . "

A bittersweet feeling

This nostalgia is also a difficult feeling to describe. Because it is ambivalent, somewhere between pain and happiness. It is, so to speak, "bittersweet" and is linked to both positive memories and a feeling of loss, the longing for a past, says Frankenbach.

And for some, nostalgia is even a question of existence - for example for Sarah Hofmann, operator of the second-hand shop "TABULA ROSA" in the Nauwieser Viertel. She says she couldn't do her job without nostalgia. For them, nostalgia is first and foremost a nice feeling, something that brings back nice memories.

Security in uncertain times

Often it is things that appeal to our senses that make us nostalgic: a smell, a melody, an object. But it also applies: the more uncertain the times, the more nostalgic we become, says the psychologist Julias Frankenbach. But is it even good to indulge in the past? Isn't that bittersweet feeling turned backwards? Is it an expression of having stopped in the past? The psychologist contradicts this.

Researched the impact of nostalgia on our wellbeing. He says: nostalgia can even make you happy and help you cope with the future. It creates a feeling of security, security and continuity. And what speaks against longing for the future? “Maybe because we have more control over the past than over the future,” suspects Julius Frankenbach.

Also a topic in the "Region in the afternoon" on November 18, 2020 on SR 3 Saarlandwelle.