We’re all a bit guilty for looking back at childhood through slightly rose-tinted spectacles but they truly were simpler – and arguably better times.
As we grow up and have to face real-life irritations such as work, finances and *gulp* responsibility, we become more and more nostalgic for those early years we recall enjoying so much.
There are loads of triggers that make us look wistfully back to the decade of innocent youth that preceded those vile teenage years and a recent survey by Nick Jr, complete with science and everything, has found out the eight things which are most likely to take you down memory lane.
And, interestingly, the top three are all musical, proving once and for all that music truly is the answer.
As Nick Jr launches its Sing Along Summer, which encourages families to bond further through song and dance, Dr Sam Wass, a Cambridge scientist,, explained: ‘For most people, many of their earliest personal memories are of music.
‘This is because music targets the same, deep-level parts of the brain that are involved in regulating our emotions and where many of our earliest, and strongest, memories are stored. Music allows us to unlock them.’
Here are the results of the survey in full showing the percentage of respondents who replied that these things took them on a nostalgic trip – but what memories do these things trigger for you?
1. Pop songs (62%)
When our jam from the 80s or 90s pops up on an obscure local radio station, the waves of reminiscence are immense. Whether it’s Kylie, The Spice Girls or S Club 7 who bring it all back, nothing takes you to those happy times like a good retro tune.
Even the ones you hated back then (*cough* Boyzone *cough*) are strangely welcome now, just for the memories which they stir.
2. TV Theme Tunes (54%)
The old theme tunes are always the best, we argue. Not necessarily because they are better songs (although, come on, nothing beats Thundercats) but because they remind us of the feelings of excitement we had when watching our favourite shows. Modern TV doesn’t give us that same rush as life has since hardened us and made us easier to please.
Oh, and most of it is TOWIE.
3. Music played by parents (42%)
Mums and dads had the most cringe taste in music, but now you’ve found some of their anthems sneaking into your Spotify playlist. You would never have burned Erasure or Kate Bush on any of your CDs back in the day but hearing them now reminds you of the time when mum let you stay up an extra hour while she whacked tunes on after half a glass of wine.
4. Smells (32%)
Mum’s cooking has to be the best. How is everyone’s mum the best chef in the world? Well, we hate to break it to you mothers, but you aren’t all Michelin star standard chefs. You just happen to make your macaroni cheese (with some sneaky bacon) in a unique way that takes us back to sitting round the family table in front of Neighbours.
It’s not just food – even the strangest (and sometimes unpleasant) smells you associate with youth can be weirdly welcome. Try visiting your primary school – that familiar smell will still be there and will give you all the feels.
5. Nursery Rhymes (32%)
We all have that one rhyme that passes right down the family. You had it sang to you and some day soon, if not already, you’ll be singing it yourself.
6. Tastes (30%)
Childhood sweets are a particular point of nostalgia. Who remembers pineapple cubes, refresher bars, fruit salad sweets and NERDs? We get ridiculously excited when we find a retro sweet shop on the internet and are willing to pay triple the amount for a Wham bar as we would for an easily obtainable Mars bar.
7. Favourite toys (28%)
Digging around in the attic at your parents’ home can yield some unexpected treats. Finding that old teddy bear you couldn’t sleep without or the battered old toy car you constantly made crash against the garden wall makes you just want to dash outside again and play the night away. Shame about work and stuff.
8. Childhood fashions (14%)
Remember those dungarees your mum used to put you in? I mean you’d NEVER do it to your own kids. But you’d hate for her to throw them out either.