Nostalgia is Comforting

In my endless YouTube watching I recently stumbled upon a cooking video starring Christy Carlson Romano (Wren from “Even Stevens” and Kim from “Kim Possible”) and her “Kim Possible” co-star Will Fridel (he is Ron Stoppable and is also famous for playing Eric Matthews on “Boy Meets World”).

In that episode Christy asks why everyone so nostalgic crazed now? And Will hits the nail on the head. He responds, “I think the world and our country are in a really interesting time…(nostalgia) is comfort food, a longing for a simpler time.”

As his character Ron Stoppable would say, BOO-YAH!

That’s exactly it. July was a difficult time for my mental health and that seems to be continuing into August. Before it was a lot of anxiety, now I’m crossing over into the dark ocean of depression.

As a millennial at the ripe age of 26, I find a lot of comfort in nostalgia. I think that goes for many of my peers as well. When I’m feeling very depressed I will always put on “Mulan,” which is probably the first movie I saw in cinema. That movie pulls me up to the surface for a breath of air and keeps me treading water for a while.

I also always go back to reading “Harry Potter” when I’m feeling depressed. When I was in university and moved to a different campus without my close friends, I watched “Heroes” and read 3 Harry Potter books within the first month of school.

Nothing is new after consuming this comfort food, as Will Fridel calls it, yet there is something warm about it. It’s like eating a hot bowl of chili in the middle of January (which is very cold where I am from). Your insides feel cozy and you can’t help but relax.

It’s exactly how I feel when I am reading “The Goblet of Fire” or watching “Digimon.” I can wrap up in the familiarity of it where I can be safe and cozy. In those fantasy worlds of my childhood, nobody can hurt me.

My mental illness cannot touch me when I immerse myself in those worlds.

What are your thoughts about nostalgia and its correlation with mental health? Are you someone who finds comfort in nostalgia?

This topic is very interesting to me. I am considering writing a book about how nostalgia and fandoms effect people’s mental health and why those sorts of things are often beneficial to people with mental illness. (Please leave me a comment about this because I haven’t told anybody about this idea and I would love some feedback.)

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10 Replies to “Nostalgia is Comforting”

  1. Nostalgia can be a great way to escape from the present. Seinfeld is my go to that always makes me laugh, partly because it’s timelessly funny, but also because it takes me back to a time when life was easy.

  2. This is something I do every now and then; I feel good, and I feel sad at the same time. Most of the time it is good, specially with music that are time-tested. But when it comes to some very specific things-like specific reference or specific memories attached with them, it can get difficult.

  3. Even I have a hard time reading or watching new things when I am depressed. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched Friends or Naruto. Starting a new book or tv series seems like such a big commitment

    1. It really is a commitment! There is something so comforting about the familiar. It’s like you don’t have to think too much because you already know what’s going to happen.

      1. You got that right. As it is I have a tendency to get bit too involved with books and stories. I cannot start a new one unless I am mentally prepared to handle it.

  4. Harry Potter sounds like the most wonderful trick to ease out of the darkness. I’ll try it I think…thanks!

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