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Music & Nostalgia, the Life Motivators!

Updated: Apr 6, 2023


Have you ever been to a show or a club, an event or a concert where the music really touches you and takes you somewhere else? It starts to get inside you, you feel exhilarated and alive, and you are suddenly ‘in that moment’! Then, you take a look at everyone around you, and you realise that they are right there with you; you are all ‘in that moment’ together. And, have you ever caught someone’s eye and you both know exactly what the other is feeling and experiencing? You both know exactly where you are, and you just smile at each other in recognition, maybe give the slightest of nods, and then carry on safe in the knowledge that you’re there, wherever ‘there’ might be, together!


And that’s the key! You carry on, you are motivated to keep going, that feeling you get pushes you forward and changes your whole approach and outlook! It can happen with all types of music but especially with the tunes we grew up with, those fabulous songs from our youth when we were probably being a little bit more adventurous and anticipating all the things yet to come. Those songs we heard everywhere as we got on with life have such power, the power of nostalgia which can be so amazingly positive and such an unbelievable motivator! Have you ever thought that sometimes that’s where your motivation comes from, that wonderful feeling of nostalgia?


It’s one of the most powerful music ‘genres’ out there! Move over pop, dance, ska, reggae, RnB, there’s a new genre in town, the Genre of Nostalgia! Music and nostalgia go hand in hand, they were made for each other and there is no avoiding it! It affects us all regardless of who we are or where we come from! Music transports us to another place, another time, and often reminds us of who we are and where we have come from, what we have experienced, when and where! Those feelings, those waves of nostalgia, that come rushing back when we hear a certain track…they all have the power to transport us back to ‘that year’ or ‘that venue’ or ‘that holiday’ or ‘that first date’, the list goes on and on! That nostalgia takes us on a fantastic journey of rediscovery AND discovery! Yes, you get both! You get to reminisce about times, people, experiences past, you get to re-discover them all over again, but you also get to discover them and live them in the now, as part of your present experience, and that’s important, powerful stuff. When it comes to our mental health, it’s priceless!


Extensive research has been undertaken and papers written on the effects of nostalgic music on mental health. For example, in a recent paper in the journal Psychology of Music 2022, Vol. 50(6) entitled ‘The psychological benefits of music-evoked nostalgia’, C. Sedikides, J. Leunissen & T. Wildschut write that, ‘music is very much a prevalent, influential and potent source of nostalgia’. They go on to discuss how nostalgic music, ‘fosters social connectedness, raises self-esteem, instills a sense of youthfulness, elevating optimism, enhancing inspiration, strengthening meaning in life and encouraging self-continuity. Furthermore, music-evoked nostalgia serves to buffer individuals against discomforting states such as sadness.’


Not bad, eh? And that’s what Groovelates is all about. It’s all about the nostalgia. It’s what motivates us and it was the motivating factor behind the whole concept of Groovelates; the use of music and nostalgia to support and encourage physical and mental health and wellbeing! By tapping into those feelings, ensuring that they are positive, forward thinking, supportive, euphoric almost, then we knew we’d have the perfect ingredients for an exercise programme which motivates participants to keep coming back time and time again! And, in turn, those participants would tell their peers and their friends and bring them along to share that experience together with them, helping not only themselves but also helping to support their instructor and their business, too!


Which brings us full circle! Right back to where we started when we asked the question, have you ever been somewhere and the music really touches you, transports you and you are suddenly ‘in that moment’! Well, that ‘somewhere’ can just as easily be in a community centre, town hall or exercise studio with a Groovelates nostalgia-drenched exercise class, couldn’t it?


by Sean Francis Cawley

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