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On one occasion, Rob Sheffield likened music to a time machine.

This is because songs often take us back to certain moments in our lives, and certain sounds make you recall a certain image.

It could be a certain kind of music and when we listen to it, we recall that moment and the feeling we experienced then.

It is this method that intertwines music and nostalgia though the latter is seen as a human emotion universally.

Related: Check out my article that also shows you 10 songs that make you cry

When we go back in time through music, some of these memories could be bad while some may be good and it is for you to accept that the bad memories happened and cannot be changed but instead be avoided in the future.

As a human, you make memories every day as you move about and you should endeavor to ensure those memories do not haunt you in the future rather, keep you in a mood when you recall them.

How music can trigger memories

Music is extremely powerful and can aid you in times of difficulty and as well create a memory that will stay in your head even when the music goes out of season.

Upon hearing it at a later time, you would delve back to that memory as though it just occurred.

This functions in a way that when you listen to music, it finds its way to the brain region which induces emotions and draws back the memory.

The memories could be short-termed (explicit) which talks of events that occurred within minutes back and long-termed (implicit) which talks of events of longer periods like weeks, months, years, etc.

An instance is when I recalled a horse ride down the mountain because I was extremely happy and paired that strong emotion with the song. 

That event occurred over 6 years ago, yet in a week I probably won’t remember what I had for breakfast today because there was no strong emotion paired to me eating breakfast.

Hence, we have made a list of 10 songs that could help you recall certain events from the past and relax in their lyrics.

These songs have been chosen generally and encompass various kinds of occasions and will serve you well despite the memory you wish to recall.

They include; 10 Songs That Bring Back memories


This song is a great and powerful ballad which has been around for decades.

It tells of Sebastian Bach who is vulnerable and tries to recall his lost lover’s memory.

His heartbroken responses portray reflection as he admits the relationship has ended but is not ready to get rid of their shared experiences.

2. “Good Old Days” by Macklemore (featuring Kesha)

You might not know the days you live in are your best days till they go by.

That’s the feeling Macklemore portrays in this song he made in often don’t know you’re living through the good old days until they’ve passed you by.

That’s the sentiment 2017 alongside Kesha.

It tells you to accept the present moment despite how it might be as you veer away from your bothering yourself with tomorrow and the hunt for success so that when the future arrives, you will be happy you have good memories to keep yourself alive.

A part of the lyrics go;

“I wish somebody would have told me, babe
 Someday these will be the good old days
 All the love you won’t forget
 And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
 Someday soon your whole life’s gonna change
 You’ll miss the magic of these good old days”

Related: Here is an article I wrote showing you 10 songs that will help you sleep

3. “When We Were Young” by Adele

Adele released this emotional song in 2016, telling her listeners of a scene when she meets her ex at an occasion in the evening hours.

Despite the gone years, their shared memories come rushing back to her mind as she feels like she’s at home and wishes to return to that moment of their youthful love.

4. “19 Somethin'” by Mark Wills

Gen Xers relates all their important youthful enriching highlights in this country song released in 2002 of which runs between the 1970s and 1980s and includes, 

  • Stretch Armstrong
  • Pac Man
  • the Farrah Fawcett hairdo
  • Daisy Duke and her cutoff jeans
  • the Rubik’s cube
  • the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and
  • big hair and parachute pants

You could as well go back down the path of memory if you were around then and if not, why not see what you missed.

5. “Automatic” by Miranda Lambert

With the aid of Technology, life now runs on an automatic wheel, and we can easily forget the old school era.

However, Lambert tells us in 2014 that the days were easier when we had no cellphones to text, automatic dryers, navigation systems, email, etc.

She explains that people did things by learning manually or respecting the queuing culture.

6. “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen

In 1984, Bruce sends home this rock classic that talks of a man in his thirties who recalls his high school days when he meets an old pal.

You could see from this part of the lyrics an instance.

“… I hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it
But I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
A little of the glory of, well time slips away
And leaves you with nothing, mister but
Boring stories of glory days”

7. “Sixteen” by Thomas Rhett

The age of 16 is one that tells of the beginning of the youthful era and in this song, Rhett talks of a man who recalls again the running wild, freedom, and confidence of being a teen.

He does not leave out his car driving lessons, curfews sneak, and the urge to grow older.

Now, he yearns to return to then and keep enjoying the fun of that moment.

8. “I Go Back” by Kenny Chesney

Released in 2010, Kenny talks of a man who suddenly stumbles upon the song, “Jack and Diane” transports his mind back to the days of high school.

He remembers the feeling of invincibility and the perfection feeling of the world then.

“Keep On Rockin’ Me Baby” reminds of his college frat parties and the feeling that he was suddenly growing older.

9. “ThnksfrthMmrs” by Fall Out Boy

The separated couple in this rock music recalls their past relationship and accepts that it was not meant to be.

The shortened the name “Thanks for the memories even though they weren’t so great” to make the song’s name seem like one without vowels as the relationship was one without sweetness.

10. “Graduation Song: Hold Onto the Memories” by Corey Tynan

At graduation, you wouldn’t deny the lump in your throat when you recall that the people there, you won’t be seeing them possibly never again and even though you see finally, life will have a different face.

In this song done in 2010, it brings a lot of emotion about graduating and the eagerness to accept what happens next.

A portion of the lyrics include;

“The lights go dim as we suddenly see
It’s time to find who we’re meant to be
We couldn’t wait for this to end
Now we wish we could start again”


What triggers your memory more?

Are they old photos, songs, locations, or important dates?

All these have a way of either making us feel bad or good.

Good memories are one we should in the present, struggle for, and in the future, relish in so that we do not have regrets and love to keep them with us always.