21 Amazing Nostalgic Songs From The Past

Best Nostalgic Songs

Did you know babies can listen to songs and music from inside their mother’s womb? They can register a piece of music and respond to it with hand and leg movements. William James, a prominent American psychologist, said, “I don’t sing because I am happy; I am happy because I sing.” Our favorite music soothes our souls, and old nostalgic songs even more. It may be jazz, blues, classics, or a pop song you used to listen to back in the day.

Nostalgic music helps us relive moments that hold special significance to us. It may be your childhood nostalgia songs or a popular song you used to listen to on a loop in college days. Each of them holds a special place in our hearts and memories alike. Let us delve deeper into what songs you count as nostalgic songs.

What Song Makes You Most Nostalgic?​

Old songs are like time machines. Songs conjure up recollections of specific life episodes, and familiar melodies conjure up familiar visuals. When we listen to certain old songs, we gravitate to the moment we first encounter them. This is how music and nostalgic memories are linked.

Have you ever thought, why do old songs make me cry? Why do certain songs unfailingly stir up familiar emotions? Because you feel emotionally attached to these songs. These songs might remind you of a particular place or person or of a trip you made with your friends in the past.

As the wheel of time rolls down, we leave behind precious memories. Whether it is one of those childhood nostalgic songs or songs from our teenage years, we often have found a song or two that become our go to along the way. These are the songs that are most likely to make us nostalgic. Old songs, with their timeless lyrics and unique melody, fill us with nostalgic memories more often than not.

Why Do Old Songs Feel Nostalgic?

Ultimately, it’s all about nostalgia, a bittersweet longing for our past. Psychologists have found that our favorite music tends to be from the teenage and early adult years and that we tend to recall more experiences from our days of youth. The music accompanying our adolescent experiences creates a permanent emotional impression in the mind as our personalities develop throughout those tender years. We get more obsessed with nostalgic songs as it appears to serve a soothing sensation.

Listening to the opening bars of an old song can instantly unlock your memories of a high school dance, a first date, or even the summer camps you used to enjoy. For example, “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams is a song we were more or less hooked to as a teenager. It is one of those iconic, nostalgic songs that will surely bring back the memories of our youth.

Over the years, through generations, music has evolved, and each generation has songs they cherish that give a feeling of nostalgia. Let’s start with the nostalgic songs of more recent years.

Nostalgic Songs 2000s And 2010s

2000 ushered a new dawn for music. Hip-hop, pop, and rap music dominated our playlists on our newfound iPods. 2000 brought something completely different from the 90s. Two decades passed in the blink of an eye, yet these songs still feel like yesterday.

"Yellow" by Coldplay

Is there a better opening line for their first single ever? “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you,” such dreamy lines!

"Wake me up when September ends" by Greenday

Nostalgic music is not always about sweet memories. It can be a bitter one too. This song from Green Day is a reminder of that.

"Umbrella" by Rihana

Umbrella had the whole nation dancing to its tune. It was a breakthrough song from Rihana by every means.

"Crazy in love" by Beyoncé

This song announced the arrival of a new pop queen. The song from Beyoncé’s solo debut album had us grooving to its tune.

'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley

Crazy” managed to unite us as a nation for the summer of 2006. Gnarls Barkley crammed a decade’s worth of grand ideas into three minutes, and then they just vanished.

2010s songs are still fresh and buzzing in our playlists, and some might say that 2010s songs are still too early to get nostalgic. But these are probably the best nostalgic songs 2010s had for us.

"Rolling in the Deep" by Adele

With Adele’s old-school voice, Rolling in Deep made us captive to its melody. It topped numerous Billboard charts as well.

"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Ray’s Summertime Sadness was dark with a hint of sweetness of hope. It was a song that made us feel things. It won a Grammy for ‘Best Remixed Recording.’

"Tik Tok" by Ke$ha

Although this music video debuted in 2009, this straight-up hit continued to be famous well into 2010. It was on the Radio every single day. 

"Grenade" by Bruno Mars

This song was highly praised and nominated for a Grammy for its amazing vocals and emotional lyrics. It was one of the stand-out tracks of 2010.

Nostalgic songs 2000s and 2010s have their fair share of feelings. But nostalgia hit us hardest with the 80s and even older songs. So, What are some great old songs? Songs that linger and trigger memories of our glorious days?

Nostalgic Songs 80s

It’s often believed that 80s music was one massive goofy experiment in which everyone wore dazzling costumes, and all music was comically over-the-top, whether it was the ridiculous excesses of bouncy psych rock, goth, or punk rock. In truth, 80s songs were so much more than that—this decade gave us stars like Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, and Whitney Houston. Nostalgic songs from the 80s are as good as it gets.

"Every Breath You Take" by The Police

Every Breath You Take is the group’s first single from their fifth studio album, Synchronicity. It is their most iconic song. It was nothing less than monumental.

"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N'Roses

Hard rock peaked in the 80s. Amidst those high-pitched performances, Sweet Child O, mine had surprisingly sweet lyrics.

"Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd

This song is among the most popular songs of the group. As the title suggests, any injustice, abuse, and tragedy can only be a brick in the wall

"Purple Rain" by Prince

Prince dominated the 80s. Purple Rain was a piece that masterfully announced to the world why Prince was an absolute legend.

"Express Yourself" by Madonna

80s lists are never complete without this infamous track from the pop queen. “Express Yourself” was established as an anthem for youth that feels nostalgic even today. 

21 All-Time Best Nostalgic Songs

Nostalgic music offers recollections of the past a fresh perspective. These lyrics and unparalleled melodies allow us to paint mental pictures. A blend of aesthetics and fond sentiments from the days of the past remain rooted in these songs.

Each decade had its fair share of popular songs that kept us grooving to their tunes. It may be one of those funny nostalgic songs or a song that made us emotional at a memorial service. They all carry our unforgettable memories. Here is a list of 21 all-time best nostalgic songs that you can connect in a relatable manner with the memories from the past.

  1. “In My Life” by The Beatles

  1. “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams

  1. “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
  2. 4.” Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

  1. “I want to break free” by Queen

  1. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

  1. “What’s Love Got to Do Without It” by Tina Turner

  1. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael

  1. “Purple Rain” by Prince

  1. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

  1. “Express Yourself” by Madonna

  1. “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi

  1. “Yesterday” by The Beatles.

  1. “Wannabe” by Spice Girls

  1. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

  1. “Yellow” by Coldplay

  1. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’Roses.”

  1. “Take me home, Country Roads” by John Denver.

  1. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

  1. “Tik Tok” by Kesha

  1. “Cry me a river” by Justin Timberlake


We all have that one song in our playlist that reminds us of a particular phase in life. It stirs up all the memories and lets us cherish them. What songs remind you of your childhood? What songs take you back to your college days? Well, we all have our popular songs about nostalgia. Nostalgic songs are about celebrating a life you lived through thick and thin. Nostalgic music allows us a brief pause and lets us celebrate all the memories we have created along the way.

We at Clocr provide you with services like a Social Media Will, Time Capsule, and many more. You can store your favorite song in a Digital ‘Time Capsule’ and let future generations listen to the same melody that moved you. Our services such as Digital Vault and Digital Estate will help you to protect your digital assets and let your wishes known to your next kin. Join Clocr today to leave behind an unforgettable digital legacy.