Memory, Memory Recall, Memory Retention, General

How to Relive a Memory

By Arnold
May 13, 2022

How to Relive a Memory 

When you close your eyes and think of a memory, what comes to mind? 

It could be planting roses with your mother in the garden, experiencing your first kiss, or making that homemade meal with a grandparent. 

Introduce a little science and creativity; you’ll relive the special moment. After all, recalling specifically positive memories helps lower your depression and causes fewer negative thoughts

Here are eight creative ways to relive a memory. 


Smell Familiar Dishes or Environments  

Your mother baked a home-cooked meal or seashells from the beach will trigger its memory. This is called the “Proust Effect.”  

Why is this? 

Smelling links closely to brain parts that deal with emotion and memory to transport us back to a specific point in time. Research even shows that odor triggers your memory more than any other sensory cue, even during sleep


Listen to Music 

Was a song playing on the radio you long to recapture? Or perhaps you were at a concert with that special someone and want to feel the same euphoria again.

The relationship between music and memory is powerful. Research claims that music can be a particularly effective cue for taking you back to the sights and sounds of events. 

Music has a tremendous influence on our emotional and cognitive systems. For example, one study found that verbal memory and attention improved when people listened to their favorite music daily compared to those who didn’t. 



Did you know that writing about critical personal experiences for 15 minutes every day improves mental and physical health

Try it out! Write about one memory you hold dear. This could be in a: 

• Travel journal. 

Maybe your memory was associated with a fun trip!

• Dream journal. 

Was there a particular dream you’ve always had, awake or sleeping? 

• Gratitude journal. 

Maybe it’s something you’re thankful for, a fond moment you’ll always treasure. 

• Memoir. 

Have more than one special memory? Compile it into a memoir! 

Expressive writing improves memory and reduces negative thoughts. For example, students who wrote about emotional events or feelings had greater autobiographical memory six months later

Writing in a diary unearths thoughts and feelings you’ve forgotten. Then record these memories on My Stories Matter.


Take Photographs  

Researchers in one study recruited 294 participants to tour a museum while listening to an audio guide. Half of the participants were given cameras and told to take ten photos. 

After the tour, participants were asked to answer multiple-choice questions about the objects they saw. Those who took photos recognized nearly 7% more things than those who didn’t

Compile the photographs taken of a specific memory or a loved one, post them on My Stories Matter, and write about those experiences. 


Have a Vacation Jar 

Sadly, the memory we try to capture blurs as time goes on. It felt like you had to pack up and leave soon during that thrilling vacation. 

To prevent this, preserve aspects of the experience by creating a vacation jar. Fill a shoebox, vase, or mason jar with all the favorite items and memorabilia associated with that memory, such as pine cones, seashells, marbles, ticket stubs, polaroids, etc. 

Research shows that objects strongly associated with particular memories will help cue them. Preserve these objects on a shelf to keep them alive.


Repeat History 

Memory is spread out across the brain. There isn’t one spot where it is triggered and can be re-awakened through even one of our sensory channels. 

So do that favorite hike you went on with your partner or the local childhood spot you and your friends hung out. 

The sights, sounds, and smells will trigger your memory. It will feel like you never left. 


Re-create a Dish or Painting 

What activity consisted of the memory you want to relive? Did it involve painting, baking, pottery, or board games? Was your partner an artist? Re-create something you worked on together. 

Anyone can create anything from nothing, as long as it’s personal. Studies have shown that drawing or painting improves memory

Recapture a scene in the past, whether with watercolors, sketching, or line drawing. Many artists utilized their passions and talents to create things they wanted to remember, such as Vincent Van Gough’s “Starry Night.” 



Meditation is not only relaxing but is fantastic for your mind and memory. Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of being present in the moment, which trains us to become more mindful, especially during difficult times throughout the day. All you have to do is: 

• Find a quiet, comfortable place.

• Start small: Take 5 minutes. 

• Sit, don’t lay down. 

• Settle your mind. 

• Breathe in and out deeply. 

If you live in a chaotic environment where quietness isn’t an option, mindfully meditate as you shower, walk, or do dishes. By focusing on your breathing, and the present moment, you push away intrusive thoughts. It is easy to master, and you can do it anywhere.

A study revealed that participants who meditated for 20 minutes for four days showed lowered stress levels and significant improvements in memory and cognition. Those who meditated scored ten times better on a working memory task


Relive with My Stories Matter 

My Stories Matters allows you to relive your most extraordinary adventure, such as traveling to the coast or skiing down the Colorado slopes. 

Your memories are safeguarded and shared in any way you choose, unlike most social media apps. 

My Stories Matter allows you to: 

• Collaborate with friends and family on a shared memory.

• Relive your adventures from oldest to newest. 

• Explore your past experiences alongside cultural context from the same time.

As you’re trying to recall, My Stories Matter cues the time-specific social context prompts and songs to get you started as you're trying to remember. No time for distractions or writer’s block!