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Poll names top 40 sounds that are most likely to trigger happy memories

A recent poll emphasizes the power of sound in triggering happy memories. Sound plays an important role in our daily lives. From recognizing a loved one based solely on the sound of their voice, making movie scenes even scarier or happier due to the soundtrack, to hearing the barking or purring of our beloved pets. 

For better or for worse, some sounds are just heavily connected with our memories, both the good and the bad. 

Gordon Harrison, the chief audiologist at Specsavers, believes that “Sound impacts most aspects of our lives, so it is no surprise that certain sounds trigger happy youthful memories.” 

top sounds

To prove his point, Harrison commissioned a poll among two thousand people. If the intention of the poll wasn’t wholesome enough, it’s about to get a whole lot more wholesome when you find out that his respondents were all 50 years old and above. 

4 in 10 of his respondents described feeling nostalgic when triggered by certain sounds, at least a couple times a week. They explained that these sounds, and the memories they evoke, are enough to put a smile on their faces. Cue the “awwwww”. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the first 15, out of the top 40, sounds that trigger happy memories based on the poll:

  • A specific song/piece of music
  • Waves crashing on the shore
  • Birdsong
  • A crackling fireplace
  • Walking on the fresh snow
  • A waterfall 
  • A cat purring 
  • Trees blowing in the wind 
  • Rain on the windowpane
  • Rustling leaves
  • Church bells
  • Bees buzzing
  • A thunderstorm 
  • Rain patter on leaves
  • Children playing outside 

Some honorable mentions: dog barking at number 35, placing 32nd is a crowd cheering (back when it was okay to gather into crowds), pouring a drink took the 25th spot, and in line with this, a beer bottle/tin being opened placed 34th. 

Majority of the respondents said that the older they get, the more they treasure their happy memories. While 90% believed that they took their hearing for granted when they were younger, some worrying about the continued deterioration of their hearing with age. 

Maybe this may serve as a friendly reminder to take in what you can now, treasure the happy memories you do have, and go make some new ones. 

What sounds trigger your happy memories? 

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