All About the Nostalgia: 12 Things the Millennial Generation is Reviving

Guess who’s been listening to The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones? Surprise—It’s the millennials! Researchers from New York University conducted a study on millennial music preferences. The results show that millennials favor the “oldies but goodies” tunes of the 60s to the 90s. Apparently, the millennial generation is nostalgic.

Besides music, the millennials have grown fond of a few other things. Here’s a rundown of some of the millennial revivals:

Records

vinyl record on a record player - loved by millennial generationRecord players and vinyl are the ultimate symbols of flashback and nostalgia. The sound of the needle hitting the record, that scratchy noise before the song, and the crackling seeping through your ears as the vinyl turns—these auditory treats offer a unique listening experience and have been attracting the millennial generation as of late.

Polaroids

millennial generation using polaroid cameras

Polaroid or instant print cameras have experienced a resurgence. In 2017, sales were almost three times more than the digital point-and-shoot cameras. The revival of Polaroid or instant print camera is a refreshing break from the digital dominance hovering over the millennial generation.

Fake Plants

Fake plants, succulents, cacti, and rubber plants have one thing in common—they are all low maintenance. For millennials who are rarely home and always on-the-go, fake plants and low-maintenance plants allow the millennial generation an opportunity to appreciate the effect of greenery within their limited urban living spaces.

Greeting Cards

Greeting cards revenue has stabilized over the past years. Each year, the greeting card industry sells seven billion cards amounting to $7.5 billion total annual retail sales. Birthday cards top the list, followed by Christmas cards, then Valentine’s Day cards. Thanks to the millennials, the old-fashioned way of sending well-wishes and greetings is still alive and kicking.

Cursive

Handwriting and cursive writing is more proof of the millennial generation’s nostalgic and sentimental nature. A study conducted by Bond revealed that 50% of the millennial respondents appreciate handwriting. Moreover, they “always” keep and save personal handwritten notes.

Physical Books

Hardcover book sales in 2018 went up by 6.2% at $1.9 billion compared to the previous year’s revenue of $1.8 billion. According to Nielsen Books and Consumers, the 22-to-34 age group constitutes 37% of the total market. Thanks to millennials, physical books are cool again, and bookstores are becoming more of a social destination.

Libraries

Public libraries are getting more millennial visitors nowadays. According to a Pew Research Study, 53% of millennials (those aged 18-35 at the time) have visited a public library at least once a year. Why not? Public libraries have become a cultural and literacy hub offering free classes and workshops, hosting events, and lending out objects such as telescopes and musical instruments. It’s not surprising the millennial generation is flocking to them.

Concerts

Live concerts brought in an estimated $5.5 billion worth of revenue in 2016. The growth of the live music industry is expected to expand as the millennial generation wields their spending power in the coming years. As the most experiential generation, downloading music and watching their favorite artists online is not enough. Seeing their favorite artists perform live and sharing the musical experience with fellow concert-goers is more appealing.

RVs

recreational vehicle used by millennial generation parked by the ocean

Recreational vehicle (RV) sales are booming and the millennials are contributing to the resurgence. Sales for 2015 and 2016 were up by 15%, and 2017 is the year sales are breaking the 500,000 units sold mark. The millennials’ itinerant and free-spirited lifestyle is seen as a significant precursor for the renewed interest. As the demand for recreational vehicles rises, the industry is seriously looking for ways to cater to the millennial generation.

Board Games

Board games are making a comeback. In 2016, more than 5,000 new board games were introduced. Year after year, sales of board games have been climbing, and we got the millennials to thank for this.

Antiques & Auction Houses

By turning to auction houses for antique furniture and home finds, young homeowners are breathing life to the antique and auction industry. Christie’s Auction House has seen a 32% increase in furniture sales. This growing interest in antiques is hitting two birds with one stone. It helps address the ever-increasing environmental problems while answering the millennials’ growing appetite for vintage designs.

Mindfulness Practices

Meditation and connecting with nature are some of the mindfulness practices the millennial generation is bringing back to the fore. The stresses and anxieties of balancing various aspects of life, pressure from a hyper-connected world, and exceeding expectations from other generations are taking their toll on the millennials. It is no surprise that the millennials are considered the most stressed out generation in America.


The millennials have been getting a bad rap as the generation that killed many industries. While these “deaths” were unintentional, the millennials should also be given credit for the industries and business that they are reviving. As the most studied and scrutinized generation, the millennials surely know how to send a message.

About the Author

Imee Rabang is a blogger/writer and bilingual poet from Manila, Philippines. She is an advocate of Philippine culture and supports causes that promote language and national identity. She juggles her time between work, parenthood, and community outreach programs. She also dabbles in photography and graphic arts in her free time.
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