Screen shot 2020 04 28 at 15.12.32

The verdict is in: sharing memories = increased happiness. It’s science.

By Aura | April 29, 2020

New study from Aura reveals the power of memories with mom & how they shape us.

At a time when many people are separated from their moms and in need of a boost, Aura has released a new study, What Memories Are Made Of, just in time for Mother’s Day. The report explores the science of memories, how they shape our identity, happiness, our relationship with our mothers and includes insights from award-winning psychologist, author & TEDx speaker, Tracy Alloway, PhD. Dr. Alloway found reflecting on visual cues of good memories with mom and our families strengthens these connections, can spark joy, and boost our self-confidence.

“Photos have a powerful way of evoking emotions connected to memory,” said Dr. Alloway. “And one of the most powerful emotions we feel is love for our mothers. In fact, one of the first hormones released between a mother and her child is oxytocin, a bonding hormone. In these incomparable times, looking at photos can provide comfort and fight loneliness.”

Impactful memories with mom begin sticking in early childhood


While making memories is a biological process, memories have a profound impact on our sense of self - beginning in our earliest years. The Aura report found our earliest memories center around our mothers who ultimately impact who we are and who we become:

  • At the beginning, there was mom: 25% of people have their first memory of mom from ages 2-3 years old; followed by 21.39% at 3-4 and 15.84% at 4-5.

  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: 66% think they act like their moms (69.67% of women, 61.61% of men). 


  • I’m my mother’s child: 40% realized they were their mother’s child through a habit, tendency or quirk that could only have come from them.

They are our first (and often favorite) friend


The bond between mother and child is instant and can last a lifetime.

  • They’re the best friend we could ever have: With mothers shaping our lives and our memories, it should come as no surprise that 40% of Americans say mom is their BFF and 19.2% report she comes second after their significant other.

  • Science can explain why men are more likely to call mom their BFF: Though it might be surprising to some, men are more likely to say their mom is their best friend (44%) than women (37.5%). Studies have shown this may be because oxytocin makes men’s memories of their mother’s affections during childhood stronger.

Laughter is the best medicine & mom delivers

Laughter and the positive emotions it brings both through real experiences or looking at photos,  decreases stress. And the Aura study found that moms have played a big role in making us laugh.

  • The verdict is in - Mom is funny: According to the study, 74% of Americans think their mom is funny with 37% saying she is intentionally funny and the other 37% saying she is unintentionally funny.


The importance of sharing photos

Memories tell our life stories. These past experiences, observations and moments impact our sense of identity, our relationships and our future. And, according to Dr. Alloway, “Photos are so important to help provide visual cues of these emotional moments.” Put simply, sharing photos with the ones we love most help us (and them) stay connected.


Aura has invited our community to share their own MOMments and photos of their moms this Mother’s Day. MOMments are the heartwarming, hilarious, or oddball things your mom has done that stick with you after all these years and still make you smile. Visit the Aura Instagram to share your own MOMments for a chance to win an Aura frame.

2020 Report Methodology

The survey was conducted online in April 2020 by Aura using The participants represent the general population in the United State on's publisher network. There were a total of 1,000 respondents.

About Aura

At Aura, we believe in bringing loved ones together through shared memories. We’ve created the world’s first state-of-the-art digital photo frame that is powered by an easy-to-use photo sharing app, allowing friends and family to share photos to your frame from anywhere in the world. We’re on a mission to create a new kind of network, and we’ve started with a digital frame that gets memories off your phone and into your life. Oprah calls our frames magic and once you experience them, you’ll feel the same way too. Learn more

About Our Founders

Abdur Chowdhury, CEO & Co-Founder, and Eric Jensen, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Aura Frames, first met at Summize where they created the platform’s search function that led to the proliferation of the hashtag and trending. Together, they went on to found Aura Frames where they are using their technology backgrounds and passion for sharing good memories to revolutionize how photos are being shared. Follow @Abdur on Twitter.

Questions? Reach out to our media contact: Renee Brooks, 312.972.7255