This study examined the perceived psychosocial functions of flashbulb memories: It compared positive and negative public flashbulb memories (positive: Bin Laden's death, negative: Michael Jackson's death) with private ones (positive: pregnancy, negative: death of a loved one). A sample of n = 389 young and n = 176 middle-aged adults answered canonical category questions used to identify flashbulb memories and rated the personal significance, the psychological temporal distance, and the functions of each memory (i.e., self-continuity, social-boding, directive functions). Hierarchical regressions showed that, in general, private memories were rated more functional than public memories. Positive and negative private memories were comparable in self-continuity and directionality, but the positive private memory more strongly served social functions. In line with the positivity bias in autobiographical memory, positive flashbulb memories felt psychologically closer than negative ones. Finally, middle-aged adults rated their memories as less functional regarding self-continuity and social-bonding than young adults. Results are discussed regarding the tripartite model of autobiographical memory functions.