It is a rainy day in Brooklyn. I am sitting at my kitchen table, drinking an iced coffee, listening to Taylor Swift’s brand new album, Folklore, on repeat. It was unexpectedly released last night, and I have now found myself, unexpectedly, overwhelmed by emotions.
Taylor Swift has obviously become an incredible force in our culture. But it is not because she creates catchy tunes. I believe it’s because she has the ability to relate to people on a deep emotional level.
She always seems to know how we feel! And expresses it in a way that resonates. She totally gets it, and apparently, has been there too.
Did you know if you’re feeling depressed, listening to sad music can actually help you feel better? And by better, I mean… seen. Because when we feel seen, it can help us feel more connected and validated. So even though we’re sad, we feel less alone in it.
And that’s what Taylor Swift does. She helps us feel less alone in what we’re going through.
Taylor Swift songs also offer up a lot of rich content about navigating our feelings in a healthy way.
Below is a list of Taylor Swift quotes from her songs to help you cope with feelings.
1. Many Emotions Can Exist At Once
Ever felt like you were happy for a friend for getting a promotion, but at the same time, felt sad for yourself for feeling stuck? Or maybe you’re grateful for all that you have, but then feel guilty because you also want more?
We live in a world that teaches us to see things as black or white, all or nothing, when in reality there are endless shades of gray. Luckily there is always space within us to acknowledge all of our emotions, and feel them all at once, even if they seem contradictory.
And if you often feel crippled by your emotions, download my Feelings Guide so they no longer hold you hostage.
Lyric: “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.“
2. Learning To Shake It Off Is An Important Life Skill
Caring about what people think is not uncommon. Almost everyone I work with in therapy has a fear that others are judging them for their choices.
***IMPORTANT REMINDER: No one is thinking about you as much as you think they are.***
But even if the worst case scenario is true, and someone is judging you for the choices you make – so what? You have absolutely no control over what others think. Are you going to let that stop you from living your life?
Learning to shake it off takes PRACTICE (click here for tips to get started!). And the more you practice, the more your brain gets used to learning how to let things go. And I find karaoke-ing at the top of your lungs to this song is good strength training. 😉
Lyric: “It’s like I got this music in my mind sayin’ it’s gonna be alright.“
3. Just Be Who You Are!
Each and every one of us has a unique essence that makes us who we are.
Sometimes, that essence gets buried under societal expectations, familial and social obligations, our fears of what others might think, etc. And when we lose sight of that essence that makes us who we are, it can cause us to feel trapped by stress and anxiety.
Being who you are meant to be in this world is freeing. It means doing what you want to do with your life, loving who you can’t help but love, and living your truth.
Finding your way back to your core and expressing that most authentic version of yourself is a lifelong practice that is worth cultivating (and you can start by understanding your values). Thank you Taylor Swift, for encouraging us to celebrate our uniqueness!
Lyric: “I’m the only one of me, baby that’s the fun of me!“
4. You Are More Resilient Than You Know
If you are a human being, that means you’re going to experience challenges. You’re going to experience disappointment, rejections, sadness, and pain. Unfortunately, it just comes with the territory of being human.
And, if you are a human being, that means you’re inherently resilient. You already have everything you need inside of you to survive. Fortunately, it comes with the territory of being human.
This song does such a perfect job of encapsulating how difficult it is to go through a really tough time. To experience loss. To feel sad.
It validates the intensity of that kind of experience, while also acknowledging the inherent strength in all of us. Because even if you think you can’t go through the pain, or you’ll never feel better, this song reminds you that even in the darkest of times, one fact remains: you’re still breathing. You’re still somehow managing to survive.
I’m not saying it’s easy – it’s actually incredibly challenging. But reminding yourself of your resiliency, and breathing through sadness, anger, anxiety and grief has a cathartic quality in the short term. And, it can help a person to develop tremendous strength and resiliency over the long term.
Lyric: “And I can’t breathe without you, but I have to.”
5. There Is Strength In Vulnerability
It’s okay to not be okay. What most people don’t realize is how helpful it can be to give yourself time and space to not be okay, and feel those uncomfortable emotions as you move through them.
And when you’re not okay, sharing that with someone can feel incredibly vulnerable, but it is also an act of bravery.
Talking with someone about what is really going on for you – whether a friend, a therapist, a parent, or heck, even a reddit forum – can create deeper connections and also provide tremendous relief.
And the more we share what we are feeling authentically, the more we reduce stigma around mental health.
Lyric: “And I might be okay but I’m not fine at all.”
And for more lessons from the 10-minute version of All Too Well, click here!
6. Words Aren’t the Only Way to Express Ourselves
When you have gone through something traumatic, the experience and the way you feel about it can often be too difficult to put into words.
Talking about it can feel too scary or painful, and that’s okay. There are many other ways to express yourself that can still provide relief and healing. One of my favorites, is art.
Whether we are creating our own art, or immersing ourselves in others’ creations, art has the ability to evoke emotional responses within us that can oftentimes resonate more powerfully than words. Art has a transcendental quality that can heal us deeply.
We are all artists, and we all have the ability to express how we feel through imagery, movement, collages, music, poetry, etc. The process of creating in and of itself is nourishing for our souls. I highly recommend you give it a try.
Lyric: “And some things you just can’t speak about.”
7. The Way We Feel About Things Can Change Over Time
Think about who you were and what you stood for 5 years ago, 10 years ago, even 15 years ago.
Maybe you didn’t know how to handle that breakup gracefully, because you were overwhelmed by your emotions at the time.
Maybe you regret some of the choices you made, because you didn’t have the self-awareness you do now.
We are all works in progress. We all look back on things we said or did and feel regret or embarrassment.
More often than not, we do the best we can with what we know and where we are at the time. Accept responsibility, be kind to yourself, and remember there is always room to grow.
Lyric: “I’ve found time can heal most anything, and you just might find who you’re supposed to be, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be, at fifteen.”