A List Of Taylor Swift Songs To Help You Process Emotions


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 I don’t think it’s 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.

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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. Her lyrics help you feel less alone in what you’re going through.

And if you pay attention, you’ll find that Taylor Swift’s music offers up a lot of valuable lessons on how to navigate our feelings in a healthy way.

Below is a list of Taylor Swift songs that can help you cope with feelings. I’ve also included lyrics and emotions that might be evoked when listening to each song.

1. 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.

Taylor Swift Song: All Too Well

Lyric: “And I might be okay but I’m not fine at all.”

Emotions: nostalgic, angry, lonely, betrayed, sad

For more lessons from the 10-minute version of All Too Well, click here!

2. The Way You 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.

Which means a few years from now, it’s very possible that you’ll back at whatever it is you’re going through currently and see how far you’ve come.

We are all works in progress.

More often than not, we do the best we can with what we know at the time. Accept responsibility, be kind to yourself, and remember there is always room to grow.

Taylor Swift Song: Fifteen

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.”

Emotions: reminiscent, frustrated, embarrassed, wise, self-aware

3. Words Aren’t the Only Way to Express Yourself

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.

Taylor Swift Song: Epiphany

Lyric: “And some things you just can’t speak about.”

Emotions: lost, hurt, pensive, impatient, scared

4. 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 you can create a space within you that acknowledges all of your emotions 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.

Taylor Swift Song: 22 

Lyric: “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.”

Emotions: present, adventurous, hopeful, confused, energized

5. 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. And the more you practice, the more your brain gets used to learning how to let things go.

I find karaoke-ing at the top of your lungs to this song is good strength training. 😉

Taylor Swift Song: Shake It Off

Lyric: “It’s like I got this music in my mind sayin’ it’s gonna be alright.”

Emotions: optimistic, silly, sarcastic, free, confident

6. No Matter What’s Happening, Always Remember To Breathe

This song does such a perfect job of encapsulating how difficult it is to go through a tough time. To experience loss. To feel sad.

It validates the intensity of that kind of experience, which is healing in and of itself. But it also reminds you that when you are overwhelmed with emotion or worried about the future, all you can really do is breathe.

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 somehow managing to survive.

I’m not saying it’s easy – it’s actually incredibly challenging. But learning to breathe through sadness, anger, anxiety and grief has a cathartic quality in the short term. And, it can help a person to better manage their emotions and connect to themselves in the long term.

Taylor Swift Song: Breathe

Lyric: “And I can’t breathe without you, but I have to.”

Emotions: despair, confusion, grief-stricken, yearning, brave

7. Take Time To Honor Your Strengths

Each and every one of us has a unique essence that makes us who we are. And it’s so important for our mental health to be able to tap into that essence, and actually like what we see.

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 our authentic selves, 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, living your truth, and enjoying your own company.

Finding your way back to your core and expressing that most authentic version of yourself – the good, the bad, and everything in between – 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!

Taylor Swift Song: ME

Lyric: “I’m the only one of me, baby that’s the fun of me!”

Emotions: honest, secure, creative, proud, eccentric

8. You’re 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 comes with the territory.

And, if you are a human being, that means you’re inherently resilient. You already have everything you need inside of you to survive. Luckily, that also comes with the territory.

At the end of the day, the person you can depend on the most is yourself. You also have no control over anyone but yourself. How you live your life is completely up to you. I know it’s a difficult concept to grapple with. But you once you accept this fact, it’s quite empowering. And believe, me, you have it in you.

No one is going to create the life you want for yourself – you have to be the one to put yourself out there and do it. So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it, you’ve got no reason to be afraid. 😉

Taylor Swift Song: You’re On Your Own Kid

Lyric: “Yea you can face this, you’re on your own kid, and you always have been.”

Emotions: competent, strong, invigorated, independent, realistic

Do you have any favorite songs (Taylor Swift or other) that have helped you navigate your emotions, or taught you something about yourself? If so, I’d love to hear about them!

And, if you enjoyed this article, definitely check out what I think are The Top 10 Taylor Swift Songs For Healing, and How “All Too Well” Can Comfort You During A Breakup.

Hi! I'm Paige

Cat Lover, Real Person, and LGBTQIA+ Friendly Psychotherapist in NYC 🌈

therapist williamsburg brooklyn

E-mail me at hello@paigerechtman.com  if  you have a question you would like me to answer on my therapy blog.

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