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Taylor Swift's New Album Was a COVID-19 Coping Strategy

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If you haven’t heard, Taylor Swift released her newest album, “Folklore” today, and listening through it, you’ll immediately realize it has a different tone than the rest of her albums. The songs are softer, and most of it sounds nearly acoustic. Every song is filled with visual imagery, as they tell a story you can picture happening right in front of you.

However, in a change of pace, many of these visual songs are not about her own life. As the album released at midnight, Taylor took to Twitter to explain that “Folklore” was actually her creative outlet to coping with COVID-19.

“It started with imagery,” she explains, later in the tweet elaborating, “Pretty soon these images in my head grew faces or names and became characters. I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about of from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t.”

For Taylor Swift fans, this is a noticeably different tone compared to her other albums, which she’s in the past described as her personal journal. This album, however, is one filled with folk tales and fictional characters that kept Taylor going through the loneliness of COVID-19.

As she describes it: “In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result… Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory.”

And I think we can all learn a lesson from that. This pandemic hasn’t been a thriller for most of us, but we’ve had to find ways to cope. For me, it’s been delving into video games for the first time. For one of my friends, it’s been finding new crafts to put together. And for Taylor Swift, it’s been creating these intricate stories to share with the world.

Overall, coping looks different for all of us, and it takes a lot of talent to turn the struggles of quarantine and isolation into an album for the world to enjoy. Whether you love or hate Taylor Swift, I find it impressive she was able to do that. I find it astounding that she somehow found a way to cope through COVID-19 by turning back to songwriting and story-telling as her outlet.

Sometimes I think we all could benefit from having outlets like that — even if they aren’t as well-written or capitalized as a Taylor Swift album. We can all benefit from finding hobbies, coping skills or things that just work for us, even when we feel more alone than ever.

I know that’s something I need to work on more, and I think a lot of other people can relate. Because for most of us, coping with COVID-19 is hard. It’s really hard, in fact. But if we can find an outlet, maybe it would make it just a little bit better. It wouldn’t fix it entirely, but maybe it could make it more bearable.

And most days, I think making COVID-19 a little more bearable what most of us really need.

Taylor Swift just got a head start.

Now, it’s time for us to join her.

Lead image via Taylor Swift’s Instagram

Originally published: July 24, 2020
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