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An Oddly Specific List of 19 Taylor Swift Songs to Listen to If You're a Trauma Survivor

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Editor's Note

If you have experienced emotional abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

One fact that all of my friends know about me is that I am a huge Swiftie (but not one of those fans, promise). Taylor Allison Swift is the artist I refused to enjoy as a teenager because I wasn’t “like other girls,” (gag) and the artist I came to appreciate, enjoy, and quite frankly love as an adult who is proud to be like other girls, and incredibly happily basic beyond that.

I’ve cried, screamed, laughed, and have found peace (haha, get it?) through many of the different songs in Taylor Swift’s catalog. She really does have a song for everything ranging from illnesses like cancer, birthdays, holidays, new love, old love, and of course, heartbreak.

After listening to her entire catalog countless times, I think I’ve constructed the perfect mega-list of Taylor Swift-penned anthems and bops alike for every possible event slash mood that you may encounter when it comes to healing from trauma and living with a health condition.

*Cracks knuckles*

Alright…let’s do this.

1. For the times where you finally start unlearning all the negative things your ex/abuser said to you about you, and you’re ready to give love a try again…

Begin Again – Red (Taylor’s Version)

2. For those hard nights where you or someone you love is terminally sick, and you’re trying to hold on to hope that things will turn around…

Soon You’ll Get Better – Lover

3. For when you’re trying to wade through and mourn the complicated emotions that come with having someone in your life who did love you, but who was also incredibly toxic…

My Tears Ricochet – Folklore

4. This song is for when you’re sitting next to someone you love, whether it’s simply a crush or someone you’ve been in a long term relationship with, knowing how complicated life can be for the both of you because of your conditions, but also knowing the love and support is real nor is it something that can be shaken

Peace – Folklore

5. For that person in your life that you know doesn’t care about you the way they should, and you know you deserve better, yet you aren’t quite ready to leave them…

Hoax – Folklore

6. For the times that you’re fighting your strongest and darkest bouts of anxiety, depression, paranoia, and suicidal ideation, and even though you feel like giving up you’re determined to keep going…

This is Me Trying – Folklore

7. For the moment you finally decide to walk away from that toxic person that you hoped would change, but won’t…

You’re Not Sorry – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

8. Ever have someone in your life who you adore, but it feels like they can’t stand you? Yeah, this is the song for that…

Tolerate It – Evermore

9. For the moment you reach that point after a loss that shakes you to your core where you finally believe you’ll be OK.

Happiness – Evermore

10. For the exact moment you realize “I survived that thing that I thought was going to kill me.”

Long Story Short – Evermore

11. This is the perfect song to listen to when you’re learning how to not self-betray yourself by being a people pleaser, and instead you choose to operate in a way that serves you first and foremost. 

Marjorie — Evermore

12. For the moment that jerk who used to be in your life who was severely abusive and toxic “changed” and “grew” and wants to apologize, but you’ve grown past the need for the apology in your healing journey…

Closure – Evermore

13. Another song that fits when you’ve escaped that bad period of time in your life, but you’re still dazed and trying to make sense of what even happened to begin with…

Evermore – Evermore

14. Living with health conditions can sometimes leave you wondering if you can ever be loved fully, loudly, and proudly. This song is the song you should play when you’re working through those thoughts.

The Archer – Lover

15. Have you ever snapped at someone when you shouldn’t have due to a mood disorder or the way your condition impacts your emotional window of tolerance, and you then have to forgive them? Yeah, here you go…

Afterglow – Lover

16. If you’re unapologetically angry at what they did to you, blast this. Now.

I Did Something Bad – Reputation

17. Y’know when a toxic/abusive ex told you you were nothing and ruined your perception of self, and yet here comes someone willing to love you as you are for everything they hated you for… yeah, play this.

Delicate – Reputation

18. You don’t owe anyone your forgiveness. If you want to feel comically petty and spiteful in the face of people who did you dirty, listen to this (and sing very loudly at the top of your lungs)…

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Reputation

19. For the moment you realize that it’s not the people who have hurt you that defines you, and someone, whether it be a friend, lover, or parent, is or will be able and willing to draw hearts around the scars that someone else left…

Call it What You Want – Reputation

Her songs and lyricism have gotten me through some of the hardest times of my adult life so far, and I’m so thankful to have been able to sing, dance, and cry to them.

Did I miss any songs? Probably. So many Taylor songs mean a lot to people for different reasons, bringing back memories of different people, both good and bad, and that’s what good art does. 

It makes us feel, think, and even sometimes, heal.

Need more Taylor Swift? Check out Jill Alexandra’s article on why the video for “All Too Well” sheds light on gaslighting, and add your own song picks to the comments below.

Lead image courtesy of Taylor Swift’s YouTube page

Originally published: April 8, 2022
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