15 Taylor Swift Songs About Mental Health: A Healing Playlist

15 Taylor Swift Songs About Mental Health: A Healing Playlist

The Tortured Poets Department is out and I’ve had the weekend to digest Taylor Swift’s new work of art and it’s full of mental health related themes including addiction and depression. TTPD is moody and emotional and I love it!

Taylor Swift’s impact on pop culture is undeniable. Everything she touches seems to turn to gold, especially when it comes to her music, so when she shares mental health related themes the stigma around these illnesses breaks down.  I appreciate the experience she shares with these very real challenges. It makes her relatable and fosters a community of understanding and vulnerability – attributes that our world so needs right now.

Taylor Swift songs about mental health

Taylor has always captured life through her music, from growing pains and fitting in to heartbreak and emotional growth, with such poignancy. It’s not easy to verbalize mental health symptoms and somehow she poetically nails it! When I listen to her lyrics it sometimes feels like she’s lived a little of my life. It’s her gift.

Through Swift’s transparency, her listeners feel a sense of empathy and connection. This can make you feel less isolated, destigmatizing the concept of mental health. In essence, Taylor Swift’s music has carved out space in the pop culture realm for these crucial conversations and has helped many people, find comfort amidst their challenges.

Exploring Taylor Swift’s Musical Journey with Mental Health

As you delve into Taylor Swift’s discography, you’ll notice a recurring theme of mental health throughout her songs and albums. Her honest and raw lyrics offer an opportunity for fans to connect with her on a deeper level. Let’s take a look at several examples of how Taylor artfully addresses mental health in her music.

And since it’s brand new, let’s start with some of my favorites from TTDP.

1. “Fortnight” featuring Post Malone

All my mornings are Mondays. Stuck in an endless February.

I took the miracle move on drug. The effects are temporary.

As someone whose been hospitalized for mental health reasons in the past, the first thirty seconds of this music video really struck me. Taylor Swift is singing about functional alcoholism in an upside room as a faceless nurse administers medication to her; it all captured what a hospitalization experience can feel like for so many people. And though the imagery was brief, it was still there and seeing Taylor in it, even in a glamourous ball gown, made me feel like it’s a scenario she’s considered and thought of before. She continues on to discuss heavy themes of addiction, pain, and heartbreak and the cycle these dark demons continue.

“Fortnight” is a look inside the dark places that relationships can take us and it’s something most of us can relate to.

2. “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart”

I’m so depressed, I act like it’s my birthday every day

I cry a lot but I am so productive, it’s an art

You know you’re good when you can even do it with a broken heart

This song is an anthem for high functioning people with depression. I heard it and thought, I know days like that! The upbeat and happy dance sound contrasts to the sentiments she’s sharing about a broken heart and how down she feels. Similar vibes to “Shake it Off”, here, Taylor captures how we just keep going, alongside the pain, in an effort to make everyone around us think we are doing ok.

3. “This Is Me Trying”

I’ve been having a hard time adjusting

I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting

I didn’t know if you’d care if I came back

I have a lot of regrets about that

Pulled the car off the road to the lookout

Could’ve followed my fears all the way down

This song speaks volumes about mental health and begins by telling the story of someone feeling overwhelmed and tired of trying. Have we all been there before?

The lyrics contain powerful confessions and cover important topics such as self-doubt, suicide, addiction, and hopelessness.

As you listen to the track, you might reflect on your mental health journey and recognize how, at times, it can be a real struggle to continue pushing forward. These moments of honesty in “This Is Me Trying” remind you that you’re not alone in your battles.

4. “Marjorie”

What died, didn’t stay dead

You’re alive, you’re alive in my head

“Marjorie”, a heartfelt track about Taylor’s grandmother on her album Evermore, confronts feelings of grief and loss. This is song has been especially cathartic for me these last six months as I’ve grieved the loss of my own grandmother. The powerful lyrics have resonated with me and I’m certain anyone else who has experienced loss, grief, and the challenging emotions that come.

Some highlights of how “Marjorie” addresses mental health include:

  1. Encouraging remembrance: Taylor helps you understand that even though loved ones might be gone physically, their presence can still be felt by cherishing their guidance and memories.
  2. Handling grief: The song doesn’t shy away from expressing melancholy emotions. It can help you to empathize with yourself and others experiencing loss.
  3. Coping mechanisms: Taylor’s song lyrics demonstrate a sense of self-awareness and growth, showing you that it’s essential to practice kindness and resilience in difficult moments.

“Marjorie” is an impactful contribution to the conversation surrounding grief. Its authenticity, gentle warmth, and sensitivity creates a supportive space for you and other listeners, reminding everyone that they’re not alone in their struggles.

5. “Shake It Off”

But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop moving

It’s like I got this music, in my mind, saying, “it’s gonna be alright”

“Shake It Off” is a catchy and upbeat song that carries a powerful message about mental health. Its catchy tune and relatable lyrics offer solace and encouragement to those facing difficult emotions such as fear, hurt, and insecurity.

The chorus of “Shake It Off “is perhaps its most iconic aspect. In it, Taylor reminds listeners to “shake off” negative feelings, promoting a sense of confidence and encouragement. This can be particularly important when facing mental health challenges.

Utilizing this powerful message, the song urges listeners to recognize their strength and resilience even in the face of adversity. By shaking off fear and hurt, they are better able to reclaim control and foster a sense of bravery and security in their lives.

6. “Anti-Hero”

When my depression works the graveyard shift

All of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room

It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me

When I started really listening to the lyrics of “Anti-Hero”, I was blown away by the self-loathing, depression, and narcissistic undertones. She captured those feelings so well. If you have a narcissist in your life then this song will feel familiar.

It caught on so quickly and soon became an over-played song on the radio and the meaning started to lose it’s shine for many I think, but for me, this song has remained one of my favorites.

I should not be left to my own devices

They come with prices and vices

I end up in crisis (tale as old as time)

I wake up screaming from dreaming

One day I’ll watch as your leaving

‘Cause you got tired of my scheming (for the last time)

This is one of the most powerful verses about self-awareness, self-destruction, and self-loathing I’ve ever heard. It’s brilliant poetic work!

7. “Tied Together with a Smile”

You’re tied together with a smile, but you’re coming undone

Hold on, baby, you’re losing it

The water’s high, you’re jumping into it and letting go

And no one knows

Taylor Swift tackles the themes of vulnerability and anxiety through her candid, heartfelt lyrics in “Tied Together With A Smile”. This track from her debut album is a perfect example of how she uses music as an outlet to express her thoughts and emotions on mental health and eating disorders. Taylor herself has be open about struggling with eating disorders in the past herself.

The lyrics of the song reflect the struggles of someone putting up a brave front while they deal with deep-seated problems. You can identify with the message, as she sings about hiding behind a smile, even when feeling torn up inside.

The use of strong imagery like “the water’s high,” paints a vivid picture of someone silently battling through their issues. When you listen to this song, you can find solace in the fact that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to seek help if needed.

8. “Forever Winter”

You’ve been down on your luck, it’s all temporary

Pull you close in a crowded room

Only the lights know When they made you, they made a certain kind of sadness

Taylor Swift’s song “Forever Winter” tackles depression and themes of suicide and the importance of emotional support. As you listen to the song, you’ll notice how Swift’s empathetic lyrics and soothing melodies create a warm atmosphere despite the somber themes.

Too young to know it gets better

I’ll be a summer sun for you forever

Forever winter if you go

Taylor expresses how important it is to remember that no one is alone in their struggles, and conveys this message in a way that resonates with listeners. “Forever Winter” raises awareness and breaks the stigma around mental health.

9. “My Tears Ricochet”

I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace

‘Cause when I’d fight, you used to tell me I was brave

The song revolves around the theme of a tumultuous and toxic relationship and the heartache that follows its end. Taylor mentions emotions such as betrayal, loneliness, and grief throughout the song, which can be synonymous with certain aspects of mental health.

Taylor’s music can act as a mirror for those struggling with similar issues.

10. “The Archer”

I’ve been the archer

I’ve been the prey

Who could ever leave me, darling

But who could stay?

“The Archer” is a song from Taylor Swift’s Lover album that effectively addresses mental health. Using insightful lyrics, it delves into the complexity of anxiety and self-doubt. As you listen, you might notice how the song emphasizes vulnerability and introspection, where Taylor sings about feeling the anti-hero in her own life.

Here she compares herself to both the archer and the prey, a representation of her struggles with mental health, battling her inner demons while also trying to protect herself.

Taylor’s lyrics create beautiful imagery of fragility and vulnerability. Lines like “I’ve been the archer, I’ve been the prey” and “cause all of my enemies started out friends” convey the nuances of inter-personal relationships and the emotional turmoil you can go through.

All the king’s horses, all the king’s men

Couldn’t put me together again

11. “Delicate”

This ain’t for the best

My reputation’s never been worse, so

You must like me for me…

We can’t make

Any promises now, can we, babe?

But you can make me a drink

“Delicate”, one of Taylor Swift’s popular songs, tackles the vulnerability one feels when dealing with self-doubt and coping with unhealthy habits. The lyrics beautifully convey the uncertainty and fear we experience as we navigate our emotions, while desperately seeking solace and comfort.

As you listen to the song, you’ll likely recognize the relatable feelings that often accompany mental health challenges:

Fear of judgment: Worrying about how others will perceive you when they learn about your struggles, can be overwhelming. Taylor expresses this concern through the lyrics, “My reputation’s never been worse.”

Yearning for acceptance: The desire for someone to see past your struggles and like you for who you are, which is evident in the line, “You must like me for me…”

One of the important messages you can take from “Delicate” is the need for open and honest communication when dealing with mental health. It reinforces the idea that it’s alright to be vulnerable and seek support from those who genuinely care for you. An important lesson for us all.

12. “Right Where You Left Me”


Won’t you help me out of this mess I’ve made?

And I can’t really breathe with your hands around my throat

But all I do is keep on climbing, further and further along

This song tells the story of feeling stuck and how that impacts the protagonist’s mental state. Haven’t we all felt this before?

Taylor uses imagery that expresses feeling trapped and conveys the struggle many people experience while dealing with depression and anxiety.

Here are some other themes I’ve gleaned from the song:

Coping with change: When life changes unexpectedly or completely goes off track, adjusting can be challenging and lead to overwhelming emotions.

Relationships: The song explores the emotional rollercoaster that some relationships can cause.

Resilience: Despite feeling stuck and cornered, Taylor’s character keeps “climbing” and trying to make progress, demonstrating resilience in overcoming mental health struggles.

13. “Ronan”

Come on baby, with me

We’re gonna fly away from here

Out of this curtained room

In this hospital grey, we’ll just disappear

Come on baby, with me

We’re gonna fly away from here

You were my best four years

For not being a mother herself, Taylor captures the love and loss of Maya Thompson‘s son Ronan so beautifully in this song. It’s hard to listen to without tears coming to my eyes. I cannot imagine Maya’s pain and grief and I am certain this song brings her peace and comfort when she hears it. It’s probably cathartic for other parents who’ve lost children as well.

14. “Epiphany”


Only 20 minutes to sleep

But you dream of some epiphany

Just one single glimpse of relief

To make sense of what you’ve seen

This is a special song for me. Taylor discusses PTSD from a veteran's perspective in "Epiphany". I so appreciate this song and the line to make sense of what you've seen. It's taken me years to do this and process it in therapy and for Taylor to sing this line it relates to anyone who has suffered trauma, abuse, combat, or in my case, a bombing. Thank you Taylor.

15. “The Best Day”

I don’t know who I’m gonna talk to now at school

But I know I’m laughing 

On the car ride home with you

Don’t know how long it’s gonna take to feel okay

But I know I had the best day with you today

“The Best Day” is a heartwarming song from Taylor Swift’s second album, Fearless. In this track, Taylor poetically shares her relationship with her mother, Andrea Swift, who is helping her through a difficult time in her youth. While this song doesn’t directly tackle mental health, the loving and supportive connection with her mom serves an essential role in dealing with emotional battles through teenage years.

This is a special song for me as I am now raising a young lady myself and together we are tackling the same challenges that Taylor and her mom are in this song.

In this sweet song Taylor reminds me that small moments with my daughter Mallory, are making a difference with her and she will remember them one day as some of her best.

Taylor Swift as a Mental Health Advocate

What makes someone a mental health advocate? It’s being open, sharing your feelings, being vulnerable, and making those around you feel safe to do the same. Taylor Swift, through her music, has made it safe for people, young and old, to shout her lyrics in solidarity. She has also been known to reach out to individual fans, offering words of encouragement and lending an empathetic ear. This personal connection has made a profound impact on many of her fans, helping them to feel less alone in their own mental health journeys.

This makes Taylor Swift one of the most influential mental health advocates of our time.

Final Thoughts

My daughter and I were fortunate to attend the second show of her Eras tour in Phoenix and it was an incredible shared experience that you’ll only know if you’ve lived it yourself. I witnessed Taylor bring all kinds of people together in the most beautiful way. She made each of us feel seen, loved, and appreciated.

This was also one of the most crowded spaces I’ve been since my PTSD journey began and I felt so safe.

Taylor Swift songs about mental health

I credit Taylor Swift with bringing my daughter, Mallory, and I together through her music. We bond over it, listening everyday as we drive to soccer, and sharing Swiftie social media content with each other. I credit Mal with introducing me to many of the songs I’ve shared with you here as she has found them helpful through her teenage years.

Music is powerful and Taylor Swift’s songs about mental health have touched the hearts of many including ours. I invite you to create a playlist with some of these songs and really listen to Taylor’s words. I am quite sure you’ll be able to relate to the emotions she shares.

Taylor Swift Songs about Mental Health

Elena Breese

Elena is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor and lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. Through her website, Still Blooming Me, Elena shares how she learned to embrace her trauma and mental challenges, advocate for herself, and grow from her experience. She is passionate about bringing awareness about PTSD and sharing resources that have helped her heal. Elena has contributed to various blogs, podcasts, and speaks publicly.

Elena is a dedicated wife and mother. Her family lives in Phoenix, Arizona.


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