Taylor Swift compiles “5 stages of heartbreak” playlists for Apple Music

Beth Garrabrant

After Taylor Swift announced her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, fans began theorizing that the songs represented the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Now, Taylor has compiled five custom playlists for Apple Music representing the five stages of heartbreak.

Each playlist includes songs from Taylor’s catalog arranged thematically, each named after a song on the new album:

In a voice message, Taylor explains that the “denial” playlist, called “I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life,” includes “songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion.”

The “anger” playlist is called “You Don’t Get to Tell Me About Sad Songs.” Taylor says, “The healthiest way that [anger] manifests itself in my life is when I can write a song about it, and then oftentimes, that helps me get past it.”

The “bargaining” playlist is called “Am I Allowed to Cry?” and Taylor says that these songs are ones she wrote when “you’re trying to make deals with yourself or someone that you care about.”

The “depression” playlist is “Old Habits Die Screaming.” Taylor says, “I’ll write a song because I feel lonely or hopeless …and while these things are really, really hard to go through … usually that’s in the phase where I’m close to getting past that feeling.”

Finally, the “acceptance” playlist is called “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.” “Here we finally find acceptance and can start moving forward from loss or heartbreak,” Taylor says. “These songs represent making room for more good in your life, making that choice because a lot of time when we lose things, we gain things too.”


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