For some reason, the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s All Too Well gets me every time. And hearing her sing them live, in the spring of 2013, her fingers dancing across piano keys, watching a tear run down her face in front of 38,000 people only enhanced the emotions that were already running through me.
Two years later, only a few months ago, I sat in a stadium surrounded by 60,000 people, watching the lights sparkle under the night sky, listening to her give the most moving speech I have ever heard and the emotions came pouring out once again. Somehow, through music and her words, she was able to connect with every person in the stadium. She said “I know tonight there are people that are here from New York City and I also know there are people here today that traveled a great distance to be at this show. So I feel like I am looking at a group of people with different backgrounds and different hobbies, but there is one thing that every single one of us has in common. And that is: when we feel great amounts of joy or great amounts of pain, we turn to music.”
So what is it about music that sparks our emotions? Why do we turn to music? How do artists know exactly what will hit home with someone? My thinking is that they write from the heart, they write from experiences, and then our job comes into play where we relate. It is human instinct to relate to others, to find a way to connect, and music is the perfect opportunity to do so. Imagine a love song for example. I am sure your mind rushes to that one person: the person that made you feel the way the song is describing. Music is so powerful it can make your stomach flutter and heart race. We turn to music. We need it because of its ability to induce feelings, moods, and states of mind. Music also has this superpower that it reminds us of moments and memories. It is evocative, transporting us to a time in the past and often we find ourselves smiling or tearing up. Oddly enough, listening to sad music when we are sad is something we all do. Maybe it is a source of comfort that we are not alone. And sometimes we find ourself in a tranquil state, not knowing what we feel. I am not a scientist, just a 19 year old girl, but I do know one thing: that music brings clarity. Music has taught me the power and beauty of words. I have become affected by the intangible and the art of music.
So now for you, a playlist of songs that make me feel joy, that inspire me. Like I said, each person may relate differently so the emotions may vary. Whatever the case, hopefully it will bring a smile to your face and a memory of joy.
Jordan Cohen is a student at Elon University. To get even more inspiration from SFTL, click [here] to subscribe today.