Taylor Swift Talks Self-Worth and Finding Happiness: ‘There Is No Happily Ever After’
By Leena Tailor
TAS Rights Management
Taylor Swift is opening up about her struggle to achieve happiness and how she is learning to accept that there is no such thing as “happily ever after.”
The 29-year-old singer got personal during a new interview with the Zach Sang Show, in which she admitted she has previously taken years off due to feeling “really low or really bad.”
“I think when we talk about being happy or loving yourself those are all things that we feel sometimes and maybe this song is a glimpse of that moment when we do feel like that,” she said while referencing her new single, “ME!” featuring Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie. “When we’re having the best day, the sun is shining, it’s going to be an okay day, everything’s going to be good, I’m alright with myself.”
“But I think one thing to always keep tabs on is the fact that we have to know that there is no ‘happily ever after’ where we’re just happy forever,” she continued. “Happiness is always going to be a struggle and a challenge we have to try and meet. Self-worth is always going to be something that it’s a process of trying to get there. That’s not naturally how we’re going to feel all the time.”
In her pursuit of happiness and in order to keep things “fresh” after so long in the music industry, Swift said that she has taken lengthy chunks of time off when she has felt too low or exhausted. The singer had been releasing albums every two years, but fans had to wait three years between 2014’s 1989 and 2017’s Reputation.
“There have been times where I needed to take years off because I just felt exhausted, or I felt like, really low or really bad,” she said.
“You never really have the same process making an album. Right now, thankfully, I feel really energized which I’m feeling really grateful for,” she continued. “It’s not something that I take for granted -- that I feel this energized and this excited about this new music -- because now I know that’s not always how you feel. Sometimes you can just feel really scared of everything, and so I’m very, very conscious of how I do feel about this new music and how there’s such excitement surrounding it.”
In her new interview with Sang, Swift also discussed how “ME!” came about. After getting into the studio with “amazing” New Zealand songwriter and producer, Joel Little, the song evolved into a duet.
“We made the first half of the song and I think both of us realized at the same time we want this to be a duet," she said. "We want this to be a love interest type thing where you’ve got two sides of a relationship. In that messaging I wanted to bring someone in who was going to help us write the end of the song.”
She then invited Urie in to help write his second verse and the song's bridge with the pair, saying she chose the musician because she knew he was “so enthusiastic about music that he would bring the level of energy up.”
As for selecting “ME!” as the first single from her upcoming album, Swift says she quickly knew that it was the first song she wanted to put out.
“As soon as I wrote the chorus, I pretty much knew that this was really special,” she said. “It’s always really difficult to pick a first single for my albums because I try to make an album that’s so vast in it’s a scope that it’s hard to pick which is going to be representative. There isn’t ever one song that could just sum up what the album is.”
“But I knew that this one felt like a celebration. It felt like something that could make you feel good,” she continued. “And, I just want that right now for people. I want that for me when I perform it. I want to feel good and feel positive and feel hopeful and I feel like a song is like a mantra. If you get a song stuck in your head, that’s the message you’re telling yourself whether it’s intentional or not, or conscious or not.”
In fact, while it may have been the highs and good days that inspired the song, Swift now hopes the track is a mantra which helps her through the lows and bad days.
“In the moments when I’m feeling really, really low, I think it will be helpful when I get to go on stage and play this song and see other people singing it back to me, so it’s not just a song that’s for, ‘Oh, put this song when you feel good about yourself,’” she said. “Put this song when you don’t feel good about yourself, and maybe that will help you get back to a point. That’s how I look at it because I definitely don’t feel good all the time, and I don’t think anybody does.”
Swift's candid confessions about facing dark times come just weeks after she told Elle that she felt “lower than I’ve ever felt in my life” after “someone started an online hate campaign by calling me a snake on the internet.” The singer was referencing reality star Kim Kardashian West posting snake emojis after claiming that Swift lied when she said she didn’t approve lyrics about her in Kanye West’s “Famous” song.