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Listening to Taylor Swift can actually affect your mental health, according to science – for better AND worse
- A survey of 2,000 people found Taylor Swift’s music has most positive effects
- A mental health specialist said it is down to the sense of belonging fans feel
- READ MORE: TikTokers claim getting a song stuck in your head is a sign of ADHD
Taylor Swift’s music has touched millions of people across the world, including her new beau Travis Kelce, who recently said in an interview he has mastered the art of ‘not giving a f***.’
And it seems he’s not the only one benefitting from Taylor’s magic. Fans on Reddit describe being part of the Swiftie community as ‘almost cult-like, in the best way.’
Now studies have started to suggest that her music can have a real, measurable effect on people’s mental health – and not always in a good way.
While Taylor Swift is adored by millions, the effects of her music on her fans have not always been positive.
Some fans reported being left with post-concert amneisa after they were so overwhelmed by seeing her live after dreaming about it for so long.
Fans on Reddit describe being part of the Swiftie community as ‘almost cult-like, in the best way’
Taylor Swift fans in California show off their friendship bracelets as they attend the opening night theatrical release of ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ at the cinema earlier this month
Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, thyroxine sodium t3 or t4 a therapist and mental health specialist from California, attended a discussion group at the University of Kansas, which offers a course called The Sociology of Taylor Swift.
Ms Lazzer said that part of the magic behind Taylor’s music is the ‘sense of belonging’ fans feel.
There is a tradition of trading friendship bracelets at her concerts, inspired by the lyrics on her song ‘You’re on Your Own, Kid’ from her album Midnights.
Taylor sings about how the jewelry can help foster connection: ‘Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned / Everything you lose is a step you take / So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it / You’ve got no reason to be afraid.’
Travis Kelce also allegedly made a play for Taylor by attempting to give her a friendship bracelet.
He admitted to his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center, Jason Kelce, that his stats have been much better since the pop star started attending his games.
‘When T Swift is at the game you average 99 yards; when your remaining friends and family are there you average 46.5 yards,’ Jason said.
Her music has also fostered intergenerational bonding, Ms Lazzer said.
Taylor Swift released her first album back in 2006, and her latest one dropped on Friday 27 October.
First kiss! Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have taken their relationship to the next level – posing for loved up snaps on Instagram. He admitted to his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center, Jason Kelce, that his stats have been much better since the pop star started attending his games
Many women grew up listening to Taylor’s music, and now their children are enjoying it too, said Ms Lazzer.
Rather than an intergenerational gap, there’s intergenerational bonding over a shared icon, Ms Lazzer added.
Her music teaches coping skills, Ms Lazzer said, such as a song titled ‘Breathe’, which readies fans with coping skills for when they become overwhelmed attending one of her concerts, for example.
Another reason fans seem to love her music is the bountiful emotion expressiveness.
Taylor Swift is not one to shy away from talking about her feelings, and is notorious for charting relationships with ex-lovers in her music.
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Dr Jenna DiLossi, an clinical psychologist from Philadelphia, told Parade that as an original Swiftie herself, she puts Taylor’s ‘special sauce’ down to her ‘ability to be incredibly raw and genuine in her lyricism.’
The O2 Arena in London, UK, recently partnered with a consumer research company to send a 10-question survey to 2,000 14-25-year-olds.
It found that 80 percent of young people believe music and live events have a positive impact on mood and overall wellness.
When participants were asked which artists has the most positive effect on their mental health, Taylor Swift came out on top, with 32 percent of people choosing her, closely followed by Ed Sheeran (28 percent).
Dedicated fanbases such as the ‘Swiftie’ community was also cited as having a positive influence, with nearly two thirds (61 percent) of young people agreeing that being a part of these online and in-person collectives has a positive impact on their mood or wellbeing.
However, there were growing reports of people suffering amnesia after her shows on The Eras Tour.
Jenna Tocatilan, 25, from New York, said she had dreamed about seeing the pop star for so long that it was difficult to retain what was happening in her mind.
She told Time magazine that ‘post-concert amnesia is real’, adding, after seeing Swift play a ‘surprise’ song: ‘If I didn’t have the five-minute video that my friend kindly took of me jamming to it, I probably would have told everyone that it didn’t happen.’
Experts say there is good evidence to explain the phenomenon, which does not only happen to super-fans of Swift, who call themselves Swifties.
Neuroscientist Dr Dean Burnett, honorary research associate at Cardiff University, UK, said: ‘If you’re at a concert of someone you love, surrounded by thousands of very excited other people, listening to music you’ve got established emotional links to, that’s going to be a lot of emotion happening to you at one time.
‘As well as being exhausting for the brain, it’s going to mean all the things you experience will have a high emotional quality, which means nothing “stands out”, and that’s important if you want to retrieve a memory later.’
Dr Ewan McNay, an associate professor in the psychology department at the State University of New York in Albany, said people’s brains react to extreme positive emotion similarly to how they react to negative stress.
This overload can make it harder to form memories.
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