Home News Taylor Swift fans share raw reactions to her new album as psychologist weighs in: ‘Explores dark places’

Taylor Swift fans share raw reactions to her new album as psychologist weighs in: ‘Explores dark places’

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Taylor Swift fans share raw reactions to her new album as psychologist weighs in: ‘Explores dark places’

Taylor Swift dropped her highly anticipated 11th album — “The Tortured Poets Department” — just days ago, and the pop star’s fans have been all over it.

Thousands of videos pop up on TikTok from a search for “TTPD reaction,” as Swifties share their initial thoughts and feelings about the 31 new songs. 

Amid the live reactions across social media, some have even assumed it’s their duty to analyze each and every song for others’ benefit. 

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Prior to its release, the album was assumed to be “a breakup album” — so many people are wondering which relationship is explained in which song(s). 

A clinical psychologist who spent time analyzing Taylor Swift’s new album shared thoughts with Fox News Digital on common themes.

Taylor Swift at the Grammys

Swift announced the new album at the Grammys, shocking many Swifties.  (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images/The Recording Academy)

Dr. Robert Cuyler, chief clinical officer at Free Spirit, a prescription digital therapeutic company in Houston, Texas, said fans’ reactions to the new Swift album have been “intense.” 

“It’s clear that we have intense fan involvement and identification,” he said.

Cuyler said the new album is a bit of a shift from what she’s typically known to release, which could trigger extreme emotion in fans — as any person would have a reaction to a major shift in their life. 

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“Many of these songs and tones of the album [are] triggering reflection [by] fans who are tuning into their [own] dark places as they listen to [Swift] explore some of her dark places,” he added. 

Dr. Robert Cuyler

Dr. Robert Cuyler is a clinical psychologist who weighed in on some of the themes explored in songs by Taylor Swift on her new album.  (Robert Cuyler)

Many of the lyrics can “touch the heart” of listeners, which can be good for their mental health in terms of reflecting and accepting similar experiences, he said. 

Having a major star like Swift write about hard things that she’s gone through, potentially, can help take the “celebrity” out of the “celebrity” in a sense, he suggested. 

“The songs are so deeply personal and unique to Taylor [Swift], yet still somehow manage to be universal in the way fans connect and relate to them.”

“It helps bring the celebrity back into focus to some extent, that being world-famous … and rich doesn’t necessarily protect anyone from the ups and downs of the human experience and the pains that we may all go through in our lives,” he said.

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Cuyler said two songs in particular stood out to him for their unique message: “I Can Fix Him, No Really I Can” and “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart.”

“I Can Fix Him, No Really I Can” is seemingly about someone who wants to be in a relationship with another person — a person who is severely broken and fragile. 

The Tortured Poet's Department

“The Tortured Poets Department” was released on April 19, 2024.  (ANTONIN UTZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Cuyler said the song is a “beautiful depiction of a relationship dynamic where there is a strong attraction to somebody who ends up being really toxic for you.”

“I Can Do It With A Broken Heart” is a track that Cuyler said really caught his attention. 

He said lyrics such as, “I cry a lot but I am so productive / It’s an art,” were “ambiguous.” 

He noted, “One take on it would be, ‘I’m in deep pain and I can fake it, nobody knows how I’m hurting,’ but the other part of it is this sense of mastery in that phase — that ‘even though I’m struggling with aspects of my life, I can get on with the part of my life that sustains me and that I’m proud of,'” he said. 

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This is an example, he noted, of someone who’s able to manage distress without getting overwhelmed by it — while also learning not to swallow feelings. 

Swift has not confirmed or denied any running theories online about the meanings behind the songs on her new album, Cuyler noted. 

Taylor Swift performing at The Eras Tour

One song from Swift that stood out for Cuyler with intense feelings was “I Can Fix Him, No Really I Can.” (Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images/TAS Rights Management)

He said it may be about a phase in her life that she needed to process and move on from — something she’s known for doing through the writing of new music. 

One fan, Taweni Nkosi, posted her live reaction to “The Tortured Poets Department” on TikTok and told Fox News Digital that this album might be her favorite from Swift yet. 

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“The songs are so deeply personal and unique to Taylor [Swift], yet still somehow manage to be universal in the way fans connect and relate to them,” she said. 

Nkosi’s favorite song on the album is also thought to have a deeper meaning: “ThanK you aIMee.”

Taylor Swift

The songs on Swift’s new album include an array of themes and feelings. A psychologist weighed in on some of the potential meanings of the intricate lyrics.  (Getty Images)

“The song reminds me that people are going to try and put you down in life, no matter what you do, and they’re going to try and minimize your success,” she said. 

She added, “Instead of letting the hate stop you, you should just use [it] as motivation to keep going.”

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Pauline Brenner, another fan who posted her live reaction to the album on TikTok, told Fox News Digital that “TTPD” is Swift’s best album, in her view. 

“Women must reinvent themselves so many times because people lose interest quite quickly and always want to have a new, shiny, dazzling artist.”

“She somehow has the ability to write songs that everyone can resonate with in any kind of way,” she explained. 

Brenner said the song that stood out to her was “Clara Bow,” which discusses the way females are often treated in the music industry. 

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“Women must reinvent themselves so many times because people lose interest quite quickly and always want to have a new, shiny, dazzling artist,” she said while referring to Swift’s many different genres of music over the years. 

She added, “‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is a lyrical masterpiece and a very honest look into some of the most suffering times of Taylor’s life.”

“The Tortured Poets Department” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and is the top-selling album of 2024, per Billboard. 

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