Before ‘Chromatica’ and ‘Rain On Me’, These Songs By Lady Gaga (and Other Artists) Inspired Healing
Though Mental Health Awareness Month has officially come to an end, there will always be a need for ways in which to cope and heal. Few artists know that better than Lady Gaga, who has a new album out. Discover which of her songs best promote these messages, as well as other artists who have tackled similar subjects.
Lady Gaga’s new album ‘Chromatica’
The album is officially here. After a month and a half delay, Gaga dropped her sixth album, Chromatica, on May 30, 2020. Featuring 16 tracks, it includes collaborations with artists such as Blackpink and Elton John. The album came after a difficult period in Gaga’s life, during which time she worked on her mental health.
“I made this music, and then I listened back to all of it, and it told the story of my life like a tapestry,” she told InStyle for her May cover story. “I’m very proud of it because while it’s fun and celebratory, if you listen to those lyrics, you really will know my heart. It’s like the music is giving you permission to go on. Even if you’ve had the worst day ever, it’s OK to dance.”
The message of ‘Rain On Me’
The second single off the album, “Rain On Me,” is a duet with Ariana Grande. The lyrics tell the story of coping with heartbreak and learning to accept the struggle that comes with it.
When the song debuted, Gaga shared how it reflects her a message of persistence. “One time I felt like I was crying so much it would never stop. Instead of fighting it, I thought bring it on, I can do hard things,” she wrote on Twitter.
Gaga’s other songs that inspire healing
Gaga is no stranger to dealing with difficult subjects. Her 2015 song “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary The Hunting Ground is about loss as a whole, but is specifically meant to touch on the subject matters of sexual assault and violence against women.
This was just one of Gaga’s tracks cited by music therapist Dr. Sandi Curtis, author of Music for Women (Survivors of Violence): A Feminist Music Therapy Interactive eBook. Another song Curtis notes is Gaga’s 2017 single “The Cure,” specifically the lyrics, “Promise I’ll always be there, promise I’ll be the cure . . . I’ll fix you with my love.”
Additionally, one of the artist’s most well-known singles, the title track off her 2011 album Born This Way, is also a favorite of Curtis’. She writes that its message is perfect for “when we embrace that the world was wrong, we are right, and we can celebrate who we are because we were born this way.”
Other pop stars also have songs that fit the bill
While Gaga has many songs with healing messages, she’s certainly not the only famous musician who does. Curtis includes singer-songwriter Kesha’s 2017 track “Learn to Let Go” on her list, noting its themes of “self-acceptance” and “self-compassion.” Meanwhile, Alicia Keys’ “Brand New Me” addresses healing from an abusive relationship.
Curtis includes many other tracks on her list, but few are more relevant right now than Beyoncé’s “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar. “Sometimes the change we need is not internal, it’s external. Sometimes what we need is freedom, and Beyoncé knows about that,” writes Curtis.