Taylor Swift claims music has "healed [her] heart" after "bad break-ups".
The ‘Gorgeous’ hitmaker – who is dating actor Joe Alwyn and has previously been romantically linked with the likes of Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hiddleston and Calvin Harris – loves the fact certain songs instantly take her back to a time in her past and others have helped her get through difficult periods.
She wrote in an open letter for Britain’s ELLE magazine: "I think that the way music can transport you back to a long-forgotten memory is the closest sensation we have to traveling in time.
"To this day, when I hear ‘Cowboy Take Me Away’ by the Dixie Chicks, I instantly recall the feeling of being 12 years old, sitting in a little wood paneled room in my family home in Pennsylvania. I’m clutching a guitar and learning to play the chords and sing the words at the same time, rehearsing for a gig at a coffee house.
"When I hear ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’" by Panic! At The Disco, I’m transported back to being sixteen and driving down the streets of Hendersonville, Tennessee, with my best friend Abigail, euphorically screaming the lyrics…
"I’m convinced that ‘You Learn’ by Alanis Morissette, ‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae and ‘Why’ by Annie Lennox have actually healed my heart after bad break-ups or let downs."
The 29-year-old singer admitted her own music is heavily influenced by "nostalgia" and she loves the "challenge" of mixing personal moments with catchy pop tracks.
She continued: "I love writing songs because I love preserving memories, like putting a picture frame around a feeling you once had.
"I like to use nostalgia as inspiration when I’m writing songs for the same reason I like to take photographs. I like to be able to remember the extremely good and extremely bad times…
"The fun challenge of writing a pop song is squeezing those evocative details into the catchiest melodic cadence you can possibly think of. I thrive on the challenge of sprinkling personal mementos and shreds of reality into a genre of music that is universally known for being, well, universal."
Taylor understands why her fans want to hear about her own experiences in their songs.
She said: "I think these days, people are reaching out for connection and comfort in the music they listen to. We like being confided in and hearing someone say, ‘This is what I went through’ as proof to us that we can get through our own struggles. We actually do NOT want our pop music to be generic.
"I think a lot of music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive.
"This glimpse into the artist’s story invites us to connect it to our own, and in the best case scenario, allows us the ability to assign that song to our memories.
"It’s this alliance between a song and our memories of the times it helped us heal, or made us cry, dance, or escape that truly stands the test of time."
The April issue of ELLE UK is on sale 7 March. For more exclusive content visit www.ELLE.com/uk