Taylor Swift amps up the grief conversation

Last week Taylor Swift shared five new playlists that sort her old songs into the 5 stages of grief, a model originally conceived by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969 whose work focused on terminally ill patients. Kubler-Ross originally talked about denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance as the stages people go through as they come to terms with their own mortality and, since then, the stages have been popularized, debunked, reconsidered and thoughtfully expanded by many, many theorists. Even Kubler-Ross herself!

And now Taylor Swift is joining the conversation! Which - for bereavement people like our team at Help Texts - is an exciting opportunity to get more (MANY more) people talking about the ups and downs of grief.

Even more exciting is that two of our expert contributors at Help Texts appear in this TIME magazine article about Taylor's new playlists and the five stages of grief too.

Help Texts expert, author, and neuroscientist, Mary-Frances O'Connor points out that "while many people experience some or all of the five stages of grief, others only relate to one—or none. Grief is complex and not a one-size-fits-all process. Some people might skip a step, jumping straight from denial to bargaining (when you try to make deals with God or torment yourself with "what if" statements, no matter how irrational). Others will experience depression before they move on to anger. Research suggests that most people do eventually achieve some form of acceptance, but “it’s like the stock market,” O’Connor says. “It goes up and down.”

Author, psychotherapist, and Help Texts expert contributor, Gina Moffa, LCSW, also spoke with TIME and said, "Grief hits us in all different ways and at different times, staying with us indefinitely and surging when we least expect it to. The idea that it can be wrapped up in a neat bow and that it has a clear beginning, middle, and end is a real disservice to people going through the grieving process,” she says. “Grief is messy. It’s important to know that there’s no timeline.”

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