Before Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, she took a trip down memory lane and categorized some of her previous songs into different playlists on Apple Music. Each playlist represented one of the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – and had titles that coincided with TTPD.

Fans were shocked to see where some of the songs fell, particularly those that were speculated to be about happier times in her relationship with ex Joe Alwyn.

Days after the release of TTPDthe “Mastermind” artist added her newest hits tot he existing playlists.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Denial’ Playlist

The “denial” playlist is titled, “I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life,” which was the message written on one of the TTPD variant back covers. The songs featured on this playlist are “Lavender Haze,” “Sweet Nothing,” “Glitch,” “Snow on the Beach,” “Betty,” “Willow,” “Cruel Summer,” “Lover,” “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince,” “False God,” “Style,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Treacherous,” “Untouchable,” “That’s When,” “Ours,” “Superman,” and “Bejeweled.”

In a message to fans that accompanied the playlist, Taylor said, “This is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion. Results may vary.”

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Right off the bat, fans noticed that two of these songs – “Betty” and “Sweet Nothing” – were cowritten by Joe.

Perhaps the most shocking addition, though, was “Lover,” which was previously thought of as Taylor’s ultimate love song to her boyfriend of more than six years (she and Joe split at the beginning of 2023). The track even includes a bridge with wedding vows. Seeing it on the “denial” playlist has fans questioning everything they once thought about Taylor and Joe’s romance.

“Lavender Haze” was another interesting choice, as Taylor references a wedding on that song too. “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride,” she sings in the second verse. The pop star hinted that Joe didn’t want to tie the knot in her 2023 song “You’re Losing Me” when she said, “I wouldn’t marry me either,” and “Lavender Haze” being on the “denial” playlist fueled the fan theory that Taylor was waiting for the actor to propose.

taylor swift stages of grief playlists have songs about joe alwyen

“Sweet Nothing,” “Glitch,” “Snow on the Beach” and “False God” were also among songs previously considered to be odes to Joe, but it appears that Taylor now realizes that she was in denial when she wrote them.

“imgonnagetyouback,” “I Hate It Here,” “The Bolter,” “Robin,” “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” “But Daddy, I Love Him,” “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” and “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” were added to the denial playlist on April 22.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Anger’ Playlist

The title of the “anger” playlist is “You Don’t Get to Tell Me About Sad,” which is another back cover message from one of the TTPD vinyls. The playlist has songs “Vigilante S–t,” “High Infidelity,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” “Exile,” “Illicit Affairs,” “Mad Woman,” “Tolerate It,” “Bad Blood,” “Is It Over Now?,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “The Last Time,” “The Moment I Knew,” “Babe,” “I Bet You Think About Me,” “Dear John,” “Better Than Revenge,” “Tell Me Why,” “You’re Not Sorry,” “Forever and Always” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine.”

In the accompanied voice note, Taylor said, “These songs all have one thing in common, I wrote them while feeling anger. Over the years, I’ve learned that anger can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, but the healthiest way that it manifests itself in my life is when I can write a song about it and then oftentimes that helps me get past it.”

Some of Taylor’s past exes aside from Joe seem to get the brunt of this playlist. “Dear John” and “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” are both scathing tracks rumored to be about John Mayer, while Jake Gyllenhaal is the speculated subject of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “The Moment I Knew” and “I Bet You Think About Me.” Even Joe Jonas popped up on this one quite a bit, with “Better Than Revenge,” “Forever and Always” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine” all rumored to be about their 2008 romance.

Interestingly, Joe Alwyn was a cowriter on “Exile” from this playlist.

“Cassandra,” “The Black Dog,” “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me,” and “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” were added days after their release.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Bargaining’ Playlist

“Am I Allowed to Cry?,” another TTPD variant back cover line, is the title of the “bargaining” playlist. This one has the songs “The Great War,” “This Is Me Trying,” “Peace,” “The Archer,” “Cornelia Street,” “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” “Soon You’ll Get Better,” “Afterglow,” “I Wish You Would,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Come Back … Be Here,” “Better Man,” “The Story of Us,” “Haunted,” “Come in With the Rain,” “The Other Side of the Door,” “If This Was a Movie” and “Renegade.”

“This playlist takes you through the songs I’ve written when I was in the bargaining stage,” Taylor explained. “Times when, you know, you’re trying to make deals with yourself or someone that you care about. You’re trying to make things better. You’re oftentimes feeling really desperate because oftentimes we have a sort of gut intuition that tells us things are not gonna go the way that we hope, which makes us more desperate.”

Swifties had a lot to say about these song choices. “Cornelia Street” from 2019’s Lover is about the early days of Taylor and Joe’s relationship, when they fell in love while hiding out at her apartment in New York City. Fans were shocked to see Taylor seemingly admit that she was already having a “gut intuition” about the relationship that early on. However, its inclusion on this playlist seemingly relates to the song’s lyric, “Back when we were card sharks, playing games, I thought you were leading me on,” which references that feeling of uncertainty at the beginning of any relationship.

Although Folklore was a mostly fictional album, Taylor seemed to draw from her personal feelings on the album’s song “Peace,” where she sings, “Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?” This track was her way of telling Joe that her life will never be simple and quiet and wondering if he would still be OK with that.

Meanwhile, “The Great War” and “Afterglow” were both songs that Taylor seemingly wrote after having fights with a significant other and Joe is speculated to be the subject of both tracks.

“Renegade” may be the most telling song about “bargaining,” though. Taylor collaborated with Big Red Machine on the track and it’s featured on the band’s 2021 album. At the time, fans didn’t think the song was autobiographical, but looking back, it’s theorized to be about the Joe Alwyn relationship, particularly with the lyric, “Is it really your anxiety that stops you from giving me everything? Or do you just not want to?”

From Tortured Poets, Taylor added, “The Albatross,” – believed to be about current boyfriend Travis Kelce – “The Prophecy,” “Guilty as Sin?” and “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Taylor Swift’s ‘Depression’ Playlist

Taylor titled her “depression” playlist, “Old Habits Die Screaming,” which was also written on one of the TTPD variant back covers. This one features the songs “Bigger Than the Whole Sky,” “Dear Reader,” “Maroon,” “You’re Losing Me,” “My Tears Ricochet,” “Epiphany,” “Hoax,” “Champagne Problems,” “Coney Island,” “Right Where You Left Me,” “Nothing New,” “All Too Well,” “Forever Winter,” “We Were Happy,” “Last Kiss,” “Castles Crumbling,” “Carolina” and “White Horse.”

In her voice message, Taylor added, “We’re going to be exploring the feelings of depression that often lace their way through my songs. In times like these, I’ll write songs because I feel lonely or hopeless and writing a song feels like the only way to process that intensity of emotion. And while these things are really, really hard to go through, I often feel like when I’m either listening to songs or writing songs that deal with this intensity of loss and hopelessness, usually that’s in the phase where I’m close to getting past that feeling.”

Needless to say, these are Taylor’s most heartbreaking songs. Notably, this playlist includes “You’re Losing Me,” which is the only new song Taylor released following her breakup with Joe before The Tortured Poets Department.

“Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus,” “I Look In People’s Windows,” “How Did It End,” “Clara Bow,” “loml,” “Florida!!!” “Down Bad,” and “Fortnight” were added off Taylor’s 11th album.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Acceptance’ Playlist

The “acceptance” playlist is called, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” which is the title of track 13 on The Tortured Poets Department. The playlist features the songs “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” “Midnight Rain,” “Labyrinth,” “The 1,” “August,” “Invisible String,” “Happiness,” “Long Story Short,” “Closure,” “Evermore,” “It’s Time to Go,” “I Forgot That You Existed,” “Daylight,” “This Love,” “Clean,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Begin Again,” “Innocent” and “Breathe.”

“We finally find acceptance and can start moving forward from loss or heartbreak,” Taylor said in the voice memo for this playlist. “These songs represent making room for more good in your life. Making that choice. Because a lot of time, when we lose things, we gain things too.”

The majority of these song choices were fairly obvious, as they were previously written by the Grammy winner about healing and moving on.

The one standout is “Invisible String,” which was a rare autobiographical song from Folklore. The track features Taylor singing about all the things that connected her to Joe before they had even met, so it’s interesting to see a positive take on their relationship be included in this part of the grief journey. However, the song also has the lyric, “Cold was the steel of my ax to grind with the boys who broke my heart, now I send their babies presents,” which is the ultimate message of acceptance and was actually an apparent reference to Joe Jonas, who welcomed his first child right around the time when Folklore was released.

“So Long, London,” a song about the end of her relationship with Joe and leaving a city that she fell in love with, along with Travis songs “So High School” and “The Alchemy,” were featured on the “acceptance” playlist. “The Manuscript,” “Fresh Out the Slammer” and “thanK you aIMee,” a song about her feud with Kim Kardashian, were also added.