My marriage ended in the spring of 2006. The final decision brought a great sense of relief, as my ex and I had both been unhappy for quite some time. Even so, divorce is a pretty big change, and my emotions were all over the place.
My preferred method of coping was to drive for hours on end and listen to loud music. I listened to angry music. I listened to sad music. I listened to old music. I listened to new music. I listened to rock, pop, metal, and country.
One day, I popped The Eagles Greatest Hits into my cassette deck and the song Already Gone came through the speakers. The words basically said, "You can't fire me. I quit," to a soon-to-be ex. The words of the chorus described feeling strong and singing a victory song. I embraced my own victory and sang along with the tune. And then, toward the end, I heard the lyrics that would perfectly capture everything that needed to be said about my marriage and divorce.
So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.
At that moment, Already Gone became my anthem. I listened to it every day on the way to and from work. I still listened to the sad songs, of course, but I always made sure I concluded my car time "feelin' strong."
As the miles stretched out behind me, Already Gone carried me through the next few months. I gained strength and used my keys to release the chains that had kept me imprisoned for too long. Before winter came that year, I was divorced and owned a house in a different town. From my old life, I was gone.
Since my divorce, I've heard from a lot of others who've found comfort, clarity and commiseration in music. And while I completely understand those who lean into the sad songs (they say so much), I always recommend adopting an official anthem that brings inspiration and motivation to walk on. In fact, Walk On, a song by Reba McEntire, is a good example.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Fight Song, by Rachel Platten
- Stand, by Rascal Flatts
- Part of Me, by Katy Perry
- Hey Stoopid (verse 2), by Alice Cooper
- Stronger, by Britney Spears
- A Little Bit Stronger, by Sara Evans
- The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World
- Time For Me To Fly, by REO Speedwagon
Here's a tip: when choosing your anthem, look for songs that speak to your personal strength and ability to move forward, as opposed to lyrics that trash-talk your ex. This new chapter is about you being the best version of yourself that you can be. You deserve a theme song that sings the praises of your personal strength.
Written by Tara Eisenhard
Tara Eisenhard is a divorce coach who helps struggling singles overcome shame and frustration, en route to finding peace and cultivating a life they love. She is also the author of the novel "The D-Word: Divorce Through a Child's Eyes." Other articles by Tara can be found at her blog, Relative Evolutions.