Let’s face it: sometimes being a girl is hard. When I get hit by the mood swings of PMS, a terrible date, rough breakup, or one of the universal human struggles like doing my taxes or existing in 2020, I often feel cultural pressure to “cheer up” and “pull it together”—our society has a low tolerance for negative emotions, and I often put that pressure on myself.
What actually helps me in those moments, I’ve found, is a genre a friend dubbed “moody girl pop.” I’ll blast something from Lana Del Rey or an angsty phase of Taylor Swift, do my makeup, put on a beautiful outfit, and head out the door feeling like I can take on the world. Moody girl pop helps us get in touch with our feminine side, even when that feminine side has feelings we sometimes shove down—anger, frustration, sadness, and loneliness. But it can also lift us up, reminding us that we are beautiful and worthy. These are songs from some strong women with powerful experiences of heartbreak, pain, and getting up one more time.
So next time life starts getting you down, put on some moody girl pop, and rise to the occasion. As Selena Gomez puts it, “She knows she'll find love / On the up from the way down / Look at her now.”