Katy Perry should have been awarded Best Revenge Song after her Grammy performance, during which she spit venom at ex-husband Russell Brand by modifying the lyrics to her new single, "Part of Me," to reflect their marriage. Proving that divorce has never looked or sounded so good, Perry, 27, became the envy of divorcees across the world. There's no doubt that "Part of Me" will become this generation's divorce anthem.
Music is indeed therapeutic for the divorce process. We turn to songs for solace as we mourn the end of our marriage. Then, we blast our stereos and sing along to lyrics that inspire our new beginnings.
For me, that celebration song was "Where We Belong" by Lostprophets. The lyrics "I'll take these storms away/Start a brand new story," mirrored my situation. The song's chorus, "Hold on/Hold on/We'll move along/Where we belong," became my mantra. I knew my marriage and subsequent divorce happened for a reason and would ultimately lead me to sunshine. I just had to get through the trenches.
While conducting interviews for my upcoming book, "Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s", I asked participants to tell me the theme songs of their divorces. Here are some of the songs that set the soundtrack to their new lives:
"Death Cab for Cutie's 'Stay Young, Go Dancing' makes me think back to all I've done over the last year and how happy I've become." <em>-- Alyssa, a 29-year-old marketing coordinator from New York who was married at 25 and divorced by 28.</em>
"The song I replayed for an entire year after my divorce was Mumford & Sons' 'The Cave.' It perfectly described my transition from married to single. But my all-time favorite song is 'Waiting for my Real Life to Begin' by Colin Hay. I discovered it shortly after my divorce and it's been my theme song since." <em>-- Bethany, a 28-year-old nonprofit worker from Ohio who was married at 26 and divorced by 27. </em>
"'Strength, Courage, Wisdom' by India Arie." -- <em>Jessica, a 26-year-old claims adjuster from Texas who was married at 18 and divorced by 20.</em>
"'All I Do Is Win' by DJ Khalid. I am putting my very best efforts into my career and that song just pumps me up. Even if I don't win, I know I gave it my all because I'm no longer wasting energy on a person who doesn't care about me the way I want to be cared about." <em>-- Alyssa, a 27-year-old law student from New Hampshire who was married at age 22 and is in the process of divorcing.</em>
"Right now, my theme song is 'Just Fine' by Mary J. Blige." <em>-- Lily, a 29-year-old social worker from Virginia who was married at 25 and is currently divorcing.</em>
"Arch Enemy's 'We Will Rise' always got me pumped for the future and helped me believe that I could change my situation -- it was never too late." <em>-- Kaci, a 22-year-old accountant from Oklahoma who was married at 18 and divorced by 20.</em>
"'I Feel It All' by Feist." <em>-- Nicole, a 27-year-old attorney from New York who was married at 24 and divorced by 25.</em>
"I must have listened to Evanescence's 'Call Me When You're Sober' on a loop every day for a week after he left -- both times! Every time I hear it, I feel empowered and so happy that whole chapter of my life is over." <em>-- Jayme, a 31-year-old bookkeeper who was married at 25 and divorced by 28.</em>
"'Gives You Hell' by The All-American Rejects." <em>-- Natalie, a 33-year-old team support professional and part-time artist/musician from Minnesota who was married at 24 and legally divorced by 32. </em>
"'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)' by Kelly Clarkson." <em>-- Jessica, a 29-year-old patent examiner from Massachusetts who was married at 27 and in the process of divorcing. </em>
For young divorcées, living well is indeed the best revenge. Perhaps Hanson sum it up best in the song "Thinking 'Bout Somthin,'" as the brothers croon, "For this sticky situation /You won't find me crying that we're through/ I've been thinking 'bout somethin' /I've been thinking 'bout somethin' other than you." However, in the end, it doesn't matter what songs are on your divorce play list, just as long as you're turning the pages and starring as the heroine in the adventure of your life. <em>-- Joelle Caputa</em>
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