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What It Means About Your State Of Mind If Noah Kahan Or Taylor Swift Were On Your Spotify Wrapped List, According To A Therapist

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agenda, Tinseltown / Shutterstock; @noahkahanmusic / Instagram
Noah Kahan and Taylor Swift

The much-anticipated (and often highly embarrassing) Spotify Wrapped is finally here and, along with it, a slew of discourse from haters and participants alike. 

For fans of two specific artists, the day of Spotify Wrapped is truly one of introspection on the sanity of life this year. TikTok therapist Kristen Gingrich, or @notyouraveragethrpst, revealed the artists behind a wave of angsty, self-aware, and potentially “mentally unwell” listeners. 

Gingrich said listeners with Noah Kahan and Taylor Swift on their Spotify Wrapped are ‘unwell’, herself included. 

While Spotify calls their year-end Wrapped a celebration of “the real, the realer, and the realest” listening moments of the past year, certain groups might feel like it’s a little “too real.”

Whether you’re mildly embarrassed by a few artists that made it on your list or your genre selection wasn’t “underground” enough to share, there's no way to deny everyone has at least one or two favorites that showed up.

   

   

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Humorously dubbed “Folk Malone,” Noah Kahan’s wild growth and success over the past year cemented a place on many Spotify Wrapped lists, and his suave nickname was certainly not the sole reason. 

With incredible storytelling and intricate lyricism, Kahan captures and relays heartache to the masses. Oftentimes, as Gingrich demonstrated above, that heartache hits a little too close to home putting words to the “big feelings” that are hard to express. 

So, who are his devoted listeners and why is his presence on their Spotify Wrapped lists so concerning to this TikTok therapist? 

Noah Kahan’s recent growth highlights his vulnerable and intricate lyricism, intimate ‘hometown’ allure, and contributions to a larger folk music revival. 

Not only is Kahan’s humble and hilarious persona online garnering the attention of many, but the recent release of his "Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Together)” deluxe album sparked a major boost in his Spotify traction. 

With almost 50 million Spotify listeners this year, now-Grammy-nominated Kahan is one of the most popular emerging artists of our time. “I’ll be here as long as you let me,” he gratefully wrote to fans in a recent Instagram post sharing his Spotify Wrapped.

With demographics all across the board, creators and listeners alike agree that paying attention to Kahan’s storytelling can offer the best glimpse into his listeners themselves. 

With roots in heartache, homesickness, and grief, Kahan effortlessly captures the great pain points of our human existence. With a tendency to dwell on vices, simultaneously curse and praise his small hometown in Vermont, and make room for discussions of mental health, Kahan’s music finds a home through the speakers of many listeners. 

As Gingrich shared, many of his listeners relate too well with the heartbreaking lyrics Kahan shares, and devout fans are no exception. 

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With a comforting parasocial relationship and a new album to hold close, Kahan’s fans often find comfort in sharing their experiences with the artist, making this difficult year just a little bit better. 

Gingrich gave ‘bonus points’ to devoted Taylor Swift listeners and named both Swift and Kahan the perfect duo for anyone having a tough year. 

Behind the friendship bracelets, outlandish Eras Tour outfits, and infamous Easter eggs lies a fan base with more passion and love than many on the planet. For listeners who have Taylor Swift on their Spotify Wrapped playlists, it’s likely they’re relating to her lyrics and finding a home in her storytelling that's similar to Kahan. 

What it means about your state of mind if Noah Kahan or Taylor Swift were on your Spotify WrappedPhoto: A.PAES / Shutterstock

With over 26 billion streams this year on Spotify, Swift has cemented herself in Spotify Wrapped history as Spotify’s 2023 “Most Played Artist.” 

So, who makes up Swift’s fan base, and why are people like Gingrich checking to make sure they’re doing okay? Similar to Kahan’s fans, many Swifties find solace in her music.

Whether they relate to Swift's difficult and painful narratives or they seek shelter in a pop hit while grieving something else, Swift's emotional lyrics resonate with her fans. 

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An LA Times article from August said the fan base comes “in full force” reminding readers that behind funky pop-star classics and love ballads, Swift’s music provides a safe space for many listeners to grieve, heal, and grow.

So, while her listeners might be collectively losing their minds over Taylor’s album announcements or dramatic “surprise song” reveals, it’s apparent that they’re also enamored with her talent. 

   

   

Like Kahan’s, her fan base can let it all out in a late-night car ride or at one of her stadium shows. Her intense and heartfelt lyrics allow fans to feel and grieve their tough year with the comfort of relatability to their idol. 

This year’s Spotify Wrapped unveiled more than just a certain state of mind; it assigned a ‘listening behavior’ to participants. 

After Wrapped’s debut in 2013, Spotify found a way to make each installment better than the previous years.

This year, Spotify assigned participants to a “listening character” that exemplified the behavior of their music tendencies from the previous year. Ranging from “Time Travelers” who are chronic re-players of the same songs to “Vampires” who are diligent about keeping a sad playlist for rainy nights.

So, if your favorite artists aren’t one of the above (or another folk-indie-Phoebe Bridgers spin-off) or you’re not looking for comfort in any musical icon, Spotify can still give you a character to bond with. 

Catch it before you’re too late. Find the infamous Spotify Wrapped waiting for you on the app, and if you’ve had a rough year, maybe dive into "Stick Season" to make up for lost time.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.