Olivia Rodrigo’s heartbreak music and movie can help people with psychological disabilities

By Skyler Kellers
April 25, 2022

Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett pose for a couple photo at the time. Photo from healthyceleb.com
Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett pose for a couple photo at the time. Photo from healthyceleb.com
Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett pose for a couple photo at the time. Photo from healthyceleb.com

Actress Olivia Rodrigo is known for her Disney fame, but recently started a music career which really resonates with me and many college-aged young women. The central themes of many of her songs deal with the struggles of young people with mental health, which can open up a healthy dialogue for her fans.

Sara Farina, a senior student accessibility specialist at Cabrini’s Accessibility Resource Center (ARC), weighs in on the power of music.

“Yes, I believe that music can be a useful tool to help someone manage their mental health.  Music can be a powerful coping skill that can be utilized to manage and process emotions and self-regulate,” Farina stated.

So why do Olivia’s heartbreak songs have an impact on me? Well, we all know that feeling when you just want to fall apart. Well for me, I constantly have to choose wellness over that feeling and work on my friendships, a relationship and professional relationships.

To let you in, I have a psychological disability known as bipolar two disorder and I am very open in general about this but also with the Cabrini community about this topic.

I’m forever grateful to the students, friends, professors and community members who accept me and like me for me and don’t focus on how moody I am in class, if I cry in public or get angry at the drop of a hat. They see me for me, not the struggle.

Now, I don’t wear a tattoo on my forehead saying I have this, this is all that makes me, feel bad for me. That is not the case. I don’t like having to choose wellness every day and it’s not all of me. I also want to be around people who just get it and thankfully the Cabrini community just gets it.

You know who else just gets it, Olivia Rodrigo, of course! Her hit single, “driver’s license” articulates a story of a boy (rumored to be her co-star Joshua Bassett) who broke up with her and how much she misses him and their good times together. Rodrigo is sometimes called a “young Taylor Swift” because of her lyrics and songwriting skills about boys and love, much like Taylor Swift at that age.

Student Skyler Kellers in front of a picture background. Photo from Facebook.

According to Psych Central, people will mental health struggles in general, are more likely to be bullied or bully another person. That’s why people may leave hate on Rodrigo’s page or leave bad reviews.

It may be challenging singing, dancing or listening to music that articulates how you’re feeling that day, whether you’re feeling aggressive, depressed or happy. Music has the power to change you!

Farina said, “Music can be a powerful way for individuals to connect and share their stories.  I think when musicians share their personal stories it makes them relatable and humanizes them. It is through our similar experiences that we can connect to each other.”   

Have an Olivia Rodrigo dance party! You’ll be surprised how it makes your mind clearer and heart feel less heavy when there are relatable deep lyrics and even some rock elements like in her song “Brutal” and “Good 4 u”.

She has gotten viral on social media especially on TikTok for her deep lyrics and topics of love and heartbreak. People recreate her songs with cover or acting videos.

“I wanted to write about what I was going through in a way that was proud, not ashamed”- Rodrigo says in her documentary’s trailer, “Driving home 2 u.

Disney Plus’s “Driving home 2 u- A sour film” came out on March 25. I finished the documentary recently and it was cool to get where she grew up- Salt Lake City, Utah, and how the Sour album songs were made.

Some key moments in the movie were when she said heartbreak is a two-way street and to forgive yourself. Rodrigo is all about kindness especially to the people who her songs are about and encourages young girls going through heartbreak to not hate, to not be bitter, hold yourself accountable and of course love again.

Skyler Kellers

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