Fans are convinced Taylor Swift's new album symbolises the 5 stages of grief

They already think it's about Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift performs at Accor Stadium on February 23, 2024 in Sydney, Australia.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Taylor Swift fans are a special breed when it comes to detecting any and every clue their fave leaves for them in her music.

Swifties' latest theory has to do with her upcoming album, titled The Tortured Poets Department, which they've already very much decided is about the breakdown of her relationship with ex Joe Alwyn.

Now, these amateur sleuths in heart-shaped sunglasses think that the album's theme is the five stages of grief (i.e. denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). One reason for this is that the colour tones for the three album covers Taylor has released so far align perfectly with those on a graphic outlining the stages of grief.

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If the theory is correct, Taylor will release another two album covers, which would correspond to depression and acceptance respectively.

According to Us Weekly, the first version of the album — titled "The Manuscript" — would symbolise denial, the second — titled "The Bolter" — would symbolise anger, and the third — titled "The Albatross" — would be about bargaining.

Taylor and Joe Alwyn announced their breakup in April 2023, six years after their relationship began. Fans think the upcoming album is about him for several reasons, including some of the song titles ("Down Bad," "But Daddy I Love Him," "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart").

Another reason is that Taylor is releasing Tortured Poets on 19 April, the anniversary of the day some of her closest friends unfollowed Joe on social media.

And yet another clue that's hard to deny? The title of the album itself, which many people are absolutely convinced is a reference to a group chat Joe once admitted to being a part of, called the "Tortured Man Club." This group chat also consisted of the actors Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott.

A source close to Joe previously said: "If it is a diss album, that is shady. He helped her with song writing on her past album so it will really come as a shock to him if she talks about their breakup, as it is something he has not spoken of at all."

Diss or no diss, we truly cannot wait for this record to come out.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.