Selena Gomez released her long-awaited new album Rare on Friday (January 10), and in an email to fans she wrote, "I hope you take this record that means so much to me and make it your own." Well, Sel, that's exactly what we're doing — by matching each new song with its corresponding mood and emotion.
Rare details Gomez's personal journey toward clarity and resilience, and no matter where you are on that road, she's got a relatable song for you. Below, see which flirty bop, vulnerable ballad, or resilient anthem you should listen to based on your current state of mind. Happy listening!
Listen to it when you're feeling: like you're one in a goddamn million
Key lyric: "I don't have it all, I'm not claiming to / But I know that I'm special"
Sel herself told MTV News that this slinky opener is all about finding "incredible freedom" within herself. She gets specific with images of burning toast and impatient nights, giving us a complete vision of what it's like to feel special — and moving on from someone who hasn't caught on yet.
Listen to it when you're feeling: ready to dance your past away
Key lyric: "I kickstart the rhythm / All the trauma's in remission / No, I don't need permission"
This is Selena falling back in love with a body that's been to hell and back. "Feels so, feels so, feels so good to dance again" is a mantra we can all get behind.
"Look At Her Now"
Listen to it when you're feeling: finally over a breakup
Key lyric: "Of course she was sad / But now she's glad she dodged a bullet / Took a few years to soak up the tears / But look at her now, watch her go"
Bouncing back from heartbreak has never sounded so good. On her second Rare single, Selena reassures us that she's doing A-OK post-split. And with lyrics told from a third-person perspective, it could basically narrate the story of anyone else on the rebound.
"Lose You To Love Me"
Listen to it when you're feeling: like you're beginning a new chapter of your life / like you need a reminder of why you broke up with someone in the first place
Key lyric: "We'd always go into it blindly / I needed to lose you to find me"
Selena kicked off her Rare era with this raw, pointed goodbye to a certain ex, and it showed the world that she's become a stronger version of herself. If you, too, are looking for peace after ending a relationship or closing some painful chapter of your life, then this is the cathartic tune for you.
Listen to it when you're feeling: like a man-eating heartbreaker
Key lyric: "You're all in your feelings, baby, all into me / I'm one in a billion, baby, don't you agree?"
You can just see Selena singing this in a smoky bar, with some schmuck "wrapped 'round [her] finger like a ring, ring, ring." After the heaviness of "Lose You To Love Me," she's back on her bullshit on this flirty number, which any fellow single lady can surely identify with.
Listen to it when you're feeling: ...uh, vulnerable?
Key lyric: "If my love was like a flower, would you plant it? Would you grow it? / I'ma give you all my body, are you strong enough to hold it?"
On this warm disco tune — which has some lyrical parallels to Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough" — Selena wonders what will happen if she exposes her true self to someone new. Ultimately, she decides it's worth the risk. That's our girl.
"People You Know"
Listen to it when you're feeling: regretful / like you can't believe you wasted so much time on someone
Key lyric: "We used to be close, but people can go / From people you know to people you don't"
Forgetting regret is easier said than done (sorry, Rent fans), which is why Selena is still mulling over someone she was once close to. Think of it as a cousin to Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know."
"Let Me Get Me"
Listen to it when you're feeling: finally and fully content
Key lyric: "No self-sabotage, no letting my thoughts run / Me and the spiral are done"
With its faint Latin vibe and elated lyrics about "letting a little happy in for once," this one has similar energy to "Dance Again." Instead of hitting the club, though, Selena simply wants to let her mind and body rest and revel in the newfound clarity. She's earned it, after all.
"Crowded Room" ft. 6lack
Listen to it when you're feeling: flirty and into someone
Key lyric: "So won't you call me in the morning? / I think that you should call me in the morning / If you feel the same"
This vibey slow jam is for anyone who's met someone at a bar and wondered whether they'll be a one-night stand or something more. "Baby it's just me and you, just us two, even in a crowded room," Sel sings in a fluttering falsetto, before 6lack pops in to swoon, "You make the whole room feel slow-motion / You make me feel like I'm drowning in a potion." Oh, it's on.
Listen to it when you're feeling: over someone's bullshit
Key lyric: "I think you're kinda crazy / And not the good kind baby"
"Shady" dudes of the world, Selena's on to you. She channels Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" on this funky bop about seeing right through someone who went from "sweet talk" to "hard candy." If you've ever been in a similar situation, take Sel's cue and don't let it damage you (but definitely do put them on blast).
Listen to it when you're feeling: single and ready to mingle
Key lyric: "You may not be the one, uh-huh / But you look like fun"
Fans of "Bad Liar" will love this Julia Michaels co-write, with its tight groove and quirky ad-libs. Happily single Selena sings to a potential fling who gets her dangerously but blissfully high, cooing, "My kind of trouble likes your trouble too."
"Cut You Off"
Listen to it when you're feeling: like you need a fresh slate
Key lyric: "The truth is that I think I've had enough / Emotionally messin' with my health / How could I confuse that shit for love?"
If you've been feeling the need to, well, cut someone off, this is the inspiration you need. Come for the biting tell-offs, stay for that awesome guitar solo.
"A Sweeter Place" ft. Kid Cudi
Listen to it when you're feeling: hopeful and optimistic
Key lyric: "I can't believe I can be loud / Holdin' hands with the darkness and knowin' my heart is allowed"
Prior to Rare's release, Selena spent a long time out of the limelight and "out in the wild," as she details here. Together with Cudi — who optimistically professes, "We will find our way, we'll find the things we seek" — she searches for "a sweeter place" and a clearer headspace. We love that for her.