Miley Cyrus has re-shared a sad Christmas carol with her fans while offering advice for anyone feeling lonely during the festive season.
The thing is, Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year.
Despite what festive rom-coms and social media might lead us to believe, all that holiday cheer can actually exacerbate feelings of loneliness for many, including those who have lost a loved one, who don’t have anyone to enjoy the festivities with or who feel too anxious or overwhelmed to join in on the revelry.
And that’s OK. After all, we are in the midst of a loneliness epidemic with 34% of 25-34 year olds saying they are lonely ‘often or very often’. However, particularly at this time of year, loneliness can bring about complicated feelings and emotions, and even shame, thanks to the constant (commercialised) barrage of messaging telling us that December should be 30 days of pure champagne-fuelled joy. A 2017 survey found that a third of people (36%) are too embarrassed to admit that they are lonely at Christmas and over a quarter (26%) would not feel able to ask for help at Christmas if they were struggling emotionally.
Carols don’t always help, either. All I Want For Christmas Is You, for instance, is all well and good for lovers but it can be a poignant reminder that there will be no one waiting for you under the mistletoe this year. Likewise, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, doesn’t stir the same giddy joy in everyon.
Many artists are choosing to acknowledge this. For example, in her Christmas Special this year, Kasey Musgraves’ Christmas Makes Me Cry is a raw ballad that acknowledges that the holiday season is often difficult for people. She sings about the void of missing loves ones and the pain of a heart still broken.
This is also why Miley Cyrus has shared her own sombre Christmas ballad, My Sad Christmas Song, with her 44.6 million Twitter followers, offering some encouragement for fans who are feeling lonely this year.
The singer explained she wrote the song a few years back right before the holidays: “Was feeling like shit cause I couldn’t be with the one I loved. Even with a house full of family and friends I still felt alone…”
“In ways that still feels relevant and someone reading this right now could possibly relate!” Cyrus adds. “If you feel lonely this season just know YOU ARE COMPLETELY MADE OF MAGIC! You are as special as a snowflake, beautifully unique and I hope inside your soul feels light, hope, peace and joy knowing how singularly amazing YOU are! Love always wins!”
This seemed to strike a chord with Cyrus’ fans, many of whom responded to the tweet by acknowledging their own sadness that often creeps up at this time of year.
“This is exactly what I needed right now. Thank you so much,” someone wrote.
Another tweeted: “This is my second year spending the holidays alone because I lost both of my parents, thank you so much for this, I needed to hear it.”
While joyful carols are a wonderful tradition, these kinds of Christmas songs, like Cyrus’ My Sad Christmas Song and Musgraves’ Christmas Makes Me Cry, are important, too.
These kinds of songs have the ability to let people know they are not alone in their loneliness at this time of year, and to bring a sliver of comfort to those burdened with sadness.
Not everyone will be feeling joyful at this time of year and hey, that’s OK. As Cyrus puts it: “If you feel lonely this season, just know you are completely made of magic.”