Taylor Swift knows firsthand the transformative effects of music.
The star — whose recent Instagram posts have fueled fan speculation that she is gearing up to release her seventh studio album — penned an essay titled the “Power of Pop,” which was released on Thursday for her cover of Elle UK’s April issue.
“My favorite kinds of books to read are the ones that do more than just tell you a story,” Swift, 29, begins. “The writing I love the most places you into that story, that room, that rain soaked kiss. You can smell the air, hear the sounds, and feel your heart race as the character’s does.”
Though Swift — who will appear in the upcoming film adaption of Cats — admits she is “highly biased,” she goes on to write that she believes the way that music can take a person back to a long-forgotten memory is the “closest sensation we have to traveling in time.”
“To this day, when I hear ‘Cowboy Take Me Away’ by the Dixie Chicks, I instantly recall the feeling of being 12 years old, sitting in a little wood-paneled room in my family home in Pennsylvania,” Swift explains.
“When I hear ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ by Panic! At The Disco by Panic! at the Disco … ‘How to Save a Life‘ by The Fray, ‘Breathe (2AM)‘ by Anna Nalick or ‘The Story‘ by Brandi Carlile, I immediately flash back to being 17 and on tour for months on end,” she writes. “I would spend my rare nights off painting alone with candles lit in my room — just being alone with those songs (Those are all from the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. My commitment to that show truly knows no bounds).”
It’s true — Swift has long been open about her love of the long-running Shonda Rhimes show and even named one of her beloved cats after Ellen Pompeo’s character Meredith Grey.
While Swift is currently in a happy relationship with actor Joe Alywn, she reveals in the essay the precise songs that have gotten her through past heartbreak.
“I’m convinced that ‘You Learn‘ by Alanis Morissette, ‘Put Your Records On‘ by Corinne Bailey Rae and ‘Why’ by Annie Lennox have actually healed my heart after bad breakups or let downs,” she says.
Though it’s clear that songs from fellow artists have made an impact on Swift’s life, she also explains how her own music has preserved memories and helped her through things.
“I like to be able to remember the extremely good and extremely bad times,” she writes. “I want to remember the color of the sweater, the temperature of the air, the creak of the floorboards, the time on the clock when your heart was stolen or shattered or healed or claimed forever.”
Swift references the lyrics from Drake’s hit “In My Feelings” — “Kiki, do you love me?” — and The Chainsmokers and Halsey’s “Closer” — “Baby pull me closer in the backseat of your rover” — as “extremely personal details” from modern pop that have been “breaking through on the most global cultural level.”
“This year on tour, I got to hear stadium crowds passionately sing along to a young woman from Cuba singing about ‘Havana,’” she adds, referencing her tour opener Camila Cabello. “I think these days, people are reaching out for connection and comfort in the music they listen to.”
The April issue of ELLE UK with Swift’s cover hits stands on March 7.
This story originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.