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Five Songs From Halsey’s Manic That Should Be On Your Playlist

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Manic, Halsey‘s newest album, was released late in January. It features some singles Halsey previously released, such as “Without Me”, “Clementine” and “Finally // Beautiful Stranger” as well as some stylistic transitions to seamlessly sew together songs like “Forever…(is a long time)” and “Dominic’s Interlude”. Below are some special songs that will have you obsessed with Halsey.

1. killing boys

Halsey samples from the 2009 horror movie Jennifer’s Body for the intro of “killing boys” as well as referencing Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. This song is about a woman scorned, ready for revenge after a bad breakup. Halsey revealed in an interview with Zane Lowe that “killing boys” is actually inspired by a true story, in which she broke into someone’s house “looking for answers” (though, no one was physically harmed). She tells viewers that this song is her way of saying that she won’t feel like the victim of a bad relationship anymore, that she feels unstoppable, and that she won’t let people mess around with her.

Sharon Mccutcheon
Sharon McCutcheon

2. Alanis’ Interlude

This album wouldn’t be complete without an LGBTQ+ anthem. Halsey and Alanis Morissette hold nothing back in this interlude about bisexuality and queerness within sexual relationships. Halsey, who is bisexual, leaves no room for interpretation in the chorus of this anthem by singing explicitly about her feelings toward women and their bodies, followed by a bridge delivered by Morissette articulating that she’s never felt a difference between women and men. Halsey reached out to Morissette through a letter, explaining that this album was about every aspect of her life, and that Morissette’s work and legacy is a huge part of Halsey’s life. It’s a call towards her femininity and power. 

3. You Should Be Sad

Country is a dangerous genre. Some people add a drop of country into their pop song and it turns out great, others completely ruin their music. Halsey did a great job of working a little bit of country flair into “You Should Be Sad”, while roasting an ex-lover. The music video for this one also incorporates many references to powerful female music icons including Christina Aguilera, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Gaga!


In “I HATE EVERYBODY” Halsey talks about how she used to feel like her value was dependent on how others saw her. She has openly said that this is a flawed way of thinking, but that when she was younger that’s how her mind worked. It’s a defense mechanism to just say “I hate everybody” when someone doesn’t like or respect you and Halsey explores how that used to impact the way she lived.

5. Still Learning

Halsey’s 15th track on Manic is a catchy song about her relationship with self-love and self-worth. She reminds us that we only see what she wants us to see and that we don’t really know her at all. It’s also a reminder that your relationship with yourself is an important one, and even idols like Halsey can struggle.

woman at a concert putting hands in a heart shape
Unsplash, Anthony Delanoix

Honorable Mentions


In “More”, Halsey longs for her unborn child. The artist has struggled with endometriosis and has openly shared personal details of her difficulties with infertility. Halsey describes that while she was writing Manic, she had an appointment with her OB/GYN in which she found out that she was going to be able to have children, if she chose to. It’s nothing like what she’s written before, but it’s moving and vulnerable in a way that is deeply mature. She told Zane Lowe that this isn’t a song she’ll ever perform live, until maybe she has someone to sing it to.

I’m Not Mad

“I’m Not Mad” is an ode to an ex-boyfriend, possibly more than one. This Target-Exclusive song is, once again, very personal. Fans have been speculating that it references one of her previous hits, “Colors”, from the album Badlands. This is, as previously mentioned, a Target-Exclusive song, meaning access to this song is only available when you buy a physical copy of Manic from Target.

Manic is different than Halsey’s previous works as it’s not necessarily sharing a fictional narrative, as she did in Hopeless Fountain Kingdom and Badlands. This album is filled with personal ballads and gives the audience a peek into the life of Ashley Frangipane, not just Halsey.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Photos: Her Campus Media Library

Hannah is a senior at American University. She's studying political science with a focus on race and gender in politics. She loves writing and baking, and can typically be found with a large iced coffee and a pair of knitting needles.