Written By Zoe Kallenekos
Singer-songwriter corook releases a soothing and relatable song about mental health in the digital age with “it’s ok!”
In 2022, there are two universal truths: A.) Life feels stressful, abnormal and often overwhelming to young people, who are B.) dealing with it by going online. As mental health is gradually normalized and destigmatized in society, more and more art is being made to validate the experiences of Gen Z teenagers and young adults. This has been seen with songs from Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 to Ariana Grande’s Breathin. However, one up-and-coming indie songstress, corook, put her own perspective on these topics in her new song, “it’s ok!”
The singer, whose full name is Corinne Savage, has been putting out music since late 2021. Mental health is not new territory for Savage; songs like“bad friend” and “idk god,” released earlier this year, also discuss experiences such as unhealthy relationships with technology while feeling unhappy, isolated and discouraged by the bad news of the world. Although Savage is not covering entirely new subject matter with “it’s ok!”, that itself is ok because of how well done and unique the song is from what she has previously put out and what her peers in the music industry are doing as well.
From the opening line of “it’s ok!”, there is a clear distinction between this song and corook’s other material: the listener is being sung to directly. In most of corook’s music, she draws on very personal and specific experiences, referencing her parents, girlfriend, the cities she’s lived in or wants to move to, etc. While Savage does sing from the first person perspective in the song’s verses, the chorus is meant to be somewhere between a lullaby and a chant, comforting and encouraging listeners and it’s ok to feel down sometimes. The second line of the song, “everybody feels kinda weird some days,” brilliantly makes the point that even though dealing with mental health issues can make someone feel different and isolated, the truth is that, despite the stigma, everyone has mental health, and not everyone feels perfectly fine all of the time.
As the song opens, corook’s vocals sell the song with her raspy, warm tone that feels like a hug for the ears. Whenever her vocals are layered on top of each other, it creates beautiful harmonies and strength behind her words, almost like a real chorus of several people giving the listener assurance and validation about how they feel. It’s incredibly soothing, almost like a children’s song for adults, and one is bound to, even just for that moment, believe whatever they are going through will turn out ok.
The main thing that corook does right is in her approach to the subject matter. Pop music has been ripe with self-empowerment anthems for years, in which a singer tells listeners that all they have to do is be themselves and everything will turn out fine. However, corook is leagues ahead of those songs with “it’s ok!” due to how realistic the song is toward the topic at hand.
Now that mental health is becoming less stigmatized, corook clearly understands what young adults are going through and sings about her own experiences rather than making something generic and bland; essentially, she recognizes that people don’t have to be teased, bullied, or outcast to feeling down, and sings to the experience of simply having a bad mental health day for any variety of reasons. The human brain is a complex thing, and corook recognizes that, singing repeatedly “Nothing’s really wrong yet, nothing’s really wrong.”
Savage shines as a lyricist with incredibly specific lines about the good and the bad of dealing with mental health. Certain lines are so cozy and vivid that it brings you right into the scene, such as when corook sings about making herself a cup of tea and wearing her cutest pair of socks (“I got banana socks on, like, could I get any cuter?”)
While focusing too much on the more palatable and idealistic imagery of dealing with mental health could have ruined this song, corook’s realism saves her by taking the sentimental imagery and flipping it on its head with everything else that follows in that verse: corook’s story of doing self-care continues with her going onto the computer only to be met with news of another school shooting.
From there follows a spiral of anxiety about all the dangers of our current world as the music intensifies and corook’s voice gets less and less calm. This entire verse shows authenticity to corook’s experiences with mental health and the experience of being a young person today. It goes to show how quickly one’s best efforts to feel better can fall apart with just one reminder of the atrocities in our world, and how powerless young people often feel in relation to it.
Clever and cute, “it’s ok!” by corook is a wonderful song to listen to and feel seen for those days when you’re just not feeling much like yourself. With “it’s ok!”, corook tells listeners that there doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic problem for your unhappiness to be justified; sometimes, it’s just how you feel, due to common problems like too much screen time, a constant cycle of bad news, or anything else.
This song is not attempting to be vaguely motivational, saying “it will all be ok.” Instead, corook assures listeners that right here, in the present moment, it is normal and ok to feel less than ok. This raw empathy is something needed in music, and anyone looking for a sweet-sounding yet completely real-feeling song should give this song a listen– preferably while wearing their finest pair of banana socks.