In her distinct coffeehouse jazz style, Norah Jones has been preaching lessons of love and life since the turn of the millennium. In fact, we’re pretty sure there isn’t a situation that Norah’s smoky vocals couldn’t get us out of. Whether she’s tackling heartbreak, personal freedom, or pouring her heart out to her dog, the Queen of Confessionals has a piece of advice for everything.
Here are 10 of the best life lessons the star has taught us through the years.
1. “While the seasons will undo your soul, time forgives us and it takes control.”
– ‘Light As A Feather’ (The Fall, 2009)
The floaty track off Norah’s fourth album The Fall spreads the perfect message that time really does heal all wounds. And that while it’s easy to feel attached to a specific moment or memory, we have to always remember that we won’t live in them forever. We are constantly transitioning and moving on so whatever slump we’re in, Norah promises that it won’t last.
2. “If we love, then we’ll love. We can love without hate.”
– ‘My Heart Is Full’ (Begin Again, 2019)
In her latest mini album, Norah uses this opening track to reflect on the world we’re living in and comment on the growing problem of hate trumping love. As far as problems go, this is definitely one that we can’t control on our own, but we can continue to practice acts of love and kindness wherever we go. Be mindful, be gentle and always treat others how you wish to be treated.
3. “So tell your father that I said so long, and thanks for raising you so damn wrong.”
– ‘Tell Yer Mama’ (The Fall, 2009)
In her raw, bluesy hit, Norah bites back at an ex-lover and blames their parents for raising them wrong. And isn’t that just what we all wish we could do? Because, no, it isn’t always our fault. Sometimes, just sometimes, we’re allowed to point the finger at the entire family bloodline. We do whatever we have to do to survive in this world.
4. “And when I’m fallin’ I will not forget that once I had a laugh.”
– ‘Once I Had A Laugh’ (Day Breaks, 2016)
We all have our off days, it’s part of being human and navigating the tricky situations we’re thrown into. But Norah wants us all to remember that there are times when we are happy and to not forget that during our darker moments. Because it’s okay to shut the curtains and curl up in bed sometimes, and it’s okay not to laugh, but we have to remember that we’ve laughed before and we will absolutely laugh again.
5. “You never lie and you don’t cheat, and you don’t have any baggage tied to your four feet.”
– ‘Man Of The Hour’ (The Fall, 2009)
In another hit off The Fall, Norah gives the most powerful message that could ever possibly be given: that when all the relationships in our lives deteriorate, we can always count on our dogs to stay by our side. And that is, quite deservingly, the entire message of the song. So, please don’t ever feel lonely, Norah begs. Our dogs love us more than we know.
6. “If you notice that I’m falling behind, I’m taking my time taking it all in.”
– ‘Travelin’ On’ (Little Broken Hearts, 2012)
Often it can feel as though the world is spinning too fast for us to keep up. There’s always something new to look at, someone else to meet, something else to do. In her track from her fifth album, Norah invites the idea that it’s okay to stop for a second and just breathe. We don’t need to run along beside others just to feel like we’re keeping up, we can walk along behind them and still reach the finish line just fine.
7. “When will I ever learn, if I wait it doesn’t mean you will return.”
– ‘Waiting’ (The Fall, 2009)
Delivering a brutal but honest bit of wisdom, Norah relates to all of us by realising that sometimes relationships really do just end. Come on, we’ve all been there. We’ve waited, we’ve thought things were going to change, we expected way too much, and we were always let down. It’s a twisted cycle to get trapped into, so take it from Norah and just stop waiting.
8. “On my way to paradise a little voice says ‘don’t think twice’ and ‘don’t look back if you want things to change.’”
– ‘Out On The Road’ (Little Broken Hearts, 2012)
Fear holds us back from a lot of things and is the reason we all get so damn ‘comfy’ inside our comfort zones. But Norah’s had enough. She’s ready to embark on a new and exciting path, and she invites us to do the same. Because change is supposed to be scary and it’s supposed to uproot us from everything we know. We can never move forward if we’re always trying to stay stuck in the past.
9. “If I search deep inside; let my conscience be my guide, then the answers are sure to come. Don’t have to worry none.”
– ‘Peace’ (Day Breaks, 2016)
In her all beautiful and slow jazz glory, Norah sings a lullaby of believing in ourselves and letting all signs of negativity fall off our bodies like shedded skin. Our first priority must always be ourselves and we should learn to trust our instincts, because nobody knows us better than we do. And once we figure out that the root of most of our problems is, well, ourselves, then we can work on all that blissful inner peace and harmony stuff.
10. “If you should ruin what I’ve become, you’ll be sorry that you thought I was the one.”
– ‘Just A Little Bit’ (Begin Again, 2019)
In her excellent self-empowered track, Norah is letting her lover know that she isn’t somebody to ignore or throw away like a toy. She is substantial and powerful and she exists entirely on her own. It’s a lesson that we could all do with because of how common it is to lose ourselves in another person, but we must always remember that the only person who gets credit for all our triumphs, struggles and growth is us. We can’t ever let anybody else unravel all of the strings we spent so long tying together.
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