Kelsea Ballerini’s New Season of Life Inspired ‘Leave Me Again’ [Listen]
Kelsea Ballerini is doing something these days that she says she has never done before: Looking after herself. The star says that she is going against her own tendencies to please everyone else, and it has inspired a new song, "Leave Me Again."
"For a while the shoe fit / But then I outgrew it / And staying only made me get real good at pretend / So, I hope I never leave me again," she sings in the chorus.
Ballerini sang this new song as a part of a new CMT Storytellers filming and gave viewers the song's backstory. The track is included on her vulnerable Rolling Up the Welcome Mat EP, which arrived on Feb. 14. The six-song collection takes a no-holds-barred look into her divorce from fellow singer Morgan Evans in 2022.
"It's the song where you finally go, 'I'm not mad anymore. I don't even know if I'm sad anymore. I think I just want well for everyone. And at the end of the day, like the lesson I'm taking away is I have to honor myself,'" she says of the song. "And honoring yourself, I think, is just the most beautiful thing you can do."
The "Dibs" singer says that she has been a people pleaser for much of her life. She carried those tendencies into her marriage, which led her to "leave" herself, like she says in the song. Now, post-divorce, she's working to focus on herself.
"I'm really challenging myself to show up as someone who isn't scared to go there, because I think it helps open community and conversation," Ballerini explains.
"It's the rawest thing I've ever done," she continues. "It's the closest to the chest I've ever been, and I'm proud of that."
After nearly five years of marriage, Ballerini and Evans finalized their divorce in Nov. 2022. The "Peter Pan" singer takes a deep dive into her emotions on this EP and presents a timeline of events through the breakup.
Many of the songs she wrote by herself. "Leave Me Again" is the final track on the project and feels the most reflective. It's seemingly a page-turner for the next chapter in Ballerini's life.