Yeah, Britney's had her moments of struggle (haven't we all?), but there are some excellent little tidbits of lessons in there.
Here are 13.
#1. "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman"
Britney introduces teens everywhere to non-binary thought.
#2. Show me
How you want it to be
Tell me baby
Cuz I need to know
How was she supposed to know, indeed? A call for open communication. Hit me, baby, (with your transparent emotional availability), one more time!
#3. "Dear Diary," the song
Britney wasn't the first to encourage recording your thoughts, but her impassioned song about her diary certainly made it seem more glamorous. And according to Psychology Today, journaling "not only relieves stress and improves your mood, but it also boosts your immune system." So, way to go Britney for modeling some great healthy behavior — in song! Every little bit of encouragement helps!
#4. "Email my heart"
I can see you in my mind, comin' on the line
Britney was one of the first to explore the emotional effects of online communication. Let's explore more of the lyrics.
And all I do is check the screen to see if you're OK.
If that's not a perfect example of emotional detachment as a result of the lag in online communication, what is? To all of us who've stared at that little text bubble …
waiting for a response, hear this: Britney Spears and songwriter Eric Foster White have understood your struggle since 1999.
Than I ever thought that I could be, baby
I used to go with the flow, didn't really care 'bout me
You might think that I can't take it, but you're wrong
Britney took us all on a journey of personal self-growth and boundary setting, both important things in relationships.
#6. When she was sad, she said it.
Even in a major interview!
When Britney was having her famous "meltdown," many of us laughed uncomfortably. But what we were seeing was someone grapple with problems in the public spotlight … at times gracefully, as she did in this interview. How many people are sad and DON'T say it? It's proven that one of the ways to deal with strong moods is to label the emotion, and this is a great, vulnerable example of doing just that.
#7. She's a public shaming survivor
We don't know all the details, but Justin Timberlake's public airing of her cheating on him via a hit song with a lookalike in the video was a bit much, don't you think? I do. Sure it was a great song. But not his kindest moment, really. And he allegedly still talks about it when he sings "Cry Me A River."
We all make mistakes. But we all don't have to have it SUNG in our faces in public, forever. Something about the whole thing just doesn't sit right with me — just sayin'!
#8. Cheetos and Red Bull ARE delicious
Remember when Britney ate those a lot during her trucker hat phase? I do!
I tried it. And, well, moderation is key, but I'm not gonna lie, it was a pretty great combo.
#9. She was an early supporter of Shonda Rhimes!
Shonda Rimes, creator of magnificent shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" that highlight all the myriad ways that diverse-as-heck human beings can fall in and out of love and in and out of professional capers, wrote Britney Spears' first movie, "Crossroads"! It also featured a diverse-as-heck group of friends on a road trip out west, which led to #10 ....
#10. Discover state parks!
Remember the "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" video? Way to showcase the beauty of the canyons of the American Southwest, Ms. Spears!
#11. "Lucky" showed a darker side of fame and the fleeting nature of true happiness.
Ladies and gents, the great B. Spears:
Lost in an image, in a dream
But there's no one there to wake her up
And the world is spinning and she keeps on winning
But tell me what happens when it stops?
Britney! She was trying to tell us things! How can you read those lyrics and not think "I am hearing an American masterpiece"? These lyrics are an exploration of the negative effects of basing your happiness on your success. She's so lucky, but why does she cry? Because she depends on fame and others for happiness!
#12. She's not that innocent.
And she's not here to make you feel comfy about that. Britney dates, she enjoys sex, and — oops! — she'll do it again, so there!
#13. Sometimes you need help from professionals.
Even though she went through some major difficulties, she eventually found her way to help. And then to Vegas! Go Brit.
It's a happy ending.