top of page

Kelsea Ballerini Shares Her Post-Divorce Healing Journey In "Rolling Up The Welcome Mat"

Kelsea Ballerini gave her Legends the best Valentine's Day present - a revealing, vulnerable tell-all EP that details her thoughts and emotions from the last few months. Titled Rolling Up The Welcome Mat and accompanying a self written, self-directed short film, the project follows her public, tumultuous divorce from Morgan Evans, as well as an increasing amount of online hate comments.

“I wasn’t worried about anything other than presenting the songs as honestly as possible. Most of them started with me and my guitar,” shared the superstar of her intimate approach. “I was writing by myself for most of the project, and it was nice to trust myself again. The only way I’ve been able to handle my life since I was 12 was to write about it. Ironically, I started writing music because my parents got divorced; that was my therapy. Rolling Up The Welcome Mat was how I processed everything. It’s the way I got my feelings out of my body and heart and put them to music, which is the purest way I could’ve handled it.”

Although her career-defining fourth studio album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, touched on her divorce in some songs, we haven't seen her unpack the experience in this much depth until now. The inclusion of specific, personal details directly walks listeners through the timeline of their relationship, allowing Kelsea to convey which doubts arose when. Rolling Up The Welcome Mat provides a comforting safe space for Kelsea to communicate with those who will listen.

The scene-setting "Mountain With A View" follows a phone call that's really heartbreaking to watch. Kelsea reveals that Morgan failed to take the red eye flight to come and see her, demonstrating that he didn't feel motivated to make time for her. This contrasts his own song, "Over For You," where he claimed "I would have searched the whole world over for you, took a flight, through the night to be that shoulder for you." He clearly didn't keep his word. When Morgan asked, "How long has it been over for you?", Kelsea answered "I'm wearin' the ring still, but I think I'm lyin' / Sometimes you forget yours, I think we're done tryin' / I realize you loved me much more at twenty-three / I think that this is when it's over for me."

A standout track includes "Penthouse" - in the short film, the symbolic spaciousness and emptiness of the house accentuates its message. “The concept of a penthouse seems so glamorous, but it stopped feeling that way. I lost track of what was good in how I got there, and suddenly, I realized what you think isn’t always what there actually is,” reflected Kelsea. Though the couple tried to appear perfect on the surface, they were "playing home in a penthouse" in reality. Kelsea conveys that love can fade over a marriage, and a home can turn back into a house over time.

She opens up about pivotal moments towards the end of her marriage - for example, a defining fight ahead of the 2019 CMA Awards, where she performed "homecoming queen?" "Like that one time in 2019, before that big show, we had a big fight / I slept on the couch and then the next night you put on your suit / I put on a smile and sang about how it's okay to cry, dying inside," she sings in "Blindsided."

One particularly striking image appeared towards the end of "Just Married," in which Kelsea literally drops the stacks of plates she is holding. She lets them shatter on the floor as she takes a heavy burden off of herself. This also connects with a lyric from "Mountain With A View" - "I think that this is when I cut the ties/ I think that is when I set myself free." There, she finally takes her ring off and lets herself cry.

Kelsea truly deserved better; many fans are pointing out just how much hurt she was forced to hide. However, the outpouring of love and support following Rolling Up The Welcome Mat's release makes us so happy to see. We're so proud of her.


Does your organization or artist have something to promote?
Submit to us at

bottom of page