There’s an adage that says “life is a song” — and for Loretta Lynn, it’s absolutely true. The legendary musician chronicled her rise from rags to riches in her hit song “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1970, which became a bestselling book and Academy Award-winning film. And at 88, she’s just as feisty, funny, and lovable as the woman her fans came to love nearly 60 years ago.
“I just get by myself and try to write a song,” Loretta shares with Woman’s World of her daily routine. “Writing songs is my therapy — I’d rather write them than sing!” Of course, Loretta has built a legendary career doing both.
Born the second of eight children in Kentucky, Loretta’s talent and hard work led her to a successful marriage with Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, six children and a dream career.
Yet, though it may seem as though she has led a charmed life, Loretta has had her share of heartache, losing her 34-year-old son, Jack Benny, her husband, and her daughter, Betty Sue. Still, she has managed to keep moving, buoyed by her faith: something she relied on after suffering a stroke in 2017 and a broken hip a year later. “It was broken in four different places,”
she describes. “Now I have an iron rod from my hip to heel and it’s liked to have killed me, but I’m still hanging in there!”
Today, Loretta is not only hanging in, she’s flourishing, working on a new album and releasing a new book, Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust ($19.58, Amazon), as well as her own version of Patsy Cline’s smash hit, “I Fall to Pieces.”
Here, Loretta shares her tips for peace, joy and living your best life — at any age.
Pray your way to a peaceful heart.
“I pray a lot,” Loretta shares. “I think God. is always with me. When I need Him, I know He’s here. He’s been with me and pulled me through stuff that I didn’t even know I was going through until it was over. And when it did hit me, and I realized that God had been with me the whole time, that made all the difference to me. He’s gotten me through everything, good, and bad — and that fills my heart with peace.”
Pray your way to a peaceful heart.
“I pray a lot,” Loretta shares. “I think God is always with me. When I need Him, I know He’s here. He’s been with me and pulled me through stuff that I didn’t even know I was going through until it was over. And when it did hit me, and I realized that God had been with me the whole time, that made all the difference to me. He’s gotten me through everything, good and bad — and that fills my heart with peace.”
Feel your way through grief.
“Losing two of my children has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through,” Loretta admits. “But you have to find a way to live through it. There’s no way anybody can pick you up after a loss like that and say, ‘Hey it’s going to be all right,’ because only you know what you have to do to get through it, and only you know how you feel. But you can survive that heartache.”
See your own value.
We all face self-doubt and insecurity from time to time, but Loretta has a clever trick to restore her confidence in a flash: “Go to a mirror and take a darn good look. at yourself and say, ‘I’m just as good as. anybody else, and I can do just as much as anybody else. I’ll get through this, and I’ll get through it with flying colors.’ And as you look yourself in the eye and say those words, believe them!”
Beat stress with some puppy love.
“I have a puppy who brings me such joy!” Loretta says with a smile. “She’s a toy Australian Shepherd named Violet, and like all of our furry friends, you just wouldn’t believe that you could love them as much as you do! If it wasn’t for my pets, I don’t know if I’d be getting well. They give me the strength to face anything.”
Find bliss in true friendship.
“If you’ve got a great friend, you’ve got everything!” Loretta beams. “With Patsy Cline, we were just good together. But now, my daughters are my best friends. My daughters Patsy, Peggy, Cissie and I are so close. We call each other every day, and when we have a girls’ night in, we tell stories and reminisce. I love just being with them. They fill my heart with so much light!”
Whip up comfort in your kitchen.
“I love to make chicken and dumplings for people when they come over,” says Loretta, who cooks the Southern specialty year-round and missed having guests because of quarantine. “I roll them out and drop them in one at a time. I use a whole chicken — the fatter the chicken, the better the dumplings. They remind me of happy times and the great times still to come.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.