Doin' Fine

Album: Road Less Traveled (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track from Lauren Alaina's sophomore album Road Less Traveled, which was produced by busbee (Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum). During the five year period between the singer's first and second records, Alaina's parents divorced, her father entered alcohol rehab and got sober, and her mom married one of her dad's best friends.

    Alaina met busbee for the first time at a songwriting appointment, just as she was beginning to open up and shared with him all her issues. "He pretty much took me under his arm, gave me a big hug and said, 'We're going to write about it,'" she recalled to Billboard magazine, "I cried the whole writing session."

    "Doin' Fine," the song they crafted, lays all that family business out in the lyrics and puts them in an optimistic framework, setting a tone for the rest of album.
  • Lauren Alaina discussed the upbeat, optimistic tune with Sounds Like Nashville:

    "I say at my shows, 'Who in the crowd has a crazy family?' One person every night doesn't raise their hand. The only people who don't are because they're with their crazy family and they don't want them to know.

    My family is normal compared to some of the stories that I hear now. But that's great because none of us are alone, and the message of that song is pretty much … We all have different paths, and we all have different perspectives and families and different things that we have to overcome, and accepting that is key."
  • Lauren Alaina said:

    "'Doing Fine' is a really special song because it's super uplifting, but really honest at the same time. It's almost like, 'What is going on?' If you don't know me and you don't know that that's actually what I went through, you would almost be like, 'Oh my gosh, she really tried to write a country song.' But the truth is I really live a country song!

    My mom married a family friend. My mom's husband now, and my dad, and my mom were all friends in high school. I think they lost touch along the way somewhere, and when I was like 11 or 12 they reconnected and we were all friends. My parents and all of them were friends. And my dad's alcoholism was really tough, and so I think he was a friend to my mom. I don't really know what happened. He's now her husband. My dad has a new wife, and he's sober because my mom asked for the divorce. She said, 'I can't do this anymore,' which I can see both sides.

    It's really hard when you're in the middle. I was kind of in the middle because I'm their child. I was like, 'I can't take this anymore.' My parents are people and they're making mistakes, and I didn't know they could do that! It was this weird realization that my parents are human beings that make mistakes, so that was hard. So, I was trying to write that and trying to say that, but I hadn't even come to that conclusion yet."
  • Lauren Alaina told The Boot she felt that she needed to talk to her parents about the track before putting it on the album.

    "I just put [the song] in an email [to my parents], literally, without anything else except the attachment, because I was scared to death," she said. "'Same Day Different Bottle' was the first song I wrote about my family, which is about my dad's alcoholism, which I sent to him in rehab. But 'Doin' Fine' was the first time I was brutally specific and honest about what was going on.

    "I was particularly scared about my mom," Alaina added. "I was really worried that my mom was going to think I was talking bad about her, but I was just trying to be as honest about what was going on as I could. My mom married a family friend of my parents' from high school, and my dad went through rehab and married a 30-year-old. I couldn't fit the 30-year-old in there; it didn't rhyme [laughs]. But, all joking aside, I sent it in an email, because I was scared to death."

    "I didn't really know what to say about it, and my mom called me," she continued. "It was a really hard time for us when I sent the song - it was right in the midst of it - and she called and told me it was her favorite song that I've ever written, which was so healing for me, for her to say that, because it's her story, too, not just mine, and that's really scary. I wasn't as scared about Dad, because I'd written 'Same Day, Different Bottle' about him already, and that was a little more brutally honest about him. And so, I wasn't as scared to send it to him as I was her. But I have the best mom in the world, and she handled it with grace."

    Alaina concluded: "They're both really supportive of me, and they know, as a songwriter, I'm going to tell their stories, too."
  • The Carlos Ruiz-directed video was shot in a darkened studio. The clip finds Alaina sharing a multitude of emotions. "When a really big life changing event takes place, you feel a flood of emotions," Alaina explained. "Some days you cry. Some days you're angry and some days you're happy. It was really important to me to use the three and a half minutes of the video to share all of the emotions I felt while watching my parents go through a divorce, seeing my dad through rehab, and my adjusting to a new life in Nashville."

    "Life is full of unpredictability, and so are we," she added. "It's okay to not be okay all of the time, but we have to get to a place where we are 'Doin' Fine.'"

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