11 Famous Leonard Cohen Quotes to Brighten Your Day

Much loved Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s deeply profound music has inspired and put a smile upon people’s faces for generations.

Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen has established himself as one of the best singer-songwriters of the last century.

Here is a selection of some of his most famous song quotes to help you look on the bright side of life.

“There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in”

Sometimes we forget that everything is imperfect. But we need to remember that this imperfection is what makes things real. Physical objects, mental constructs, our relationships with ourselves, and each other; they all have cracks in them. But just like you need darkness to be able to see the stars, it might take this imperfection to gain a deeper understanding of things.

“How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?”

You have to let the past go in order to move into the present. If you keep clinging on to the past, to what could’ve, should’ve and would’ve been, you are denying yourself the present moment. Every moment is precious, make peace with the past and keep on moving forward. That’s how to get the most out of life.

“Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore” 

Some people live their lives with their head in the clouds, floating, uprooted, disconnected from everything and everyone around them. Take time in your day to connect with the earth, check in with reality, and make rational choices. The moment you begin to ignore reality is the moment it comes back to bite you.

“If you don't become the ocean, you'll be seasick every day”

There will come times when you have to learn to adapt to your new surroundings in order to stay afloat. Whether that’s a new job, a new house, a new life situation, or a new way of living, the best way to keep thriving is to embrace change and the uncertainty that comes with it. Do this, and you’ll keep on rolling with the waves.

“A heavy burden lifted from my soul, I heard that love was out of my control”

There are many things in life that are out of your control, and more often than not, love is one of them. You can’t make somebody fall in love with you, and once you truly realize this, you will let go of any need to control. For some people, love is too scary to even consider. But as the saying goes, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

“Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act” 

You know the saying fake it ‘till you make it. This is similar. If you begin to behave the way you want to be, sooner or later you will become the person you want to be. Instead of wishing and dreaming and thinking and hoping, take action. Actions speak louder than words.

“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love, we disappear”

At the end of the day, all that matters is that we loved. Love is the single most important thing in the world and is the answer to everything. Love is the answer. Never underestimate it.  

“As our eyes grow accustomed to sight, they armor themselves against wonder”

We are born with wonder and curiosity in our eyes, but as we get older, we get blinded and our eyesight dulled by the real world. As we grow up, we need to remember how important it is to play, have fun, and appreciate the little things in life. 

“When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you”

We are so often wrapped up in our own little worlds that we forget about all the wonderful people around us. We get absorbed in our own little bubble, getting more and more stressed as things don’t go our way. But when we take the time to think about and do things for others, we will achieve much greater peace than when we’re only focusing on ourselves.

“The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines”

Even the caterpillar thought the world was ending right before it turned into a butterfly. Sometimes we have to endure difficult moments in life to see just how strong, bright, and powerful we really are.

“The birds they sang at the break of day. Start again! I heard them say”

It’s never too late to start over. Whatever mistakes you have made in the past are all life lessons which you can learn from, and not things that you should beat yourself up with. Don’t wallow in your past mistakes. Learn from yesterday and start fresh today.


If there’s anything we can learn from Leonard Cohen, it’s to keep our heads up and to see the positive things in life.

Yes, there may be problems and challenges, but at the end of the day, when we learn to love from the heart, appreciate the little things and see that life is what we make it, we can make the most of every single moment.

This is how we can live life to the fullest. 

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