She’s performed at the Super Bowl halftime show, was the first female artist to have five #1 Billboard Hot 100 tracks from just one album, became the #1 most followed person on Twitter and the first to reach 100 million followers and sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. In short, she’s one of the most successful artists of all time – but mental health issues don’t care about wealth and fame and professional success.
How a career disappointment led to a bout of depression
So, when her “Witness” album came out in 2017 and the reviews started pouring in, her confidence was shaken. The reviews were far from what she hoped. As someone who heavily drew her self-worth and self-image from her professional success, her latest album’s lackluster reception came at a great personal cost.
“Unknowingly, I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn’t react the way I had expected to… which broke my heart,” Perry opened up to Vogue Australia. “I have had bouts if situational depression,” she confessed.
The biggest lie that we’ve ever been sold is that we as artists have to stay in pain to create.
— Katy Perry
But Perry decided to take her disappointment as a lesson and discover a greater and truer love and acceptance of herself. After all, her talk of “self-love and authenticity” was not really honest if a professional disappointment could shake her so.
Reconnecting with herself
Focusing on meditation, on reconnecting with her faith and finding inner strength, Perry emerged on the other side stronger and more centered than ever. “It gave me a new foundation. It’s not just a material foundation: it’s a soul foundation,” she said.
That brokenness, plus me opening up to a greater, higher power and reconnecting with divinity, gave me a wholeness I never had.
— Katy Perry
Perry took time to focus on herself and even took part in a self-discovery retreat to identify, process and eliminate negative thought and behavior patterns. “There are a lot of people who are self-medicating through validation in audiences, through substances, through continually running away from their realities – denial, withdrawal. I did that for a long, long time too,” she admitted to Vogue Australia.
After all, Katy has not shied away from discussing mental health nor from discussing negative personality traits and self-evolution.
I’ve come to learn that being happy is something you have to work for every single day.
— Katy Perry
Letting go of her ego
Earlier this year she spoke to Glamour about killing her ego to get over the issues holding her back and be able “to grow into becoming an adult.” So when the time comes to start her own family, she won’t transfer her own pain and frustration to the next generation.
Perry has also started a journey of reconnecting with herself and the important things in life, which don’t really have anything to do with material things, but more about knowing yourself, empowering yourself, making yourself happy and spreading that joy to others.