10 celebs & creators who’ve spoken out about mental health
Opening up is an act of bravery, and these notable names prove it
Editor / May 07 2023
There’s a veil of ‘perfection’ that comes with celebrity; the lifestyle, money and access appear to eliminate several of the ‘issues’ faced in everyday life. And yet becoming ‘famous’ doesn’t stop you from being human, and being human comes with a lot of emotions; some positive, some negative.
By no means are celebrities immune to anxiety, depression, or any other mental health concerns. But while it’s saddening to hear that some of our favourite musicians, actors, models and creators are going through (or have previously gone through) tough times, opening up that dialogue is one of the most powerful things they can do. By being upfront about their experiences, they help to break down the stigma around mental health, encouraging others to have the same honest conversations.
Of course, everyone (yes, even Hollywood’s elite and some of your most beloved influencers) is at their own point in their mental health journey. Some have professed the issues they’ve faced in a bid to further normalise the topics, and others have even put strategies into place to keep their mental health states as positive as possible.
Knowing where to turn when going through a tough time in your life is so important – you don’t have to go through anything alone! In partnership with ReachOut, Maybelline’s global initiative Brave Together is aiming to destigmatise the conversations around anxiety and depression by encouraging brave conversations with friends and family.
Some of our favourite celebrities have been brave about openly sharing their mental health journey, whether that be spotting signs of trouble to practicing self-care. Our favourite part about celebs and the like sharing their struggles and strategies? The fact that by talking about it, they prove that not only are mental health concerns completely normal, but they in no way make you ‘weak’. Because (spoiler alert), Lady Gaga is obviously one of the strongest and most fabulous people on the planet; even more so, for being so open.
So without further ado, here are the celebrities and content creators who remind us that mental health is something we should be talking about…
“2019 was one of the hardest years of my life,” Ratajkowski opened up in a 2020 Instagram caption. “My mum was really sick, I was battling a serious depression and everything felt very uncertain. 2020 is definitely giving last year a run for its money but I’m happy to say that [I] have learned how to take better care of myself. I don’t generally like to get too personal on here and I’m far from having shit figured out but these were some of the notes I scribbled down on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to share them and a little piece of my story in case they might make any of you feel less alone in the anxiety or confusion or fear you could be experiencing right now,” she wrote.
One of her top lessons? “The things that other people see as successes will not always be the same as the things that actually make you happy.” Wise words indeed. Everyone has their own journey, their own hopes and their own timeline, and yours not matching another person’s is no reason to feel like yours are wrong.
Hadid’s strategy? Balance the good and bad by acknowledging both. Yes, supermodels have ‘bad’ moments, too. “During my pregnancy, I had one journal that I called my good journal and one journal that I called my bad journal. They weren’t that literal, but one was more for the memories, for [my daughter] Khai. Maybe one day I’ll give her the bad journal just to be real about it,” she told Harper’s BAZAAR.
Hadid’s approach is a valuable one – not only does writing things down help with perspective (and provide the chance to vent), but by passing it down to her daughter, she’s able to do her part to make sure the next generation knows not to hold negative emotions in, assume they’re the only ones experiencing them, or feel any shame around them. Positive parenting points awarded!
Gomez has done the work to discover what helps her the most during times when her mental health may be suffering. Her solution? Downtime and attempting to remove pressure from her life. “I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off."
"I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues. I've discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” she told People. Of course, we understand that the demands of everyone’s lives are different, but it’s important to set boundaries that protect your mental state.
Similar pressure exists in the digital space, and Robinson is another person who makes an active effort to reclaim some time to herself when she’s feeling “dishevelled”. After opening up to followers about enduring a tough month, the creator took time to share her personal self-care strategy. “I’m going to focus on giving myself a day a week, because I actually think it is so important for everyone to practice self-love, or at least to prioritise themselves and prioritise their mental health, in order to lead a happy life."
"When people are going through life changes while dealing with a large workload, and you can’t slow down because you don’t have time to slow down [or] process your life changes, you end up feeling quite sad, down, deflated, anxious [and] overwhelmed. You’re less productive because of that, so you get less done and then it’s just a very vicious cycle that you can get stuck in.” A few things she devotes time to on her self-love days? A full-body treatment and some light, calming brain and body exercise. “[Something] I love to do is wash my hair, wash my face, scrub my body, have a bath, face mask, body moisturise, just mask everything, do some yoga, and listen to some meditation,” she shared.
Styles prioritises his mental health by keeping up a consistent therapy schedule, re-framing it as a way to keep your mind working the healthiest way possible, rather than something to turn to only in the more difficult seasons. “I committed to doing it once a week,” he revealed in a conversation with Rolling Stone.
“I felt like I exercise every day and take care of my body, so why wouldn’t I do that with my mind? So many of your emotions are so foreign before you start analysing them properly. I like to really lean into [an emotion] and look at it in the face. Not like, ‘I don’t want to feel like this,’ but more like, ‘What is it that makes me feel this way?'” Smart – sometimes the only way is through.
As a celebrity who grew up in front of the world, Jenner knows all too well the weight that public opinion can carry. Having dealt with anxiety throughout her whole life, she’s even seen it manifest into a physical reaction. “I have such debilitating anxiety because of everything going on that I literally wake up in the middle of the night with full-on panic attacks," Jenner told Cara Delevingne in a Harper’s BAZAAR interview.
"Where do I even start? Everything is so horrible, it’s hard to name one thing. I just think that the world needs so much love. I wish I had the power to send Cupid around the planet, as cheesy as that sounds. You go online and you see everyone saying the worst things to each other, and it’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard not to get eaten alive by all the negativity.”
Chatfield has also dealt with the difficulty that comes with facing judgment from others. “I still struggle with things [and] I try to take care of my mental health. I go to therapy once a week. It's still very hard,” she explained in a chat with TV Reload Podcast.
The TV personality and content creator says she finds relief in understanding that hardship tends to be temporary and relief is often somewhere down the road. “The biggest thing is I have to understand that everything will pass. Things that seem so hard to get through; it's just knowing everything will pass and everything will get better.”
An important lesson we learned from Lizzo? ‘Extroverted’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘okay’. So yes, this is a reminder to check on your ‘loud’ friend. “I do have anxiety and it’s an interesting part of my experience,” she told British Vogue. “My heart is racing and my brain is firing off and I’m just making all these jokes and then I’m like, actually spiralling [sic]. The louder and funnier I am, you should probably ask me if I’m okay.”
In a way, she channels said anxiety into her art: “I don’t know why, but my anxiety sometimes fuels who I am as a performer and who I am as an artist – and I know that is not the case for everyone. I don’t know if my body just, like, out of a desperate need to find a place for my anxiety or find a use for it, takes it and puts it there.” As she said, it’s not necessarily an answer for everyone, but sometimes a creative outlet can help you channel your intense emotions into something productive rather than destructive.
Cyrus’ initial source of negative feelings? Her skin; which of course spiralled into further stress and sadness. Luckily, she’s here to remind you that that’s not abnormal (and that seeking help is healthy). “It’s totally okay to feel sad. I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down. It was a lot to do with [the fact] I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed," she told ELLE.
"And every person can benefit from talking to somebody. So many people look at [my depression] as me being ungrateful, but that is not it – I can't help it. There's not much that I'm closed off about, and the universe gave me all that so I could help people feel like they don't have to be something they're not or feel like they have to fake happy. There's nothing worse than being fake happy.”
Lady Gaga has long been an advocate for mental health transparency. Truthfully, the stigma considerably contributes to the struggle, and so a large amount of power lies in bringing the issue out into the open more and more. “We need to share our stories so that global mental health no longer resides and festers in the darkness," she said in a SAG-AFTRA Foundation speech.
“When I speak about mental health, especially when I’m speaking about mine, it is often met with quietness. Or maybe, a sombre line of fans, waiting outside to whisper to me in the shadows about their darkest secrets. We need to bring mental health into the light.”
If you or someone you know needs help, visit ReachOut.com for helpful resources or to chat with a Reach Out expert. Additional information is also available as part of Maybelline’s Brave Together initiative.
Image credits: Getty Images
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Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Editor (and resident cateye connoisseur). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to lip oil options that won't leave your hair permanently attached to your face, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.