She said that gratitude saved her life.

Caroline Goldstein
June 29, 2020 10:56 am
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Trigger warning: This post discusses suicidal thoughts.

Katy Perry is often associated with all things straight-up delightful. (If you’re feeling sad today, we’d recommend refamiliarizing yourself with Left Shark.) But in a new interview with the Canadian radio show Q on CBC, Perry revealed that the bright, cheerful image for which she’s become famous is a reaction against a history of struggling with her mental health. She also implied that she contemplated suicide after experiencing difficulties in her personal and professional lives in 2017.       

“My career was on this trajectory when it was going up, up and up and then I had the smallest shift, not that huge from an outside perspective. But for me it was seismic,” she told host Tom Power, according to Elle.

That record was Perry’s fifth, Witness, which debuted to mixed critical reviews (some critics completely panned the album). That same year, Perry and Bloom, who had met in 2016, briefly broke up before ultimately reconciling. 

Perry said that gratitude was her saving grace during this incredibly difficult period. She implied that, without it, she may have considered suicide.  

"Gratitude is probably the thing that saved my life,” Perry said, “because if I didn't find that I would have wallowed in my own sadness and probably just jumped. But I found ways to be grateful.”

Ultimately, Perry was able to find gratitude in her emotional struggle itself: This “necessary brokenness” provided deeper insight into who she is as a person, how she wants to live her life (which is not as a “thirsty pop star all the time”), and how to navigate the world with grace. 

“There’s deeper feelings when you survive something, or when you live through something ...you learn that it’s not just all a fantasy lifestyle,” she said.

Perry’s gratitude practice is grounded in her belief in a higher power that “created [her] for a purpose”—and she still starts every morning by thanking that higher power (whom she refers to as God), even when she’s “in a shitty mood.” She said that music is another source of solace for her, and songwriting in particular is a productive channel for her darker emotions. During the process, Perry said, that darkness transforms into light.

We give all the kudos to Perry for her candor.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255, text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org. You are not alone.