Katy Perry on Wake-Up Calls and The Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health

And why 20 minutes of self-care can make a huge difference.

For a special live episode of The Thrive Global Podcast, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington sat down with music icon Katy Perry for the “Witness World Wide” livestream promoting the release of her latest album Witness. The two discussed mental health, therapy and the importance of self-care.

Huffington shared the story of her 2007 wake-up call in which she collapsed from exhaustion and woke up in a pool of blood. 

“I’m telling you I’ve been there,” Perry said, noting that success didn’t always look like what she’d been told. “I had to learn some lessons the hard way, and I think sometimes when you’re ignoring things…God has to turn up the volume to say, ‘Hey! What are you doing? Why are you doing this? What’s going on?’”

Perry and Huffington discussed the importance of prioritizing things like meditation, exercise, healthy eating and sleep during stressful times, and how small steps (microsteps, as Thrive Global calls them), make a big difference. 

“My friends will attest to the fact that I’m always trying to do the most,” Perry said. “I sometimes run out of energy and I can get crabby. And I’ve got to take twenty minutes for myself to meditate…It shifts my whole mood. I find this inner joy again.”

They also discussed the impact our own thoughts and other people’s opinions have on our confidence.

“The best thing about aging is that you care so much less about everybody’s opinion,” Huffington said. “You spend much less time looking over your shoulder, thinking about how everybody sees you.”

“I love my 30s and if you can get there in your 20s, or if you can get there in your teens, get there,” Perry said.

Huffington cited the importance of role modeling self-care behaviors like the break Perry took between albums. When asked on the Grammy Award red carpet what she’d been up to since her last album came out three years ago, Perry said, “It’s called taking care of your mental health.” 

“Mental health is really important to me, and I have a lot of tools that I’m accessing to help my mental health,” Perry said. “And I know a lot of people are anxious out there and full of fear, and I empathize with them and I want to help any way I can.”

Huffington and Perry agreed that turning to other sources of support like therapy or a close friend are great resources.

“I find that good therapists don’t tell you what you should hear,” Perry said. “They help you find the answers that are already inside yourself. They’re kind of just like mirrors.”

And it doesn’t just have to be a therapist.

“I have so many friends that are teachers,” Perry said. “I’m not talking about certified teachers, but they teach me things every day. They teach me things big and small.”

To listen to the Thrive Global Podcast with iHeartRadio, click here.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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