Celebrity News

How popstars are using social media to help break the stigma surrounding mental health

Ariana Grande, Bebe Rexha and Sam Smith have all spoken about their mental health on Twitter and Instagram within the past couple of weeks.

By Bonnie McLaren
As a society, we all seem to be aware of the negative impact social media can have on our wellbeing.
But, conversely, social media is also becoming a positive place where people are able to unflinchingly describe their own mental health struggles.
And, within recent months, it's become obvious that celebrities - notably popstars - are leading by example, helping to break the taboo surrounding mental health.
Within the past few weeks alone, Bebe Rexha shared with her fans that she is bipolar, Ariana Grande has shown the impact of PTSD on her brain and Sam Smith has opened up about his anxiety.
The thing in common with all of these revelations?
They were made through Twitter or Instagram.
"For the longest time, I didn't understand why I felt so sick," American singer Bebe Rexha tweeted.
"Why I felt lows that made me not want to leave my house or be around people and why I felt highs that wouldn't let me sleep, wouldn't let me stop working or creating music. Now I know why.
"I'm bipolar and I'm not ashamed anymore. That is all.
"I don't want you to feel sorry for me," she added.
"I just want you to accept me. That's all. Love you."
Meanwhile, chart-topping Ariana Grande - who was performing at the Manchester Arena in May 2017 when 22 people died in an explosion - shared a scan of her brain to her Instagram stories.
One photo showed what she said was a healthy brain compared with a brain with PTSD, and then she posted another image showing her own brain.
"Hilarious and terrifying," Grande wrote, adding that the pics were "not a joke".
She then later posted a selfie, captioned with the words "life is wild", "my brain is tired", and "she's trying her muthaf**kin best".
(Image: Instagram/@arianagrande)
Sam Smith, who is on tour in South Africa, also chose Instagram stories to update his fans on how he is doing, writing, "Hey everyone, I just wanna be more open and honest and I think we should all be more honest about our life experiences on this platform because I think it's good for us all," the singer wrote.
"Plus, I'm addicted to Instagram, and I want it to be a healthy space, so here goes… The last week, or so I've been doing these incredible shows, and from my pics, I look super happy and calm and collected, and I am happy, and sometimes I am calm.
"But the last few weeks my anxiety has been SO F**KING INTENSE!! I can't even begin to explain…"
Thankfully, the examples above show that it's becoming more and more normal for musicians to open up online.
Other notable examples - which spawned headlines - from the past few weeks include Britney Spears confirming on Instagram that she was going into a mental health facility and Justin Bieber asking his fans to pray for him in a caption where he detailed his struggles with depression.

Musicians having poor mental health is, unfortunately, nothing new - as the Independent noted earlier this year,"Music is good for our health, so why are musicians suffering so much?"- but the difference seems to be, that, instead of it being touched on in interviews or in autobiographies, stars are choosing to share their own stories - on their own accord - via social media.
Which can only be a positive thing, when celebs are choosing to interact directly with fans who are sure to be experiencing similar things.
With the negative impact the digital world is having on body image, the bravery of popstars - who appear to have perfect lives - talking about the reality of their brains cannot be underestimated, especially when it's kickstarting a conversation about mental health which is more important than ever before.
Via our sister site Grazia.