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Demi Lovato on Her Mental Health and the Meaning of ‘OK Not to Be OK’

Demi Lovato on Her Mental Health and the Meaning of 'OK Not to Be OK'

This Thursday, on World Suicide Prevention Day, Demi Lovato dropped her latest single, “OK Not to Be OK,” a collaboration with Marshmello that stands as an ode to mental health awareness.

According to People, she then joined Zane Lowe for an Apple Music interview to discuss the song. “Earlier this year, I was focused on telling my story,” she said. “When the pandemic hit, and everything happened in 2020 that’s been going on, I realized that it is not about me anymore. I need to share music that speaks for more people than myself. Because I’ve been sharing my story for a long time, but it’s time to switch gears and tell other stories that need to be heard.”

She added: “I feel like what we’ve kind of missed in this year is music that kind of encapsulates everything that we’re going through. And so, this I feel like is the touchstone of what I’m about to embark on, being a very purpose-driven journey, and especially with my music.”

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The lyrics to “OK Not to be OK” focus on supporting those who may be struggling with anxiety or depression. On the track, Lovato sings: “When you’re high on emotion / And you’re losing your focus / And you feel too exhausted to pray / Don’t get lost in the moment / Or give up when you’re closest / All you need is somebody to say / It’s okay not to be okay”

The singer joined Lowe on Thursday to not only talk about her new music but also her own mental health journey. “I feel like I’ve done a lot of growing this year,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of work on myself with meditation, with just doing more work with my therapist because I have more time to. It’s just like, it’s worked out a lot, and I’m really grateful.”

“When I realized that perfection is unachievable, no matter who you are, you could literally be the most perfect-looking person on the planet, but there will still be something scientifically imperfect with you,” she continued. “I had to learn that the hard way.”

“I decided that I wasted enough of my life worrying and stressing about unimportant things. And now the rest of my life, I’m just going to care about the stuff that matters. I don’t chase perfection anymore because I know it doesn’t exist. And it’s about finding a balance. Yeah, it’s been a journey, but I feel like a lot of it comes with age, just learning.”

Along with releasing new music on Thursday, Lovato also partnered with Hope For the Day, a non-profit that promotes mental health education, in order to share resources for her fans. (You can also find and download these resources at oknottobeok.com.)

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Lovato also recently announced that she will be partnering with Talkspace, a talk therapy platform. In her announcement video, Lovato said, “I’ve heard from so many of you that you’re struggling right now and you don’t know where to turn,” and shared how therapy has been an “integral” part of her life.

“I don’t take it lightly,” Lovato told Lowe, explaining how she’s been “very vocal” about her own mental health difficulties. “I easily could have been someone that wasn’t having this interview today. So, I’m grateful that I’ve had the support and the team around me to help me get through this time.” On Thursday, Lovato tweeted, “Since a young age I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts and depression.”

She continued in the interview, saying, “What I just want everyone else to know is that I’ve been there, and you can get past it too. It can be very, very dark, but we have to remember that we can’t seek permanent solutions for temporary problems because life ebbs and flows. And just as happiness can be fleeting, sadness as well.”

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