Music & Culture

5 Musicians Who’ve Been Open About Their Struggles With Mental Health

There is sometimes a negative stigma thrown onto mental health struggles, but when our favorite musicians speak up, it reminds us that we aren’t going through it alone. These five musicians have been open about their mental health issues to the public and their fans.

Michael Clifford

5 Seconds of Summer guitarist Michael Clifford became the “fan-elected” mental health advocate after opening up about his struggles with mental health issues. In an interview with AltPress last year, he mentioned how he wasn’t comfortable with the role at first but now sees it as something “lucky.”

“We’ve had so many people who support this band,” he continues. “And I’m sure a lot of them struggle with mental health issues. If I can help one person, then this is all worth it. I know that’s cheesy and everyone has said that, but everyone says that for a reason. Because, well it’s true.”

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thanks for always treating us well, New York.

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Zayn Malik

The former boyband member has mentioned his severe anxiety in many interviews. Zayn Malik even wrote an article for Time Magazine, explaining his mental health issues after having to cancel a performance. “The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don’t want to do any other job. That’s why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain. It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes.”

Demi Lovato

Starting a movement to end the stigma around mental health problems called, “Be Vocal,” Demi Lovato has been very open with fans about her battles with self-harm, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and substance abuse.  After spending time in treatment, she now shares her stories to help others.


Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and growing up with a mother who also has the condition, Halsey opened up to Elle Magazine about what it’s like for her and how it made her who she is. “I kind of just embraced the things about me that were a little odd. The thing about having bipolar disorder, for me, is that I’m really empathetic. I feel everything around me so much. I feel when I walk past a homeless person, and I feel when my friend breaks up with someone, or I feel when my mom and my dad get into a fight and my mom’s fuckin’ crying over dishes in the sink.”

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oh she big mad 🌶

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Miley Cyrus

In an interview with Elle, Miley Cyrus talked about a time when she had severe depression that many were unaware she was suffering from. She mentioned that people don’t want to talk about mental issues because they don’t know how.

“It’s more of an issue than people really want to talk about. Because people don’t know how to talk about being depressed—that 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’s comforting to know that musicians and the people that we look up to can go through the exact same problems and situations as many of us. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, give the National Alliance on Mental Illness‘ helpline a call at 1-800-950-NAMI.

Featured Image: Instagram (@zayn)