Written by: Anabella Garcia
Celebrities aren’t exempt from suffering with their mental health — they are human like the rest of us and have their own experiences with mental wellness. Past experiences combined with heightened societal pressures may begin to pile up, catalyzing depression or anxiety. Many celebrities have advocated for ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, including Demi Lovato, Chris Evans, and Ryan Reynolds. However, it is just as important to be advocating for mental wellness.
Mental Wellness is when your mind is in order and functioning in your best interest — you are able to behave and feel in ways that are positive for both your physical and social well-being. One of the best examples of a celebrity who is outspoken about Mental Wellness is Jim Carrey. You may be wondering how someone who starred in Dumb and Dumber and How the Grinch Stole Christmas would have such a firm stance on this topic. Despite these silly, lighthearted acting roles, Jim Carrey has struggled with depression from an early age. In a 2004 interview, Carrey said, “There are peaks, there are valleys, but they’re all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in. Where you’re not getting any answers, but you’re living okay. And you can smile at the office. You know? But it’s a low level of despair?”
Carrey has taken a long hiatus from acting after filming Dumb and Dumber Too, but he has been working on his mental wellness in that time. Carrey has turned to painting and sculpting to express his emotions and find peace in the storm. Carrey has dabbled in art before, but he fully committed himself to it when he needed to “heal a broken heart.” He has found help and hope in his paintings and wishes for others to find the same. Carrey says that his art frees him from regret and worry. Semir Zeki, a professor at University College London, “connects the mere viewing of beautiful paintings with an increase of dopamine and activity in the pleasure center of the brain, resulting in feelings similar to the throes of romantic love.” Carrey is a strong supporter of finding what would improve your personal mental wellness, stating that “we want to show ourselves and have that be accepted. I love being alive and the art is the evidence of that.”
Another celebrity who has spoken about mental wellness is pop singer, Kesha. Kesha has dealt with anxiety and depression throughout her life and has been very open about how she processes her emotions. Kesha has released several chart-climbing songs, such as Tik Tok and Cannibal, and has reached ultra-pop stardom. Still, she is human and has her own tactics for grounding herself. In a personal essay that she wrote about mental health, Kesha says, “Trying to spend all of your time pleasing everyone else is not only exhausting — it’s impossible. And you know what? If you take a little time for yourself, you will actually be much better company for those around you.” Kesha has noted how trying to make the whole world happy has taken away her own happiness. She vouches for spending time with yourself and finding inner peace so that you don’t drown in what the world wants from you. Finding your own personal haven to ground yourself and find peace and hope is an important step in gaining mental wellness.
Fame and stardom in creative fields don’t save you from mental health struggles. In fact, scientists believe that there is a direct correlation between creativity and poor mental health. Many other celebrities have their own bouts with mental wellness and their own methods to find peace and stability. There is a lot to learn from these explorations into what activities ground us and show us the brighter side of life. Whether it’s painting, meditating, journaling, or going for a walk, there are many avenues for us to gain and build mental wellness. Let the paths that these artists have taken serve as a map for our own mental health journeys.
Artwork created by: Simran More