Katy Perry's biggest hits are often referred to as power anthems — they tell stories of joy and hope, and they make us feel good when we listen to them. But those songs have been a product of some of the singer's toughest times.
In a recent interview for Canadian radio show "Q on CBC," Perry opened up about her past breakup with Orlando Bloom, how it affected her mental health, and how she came out the other side.
"I lost my smile," Perry told host Tom Power. "I don't know if my smile was ever fully, like, authentically mine but I was riding on the high of a smile for a long time. Which was the validation, love, and admiration from the outside world, and then that shifted." While Perry couldn't pinpoint exactly what had shifted in her career, she described it as having a "seismic" impact.
"I had given so much and it literally broke me in half. I had broken up with my boyfriend, who is now my baby-daddy-to-be, and then I was excited about flying high off the next record and the record didn't get me high any more," she said. "The validation didn't get me high, and so I just crashed."
Perry doesn't look back on this point in her life through a sad, regretful lens, though — she referred to this period as a time of "necessary brokenness," and said that without it, she wouldn't be where she is today.
"Gratitude is probably the thing that saved my life because if I didn't find that I probably would've wallowed in my own sadness and just jumped," the Daisies singer said. "I found ways to be grateful, and every morning when I wake up... the very first thing I say out loud is, 'Thank you God for today. I am grateful in every way.'"
Perry revealed that some of her most inspiring and uplifting songs — such as Firework and Roar — were actually written during some of her lowest points.
"When I'm writing those songs, I'm in the worst place of my life. Something comes over me and writes the song — my soul is my ghostwriter," she said. "I turn to music to speak my language of my heart and my soul, especially when I'm in those dark times. I think I write these songs because I first and foremost need the hope."
"In the past, I had been able to overcome it, but this time something happened that made me fall down too many flights of stairs. I had to really go on a mental health journey,” Perry said. “We talk about all our different organs but never talk about our brain, which keeps us functioning the most."
Perry has never been one to shy away from the tough topics — and with a baby girl on the way, we hope that she'll continue to be as open and honest about her mental health. After all, talking about these issues helps normalize them, which can save lives.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.