Lady Gaga speaks about her mental health and belief in the power of kindness

The American superstar is well-known for her candour and willingness to break taboos. Having personally experienced self-harm, she shares advice on caring for and loving oneself.


Glamorous House of Gucci star Lady Gaga recently opened up about her mental health struggles (1) in a powerful short feature film, The Power of Kindness (2), admitting that she has struggled with self-harm since she was a child.

The singer and actress, who co-founded Born This Way Foundation with her mother Cynthia Germanotta, spoke about her inner battles in a film released by the organisation to mark World Kindness Day last November. She was joined on screen by 11 inspirational young people and the group took it in turns to discuss what kindness to themselves and others means, and what they can do when their emotions overwhelm (3) them.

"I have struggled with self-harm (4) since I was about 11 years old,"  Lady Gaga shared. "And on days when it's really hard to be kind to myself, I turn to behaviour and skills.

"Some days waking up and just making sure I brush my teeth, I get in the shower, I brush my hair, I put my clothes on and I'm really conscious and aware of one sock at a time – if it's two different socks, I make myself find the right sock…  meaning that I can't always get my head to love me, but I can behave my way into loving me."

The Shallow (5) singer added: "I just wanted to share that with you because I feel like it's really unfair for you to all be this vulnerable and this real, and for me to sit here and ask questions and not tell the truth. So that's my truth."

In the film, participants spoke about their own mental health journeys, and the strong relationship between kindness and mental health. They were also joined by Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, a psychologist and scientist who works with diverse groups of people to achieve mental health.

Lady Gaga began the session by declaring it was a "safe space" for everyone to share. "I'm not a therapist, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a mental health authority," she said. "I just want you to know you have a friend in me up here. I am, I have been, and I always will be on a mental health journey. It's important to me that I honour my journey, and that I honour the journey and stories of others.

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"In terms of mental health, I think kindness is essential. I would like you to view me as a participant in all this. I'm here with you."

Earlier last year, Born This Way Foundation had conducted a survey of over two thousand 13 to 24-year-olds that revealed the ways kindness contributes to many aspects of mental wellness, from helping young people feel safe, confident, and less alone to changing the trajectory of their day and even their desire to stay alive.

"Our stories matter, and the kindness we share with our own selves, our loved ones and our community, will not only make someone smile, but truly have the potential to save lives," Lady Gaga concluded.

1. Struggle = Battle
2. Kindness = Understanding and concern for the feelings and needs of others
3. To overwhelm = To overcome
4. To self-harm = To  inflict injury on oneself
5. Shallow = Not deep


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