Leaving the Badlands

In a 2015 interview with Elle Magazine, Halsey opened up about her struggles with bipolar disorder for the first time: “I have bipolar disorder. I’ve never talked about that in an interview before...A lot of people I work with probably don’t know it.” Halsey de-stigmatizes mental illness by publicly claiming this is something she has in her life, revealing that she is not embarrassed by it. She also highlights how mental illness can affect a wide variety of people often not suspected to struggle in this area -which is why it is so important to be open and honest about mental health. Halsey continues, “The thing about having bipolar disorder, for me, is that I’m really empathetic. I feel everything around me so much.” This empathy is directly translated into her music, making her so successful. She says herself, “I’m not actually even a very good singer. I’m not. I’m okay with admitting that because some of the best musicians in history weren’t great singers...For me, it’s about emotion.”

While her empathy is propelling her music career, it hasn’t always been such a positive space for Halsey. Her lyrics in “Control” boldly state: My mind’s like a deadly disease... / And all the kids cried out / Please stop you’re scaring me / I can’t help this awful energy / Goddamn right, you should be scared of me / Who is in control? Halsey tells Elle, “I’m not always going to be agreeable, you know? I’m not always going to be calm. I’m entitled to my emotions and, unfortunately, because of the circumstance that I deal with, it’s a little more than other people.” She sheds a light that it is okay to not always be happy, feel in control, or act like the perfect female; it’s okay to have darker times--which Halsey has definitely had experience with. She told Billboard, “I had tried to kill myself. I was an adolescent; I didn’t know what I was doing.” According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-34 year olds. If you are struggling, you are definitely not alone and you can come out of this darkness-Halsey is living proof. She talks about pulling herself out of the “badlands” in her interview with Billboard, “The day I got out of the hospital I was in the car and I was listening to Imagine Dragons...I don’t think I realized how important music was to me before that.” This was one of the factors that set Halsey on her path to become the famous singer and songwriter she is today. In an interview for Pedestrian TV, Halsey shared, “A lot of people say if you can’t take the heat you shouldn’t be a musician, and I think that’s messed up. I think I deserve to chase my dream, to do what I love, even though I have a mental illness.”


Natasia PelowskiComment