Hayley Williams opens up on battling depression, grief and entering therapy: “My dog is the reason I’m alive”

"I just thought, 'What is the point of loving people?'"

Hayley Williams has opened up on her battles with depression, entering therapy and how mental health has influenced her forthcoming solo album ‘Petals For Armor’.

The Paramore frontwoman said that she was severely depressed during the process of making and touring the band’s most recent album, 2017’s ‘After Laughter’. “My dog is the reason I’m alive, because he would’ve been waiting on me to get home, no matter what,” she said.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple’s Beats 1, Williams said of her ongoing recovery: “It didn’t become a breeze overnight or anything and it’s been years and it’s still not a breeze, but it’s so rich and now that I’m taking account of all these feelings and I’m feeling all of them, there’s this beautiful rainbow versus just the deep end.”

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Discussing her grief following an accident sustained by her grandmother, Williams said: “It felt like there was a lot of death at the time. People that we knew, a lot of disease. Like family friends and stuff. I just thought, ‘What is the point of loving people?’ Even in the best-case scenario is I fall in love, we have a life together, and then we lose one or the other.”

Following the conclusion of Paramore’s 2018 tour, Williams told Lowe that she went into intensive therapy. “It was rough. It forced me to ask a lot of questions, ask my mom a lot of questions about what happened,” she said.

Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams CREDIT: Getty Images

“I was too young to understand why do I do this? Because I was making a lot of mistakes in my personal life. I was self-sabotaging left and right. And I joke about it in songs, Paramore songs, but it’s not funny to live it, right?”

Elsewhere in the interview, a clip of which you can watch above, Williams explained how her mental health, and allowing herself to be vulnerable influenced ‘Petals For Armor’.
“It’s the idea that being vulnerable is a shield. Because how else can you be a human that’s inevitably gonna fuck up and trip in front of the world a million times,” she said.

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“Your world could be a stage, or your world could be your job and your apartment. It is subjective, completely… I also feel more protected than I’ve ever felt going out, because of the fact, what is there to hide really? What is the problem with making mistakes? Are we scared of being cancelled, or are we just scared of looking stupid?”

Williams released her first debut solo single last month in the form of ‘Simmer’, a track we called “a dark, twisted pop curveball.” She followed it with ‘Leave it Alone’ last week.

For help and advice on mental health:

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