Hayley Williams opens up about her mental health in powerful personal essay

The singer says she "didn't laugh for a long time"

Paramore‘s Hayley Williams has opened up about her mental health in a new personal essay.

The band’s 2017 album ‘After Laughter’ covers topics such as social anxiety and the pressures of fitting in. In an interview with Zayn Lowe ahead of its release, Williams said the band almost split up due to ongoing pressures.

Now, in a new personal essay, Williams details these pressures, saying “a lot happened in a short time.”


“In the summer of 2015, I was an engaged, yellow-haired 26-year-old. There was a Grammy sitting on my kitchen counter and boxes everywhere from the move I’d made back home to Nashville after a few weird years in LA. I was going to get married that September, slow down some, plant a garden, have a kid, make another Paramore record. Everything was finally going to be perfect and I was going to live happily ever afte— Oh. Wow… Just threw up a little bit,” she begins.

She goes on to discuss the departure of bassist Jeremy Davis, writing, “I woke up from that crash with one less bandmate… another fight about money and who wrote what songs.”

Williams then adds details about her break-up with ex-husband, New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert. “I had a wedding ring on, despite breaking off the engagement only months before.

“Then I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t laugh… for a long time. I’m still hesitant to call it depression. Mostly out of fear people will put it in a headline, as if depression is unique and interesting and deserves a click. Psychology is interesting. Depression is torment,” she adds.

You can read the full essay here.

Speaking of their recent single ‘Rose-Colored Boy’, the band said it was written as a call for people to be more open about their mental health.


“‘Rose-Colored Boy’ is a song about feeling pressured to look at the world with blind optimism when you actually feel very hopeless about the world and your part in it,” they wrote. “There is so much social pressure to be (or appear to be) “happy” that we can actually feel shame when we aren’t.

“Adding shame to sadness is a pretty toxic cocktail. It’s hard enough to deal with sadness, depression, or any type of anxiety without the added societal expectations. It’s important AND more healing to meet people where they’re at – EMPATHY – than to try and paint everything rosy.”


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