Katy Perry is a pretty typical California celeb when it comes to wellness—she’s taken diet and fitness cues from trainer Harley Pasternak, she’s a longtime fan of Transcendental Meditation, and she loves a good hike (so LA). But over the weekend, she did something that veers far from the path of a typical press tour—all for the cause of mental health authenticity.
Over the weekend, she spent 72 hours online, live-streaming her every move—including an hourlong therapy session with Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh, host of Viceland’s The Therapist.
“I so badly want to be Katheryn Hudson that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes.”
Throughout the tearful hour, as the pair threw patient confidentiality aside, Perry talked about everything from her love life and her new ‘do (“I so badly want to be Katheryn Hudson [her given name] that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes,” she said of her pixie cut), to her past with drinking and her history of suicidal thoughts. (At that point, a member of Perry’s crew suggested taking a break, but Perry refused.)
“I wrote a song about it,” she said of her suicidal thoughts. “I feel ashamed that I would have those thoughts, feel that low and that depressed. You can be right or you can be loved—I just want to be loved.”
Now she’s put those dark times behind her, and credits therapy: “It changed my life.” Since one in five adults in the US struggles with mental-health issues, it sounds like her 72-hour publicity stunt could actually have been a weekend well-spent.
“As more celebs come out and get a supportive response,” Katrina Gay, national director of communications and public affairs at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), told us in March. “It’s encouraging other people to do so, too—and the truth is, people need support and understanding to be their best selves.”