Are you one of the estimated 18% of Americans who struggle with anxiety? If so, you’re in good company. Even celebrities, many of whom may appear to have it all together, battle with mental health issues. We’re sharing 10 celebrities who have opened up about how they have faced and fought anxiety, with some of their best tips for naturally alleviating the symptoms. Common themes include meditation, practicing gratitude, and talking to someone or asking for help. If you are suffering from anxiety, we want you to know that you’re not alone, and there is plenty you can do today to start feeling better.
1. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah doesn’t need much describing; she’s been a household name since the early ’90s. But, did you know one of the most well-known women in the world also suffers from anxiety? Starting from an early age, Oprah’s childhood was less than perfect; although she has fought through it, she still deals with anxiety today. Oprah manages it by practicing daily gratitude, sticking with a morning routine, and using short meditations to calm her mind. From starting off her career working behind the scenes on a radio show to OWNing (wink, wink) her own television network, Oprah has proved that having anxiety doesn’t have to be a roadblock to success.
2. Stephen Colbert
The late-night talk show host recently opened up about his past of anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. Colbert revealed that his anxiety started well before his career had taken off. The main thing he found that reduced his stress and anxiety was when he was performing and making others laugh, so he started doing that as often as he could. Another huge step in managing his anxiety was opening up to others and letting people help him. Mental health still has a big stigma in society today (especially among men), but we should all take a page out of Stephen Colbert’s book and ask for help when we need it. After all, we could all use a little help even if we may not want to admit it.
3. Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell wants you to know there is no shame in having anxiety. And we agree! The successful actress opens up on social media constantly about how she deals with her ups and downs of anxiety and depression. She recognizes that over-working and over-committing herself can lead to a downward spiral in her mental health, so she does her best to practice self-care and say “no” when she can. Her best tips for managing her anxiety are practicing gratitude, talking to a therapist, meditating, and doing her favorite activities, like cooking or gardening.
4. Rumer Willis
The actress and singer, Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, hasn’t been shy about her struggles with mental health. Growing up in a famous family, her life has been under a microscope since an early age. Rumer has gotten through her anxiety by practicing self-love on a daily basis and channeling her struggles into helping young girls who have similar stories with being bullied. Being kind to others and yourself, according to Rumer, is a crucial step in overcoming anxiety.
5. Selena Gomez
The 27-year old singer and former child-actress has gone through many health problems in recent years, including her mental health. Last year, she sought treatment for anxiety and depression and is an advocate for seeking help and not feeling shame around talking about mental health. She deals with her symptoms by taking regular breaks from social media, exercising, eating healthy, and meditating. Not only is she outspoken about her struggles with anxiety, but she recently released a song with Julia Michaels, titled “Anxiety”, in which the two women made their feelings into lyrics. Although Selena is sure she’ll deal with this for the rest of her life, she knows she has the tools to manage her symptoms.
6. Lady Gaga
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of the inimitable Gaga. The ultra-famous singer and actress has voiced her lifelong battles with anxiety and depression. One of the ways she copes is by repeating a mantra to herself. She stated in one interview her go-to saying is “You are brave. You are courageous.” Other than giving herself pep talks when she needs it, Lady Gaga manages her mental health symptoms by practicing self-love and channeling her creativity, which seems to have paid off given her ever-growing number of hit albums and her recent Oscar nods.
7. Ariana Grande
Another celebrity who constantly voices her battles with mental health is the 26 year-old pop singer. Her number one piece of advice for dealing with anxiety or depression is to get help! While many of these celebrities have advocated for seeking help, Ariana has actually said that therapy has saved her life. Other things she does to cope include spending time with her dogs, saying ”no” to events when she needs some alone time, and enjoying social media reprieves.
8. Johnny Depp
Although it may seem like all celebrities love the spotlight, Johnny Depp is not one of them. Being a famous actor, you may not know that Captain Jack Sparrow deals with social anxiety and has struggled with depression. He deals with his social anxiety by going to therapy, writing in a journal, and having a set of relaxation techniques in his toolbox when situations arise.
9. Amanda Seyfried
The actress who shot up to stardom after her role in Mean Girls has publicly said she’s dealt with anxiety since she was young. Some coping mechanisms for Amanda include spending time on her farm in the countryside, studying Buddhism, and leaning on her dog, Finn, for emotional support. Amanda and Arianda Grande are right—pets have been shown to boost mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and loneliness. Thanks, furry friends!
10. Lena Dunham
The busy actress, writer, director, and producer has stated she’s had anxiety as long as she can remember—even going back to the age of four. The “Girls” creator wants everyone, from children to teens to adults, to voice their feelings about mental health and not feel shame or stigma around them. Lena follows the lead of the other celebrities listed here and uses meditation, deep breathing, and dog cuddles when she feels her anxiety rearing up.
10 Celebrities Who Voiced Their Struggles With Anxiety
Are you one of the estimated 18% of Americans who struggle with anxiety? If so, you’re in good company. Even celebrities, many of whom may appear to have it all together, battle with mental health issues.
40 million Americans struggle with anxiety and celebrities are not immune to the mental health issue. From Lady Gaga to Oprah, more and more of our famous idols are opening up about their personal battles.
Common threads in how these celebrities cope with anxiety include meditation or deep breathing, journaling, going to therapy, and spending some quality time with their furry friends.
There is no shame about having anxiety, and there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel better! The more we talk about mental health, the less stigma there will be. Plus, we might even begin to understand it a bit more.
Did you know?
If you don’t have a dog to hug, a weighted blanket can do the trick for quelling anxiety. The deep touch pressure from the extra weight can activate your happy hormones and lower your stress levels.