Lizzo Gets Real About Her Blues in ‘I’m Listening,’ Kicking Off Suicide Prevention Week

Illustration for article titled Lizzo Gets Real About Her Blues in ‘I’m Listening,’ Kicking Off Suicide Prevention Week
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images)

In June, “Truth Hurts” singer Lizzo went on social media to share that she was going through a rough time, ending her Instagram post, “Life hurts.”


The IG post, which has garnered more than two million views noted, “I’m depressed and there’s no one I can talk to because there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

Her fans and followers, of course, rallied around the one who puts the “siiiiiiiiing in single,” and the very next day the breakout star followed up with a heartfelt video, expressing that sadness does not last always.

“I used to think of sadness as a constant with fleeting moments of joy in between...but it’s a wave. Joy, sadness, joy, sadness and my sadness can be as temporary as my joy,” she wrote, challenging her followers to grapple with their own dark feelings. “I love that I can use my sadness constructively in real time for gratitude. What triggers your sadness? What do you do when those buttons are pushed? What do you love about yourself in those moments of darkness?”

On Sunday, Lizzo joins other young artists in the “I’m Listening” radio special, using their personal stories to help end the stigma around mental health, kicking off Suicide Prevention Week:

Billboard reports:

Lizzo, Halsey, Tegan and Sara, Blink-182, Disturbed, Shawn Mendes and a number of other music and sports stars have signed on for a two-hour, commercial free radio special to raise awareness about mental health called “I’m Listening.” The Sept. 8 show will air at 7:00 a.m. local time on 235 Entercom radio stations as the kick off to National Suicide Prevention Week.

Mental health professionals and first responders will also take part in the special, which will manifest on each station’s livestream on in their respective time zones. The yearlong “I’m Listening” campaign also includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos and a dedicated website with information and resources about mental health, according to a statement announcing the special. “I’m Listening” will include personal stories from the musicians, athletes and experts, including country singer Michael Ray and NFL players Solomon Thomas and Chris Hubbard.

In a video for “I’m Listening”, Lizzo explains that even she, a vision of bubbly badassery, can fall into sadness: “When I opened up about my mental health episode a few months ago, I was triggered like I normally am, and it honestly has happened to me a bunch. And I’ve opened up about it on the internet a bunch. I just didn’t have millions of followers when I did it, so it didn’t connect with as many people as it did this time.”


“I think a part of my sadness is that I kind of get stuck inside of it and I don’t know how to reach out,” the “Juice” singer continues. “I was actually posting that as a form of reaching out, to even my friends. The fact of the matter is I do have people to talk to, but I get so sad sometimes I feel like there’s nothing anyone can say. Nobody can walk inside of our body and change your brain around to feel things differently.”

“Mental health and suicide prevention is a year-round initiative at Entercom and we are doing our part to end the stigma by encouraging people to talk,” Entercom’s chief programming officer Pat Paxton said in a statement. “Like millions of others, my family has been impacted by mental health issues and the effect it has on friends and families is devastating. ‘I’m Listening’ is when our vast network of radio stations and digital platforms unite on the same day, at the same time, to ultimately save lives. If we help just one person, our time will have been well spent.”


If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Check the RESOURCES YOU CAN USE on; call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.



I love, love, love that people are being more open about depression and anxiety. I’ve been living with both since the 80s, but didn’t know what it was for a long time, and then when I did, I didn’t want to be called crazy, so I hid it until I damn near had a breakdown when I was 28 and finally asked for help.

That people with clout are willing to say something makes such a difference. It’s not a big deal to have struggles with these things, and it makes it easier when we can be honest about our struggles.

I am so grateful to those who use that audience to destigmatize mental health issues, and I hope the next generation has an easier time as a result.