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How Katy Perry Dealt With Depression After Witness’s Rough Release

'The public didn’t react in the way I had expected to... which broke my heart'

When Katy Perry ended her four-year drought last summer with her fifth album, Witness, her comeback didn't go entirely as planned. The album — which boasted singles like "Chained to the Rhythm," "Swish Swish," and "Hey Hey Hey" — debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., but was met with mixed reviews by fans and critics alike. Now, in the August issue of Vogue Australia, Perry has opened up about the devastating reception, revealing that she suffered "bouts of situational depression" following Witness's release.

"My heart was broken last year because, unknowingly, I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn’t react in the way I had expected to... which broke my heart," the 33-year-old admitted.

Perry eventually chose to recover in a week-long personal treatment program at the Hoffman Institute, where she sought "a new foundation" by ditching the negative behavior she'd been conditioned to keep. "I was ready to let go of anything that was holding me back from being my ultimate self," she explained.

"Music is my first love and I think it was the universe saying, 'OK, you speak all of this language about self-love and authenticity, but we are going to put you through another test and take away any kind of validating 'blankie,'" she continued. "Then we'll see how much you do truly love yourself.'"

Perry admitted that, for a "long, long time," she used to seek validation through audiences and substances. But now, she's given herself license to let go of her heartache and seek help when needed. "The biggest lie that we’ve ever been sold," she said, "is that we as artists have to stay in pain to create."


VMAs 2018