As a society, we have definitely gotten better when it comes to addressing mental illnesses. A few years back, we weren’t very accepting of people who had them. People kept their stories to themselves in fear that they would be ridiculed.
Thankfully, times are changing. Things are not the way they used to be. Many celebrities have come forward, which encouraged others to do the same. It is an ongoing and important movement that only seems to be gaining momentum.
This is proven by Ariana Grande’s new single, “breathin.”
After everything that has happened over the last couple of years, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for Ariana to pull back entirely. Most people probably would’ve.
Instead, after a well-deserved break, she is back and stronger than ever.
Her first couple of singles from Sweetener, “no tears left to cry” and “God is a woman,” were incredibly successful. Both of them hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. They also came with stunning visuals, and both of them received well over one-hundred million views.
Ariana also recently released “thank u, next,” which broke multiple streaming records. The song practically became a sensation overnight, and for all the right reasons too. The song directly mentions Ariana’s exes, but instead of focusing on the bad, she sings about what they taught her and how they’ve made her stronger. Only a few days after the song’s release, Ariana performed the song on Ellen.
Since her return, Ariana Grande has also been using her platforms to share her stories with her anxiety. She was in no way obligated to be open about this, and it required a high level of bravery. Not only did she speak about it publicly in interviews and on Twitter, but she even incorporated her feelings into Sweetener. The two most distinct tracks that surround her anxiety are “get well soon” and “breathin”, with the latter being sent to radio on September 18th, 2018.
When Ariana was on The Tonight Show, she explained that “breathin” is about that feeling a person gets when they are so anxious that they can’t get a full breath in. It is something most, if not all anxiety sufferers have dealt with. It can be absolutely horrifying, especially if the person dealing with it has no idea why it’s happening.
Even with all the progress we’ve made in regards to mental health, it is not something that is addressed much in popular music. While we do see it come up every now and again, such as Logic’s “1-800-273-8255”, it doesn’t surface nearly enough. According to ADAA, in the US alone, over forty-million people suffer from anxiety. Less than forty percent of them actually receive treatment, and one of the key reasons that keep people from getting help is fear.
This is why “breathin”, along with the song’s visual, is so important.
The video clearly demonstrates how anxiety can make someone feel. One of the most prominent scenes is when Ariana is walking, and the people around her are moving at a much quicker pace. For people who suffer from anxiety, many of them feel like they’re stuck in slow motion. It’s another thing where if you don’t understand what’s happening, it can be very frightening. In that same environment, she is seen lying on the ground, while everyone moves straight past her. Anxiety tends to make people feel very alone. It tends to be even worse when a person is surrounded by people who seem fine, as it makes them feel isolated.
It also serves as an explanation to people who might not have much experience with anxiety. When people don’t understand something, they tend to either blow it off or try to discredit it. “breathin” shows an exact situation that so many people can relate to, and that can be used to start a conversation.
Ariana Grande is no doubt one of the biggest names in music right now, so having her bring anxiety and mental illness into the spotlight is a big deal. She is also an incredible role model for anyone suffering. Despite all these horrible things happening to her, Ariana isn’t letting them destroy her. She’s getting through it with some help and talking about it, which is surely going to inspire others to do the same.
Are you a fan of Ariana Grande? What do you think of “breathin” being her next single? Did you like the visual? Tell us by tweeting us at @CelebMix.