Carla Morrison, Ana Tijoux, Kany García and Guaynaa came together to talk about mental health and how they’ve dealt with anxiety and/or depression throughout their career during the LAMC’s Mental Health & The Creative Community panel today (June 12).
Sharing insight on a serious topic that doesn’t get talked about enough, the four artists were part of a panel, sponsored by The Latin Grammys and MusiCares, where they opened up about their own struggles and what they’ve each done to help with these issues.
“I am a very transparent person and I don’t have any problems communicating things,” says Puerto Rican artist Guaynaa, who has shared with his fans about his struggles with mental health. “I once uploaded a video saying how mental health is so important and share what I was going through. I later thought about deleting it but then I though, no, they should know that I’m human too.”
Meanwhile, singer-songwriter García confessed she had not shared with her fans that she suffered from depression fearing backlash. “I haven’t done it because I’m scared of the comments I’ll receive. Being scared is horrible. If you feed fear, it just grows,” she says.
But during the panel, she opened up. “I can’t stop seeing my psychologist because I haven’t been able to be stable for two years,” adds García. “I need my psychologist because she has helped me so much. And, whenever I’ve had depression, I take medication. And exercising has been a life saver, too.”
Morrison and Tijoux also shared their personal history with anxiety and how they’ve been able to gradually open up and share with friends and colleagues their journey.
“I had never met so many people going through this in our field. We should assume we’re all going through this. We make it seem like we’re super heroes but in reality, we’re torn inside,” says Tijoux.
Below, read some of the topics covered during the panel.
On creating your own peace: “I decided to move to Paris because I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I was lost. I hadn’t stopped working for nine years straight going on tours and recording albums. I needed to get away. After allowing myself to cry and feel whatever I had to feel, I’ve realized the importance of putting myself first, of checking in with myself constantly. Allowing myself to be a girlfriend, a friend, to have a cup of wine, and still allow myself to feel sad.” – CARLA MORRISON
A technique that’s worked to slow down the mind: “Yoku (forest bathing). It’s a meditation technique that comes from Japan about walking through the forest to connect with the planet. I learned about it in Central America. As artists, we go through so many emotions even in one day. We’re on top of a stage one minute and then we’re alone in a hotel room. That’s not ok. It’s helped me to really identify the root of our thoughts because one thought only becomes a chain of thoughts they can lead you to a dark hole. We have to be self aware. I encourage all new artists to meditate because not only does it put your mind where it should you, but it also carries oxygen to your brain. That is super importan too.” –– GUAYNAA
On embracing your emotions: “I’ve been trying to find my own remedies. It’s funny when I meditate because my grandma suddenly makes an appearance or someone else. But yoga has helped, aromatherapy too. But I always think that our sorrows will always be with us and we should learn to coexist with them. I use them for inspiration.” – ANA TIJOUX
Realizing you’re not alone: “My wife is a personal trainer and she’s trained other artists too. She told me that they all go through what I go through. Feeling lonely, like we’re in a bubble. It helps me know that others feel the same way and I think it’s because there is so much pressure on us. From posting on social media and celebrating how many people follow me, it’s too much.” – KANY GARCIA