Katy Perry was ‘broken’ after 2017 split with Orlando, ‘gratitude saved my life’

Katy Perry’s last album, Witness, centered around mental health and her exploration of her battles with depression. So I am not surprised that she is talking about mental health as she quarantines while very pregnant with fiancé Orlando Bloom. But I’m a little surprised with what she said specifically. Katy talked about hitting “rock bottom” after her breakup with Orlando and Witness tanking. Katy credited finding gratitude as what kept her from wallowing in her own sadness and “probably just (jumping).”

Katy Perry hit rock bottom following her brief split from Orlando Bloom in 2017.

The “Daisies” singer, who is now engaged to Bloom, 43, and pregnant with their first child together, revealed in a new interview with SiriusXM’s CBC Radio One that she struggled after they briefly split in 2017.

At the time, Perry, 35, also hit a career setback when her album Witness failed to live up to expectations.

“My career was on this trajectory when it was going up, up, and up, and then I had the smallest shift, not that huge from an outside perspective. But for me it was seismic,” she said.

Perry said that the career shift at the time “literally broke me in half.”

“I had broken up with my boyfriend, who is now my baby daddy-to-be and then I was excited about flying high off the next record,” she shared. “But the validation did not make me high, and so I just crashed.”

“Gratitude is probably the thing that saved my life because if I did not find that I would have wallowed in my own sadness and probably just jumped,” she said.

“But I found the ways to be grateful,” she added. “If it gets really, really hard I walk around and say, ‘I am grateful, I am grateful!’ even though I am in a s— mood.”

“It was so important for me to be broken so that I could find my wholeness in a whole different way,” she said. “And be more dimensional than just living my life like a thirsty pop star all the time.”

[From People]

I understand that Katy is speaking solely to her experience and I am happy to hear she’s feeling ok again. Katy said she had suicidal thoughts after her split with Russell Brand as well. That’s scary.

I understand that Katy is pregnant and quarantined, so she’s had a lot of time to reflect on her life and analyze certain events from where she is now. I don’t want to police the way anyone talks about their mental health. But I’m thinking of Katy’s millions of fans and wishing she had phrased this better. She made it sound like gratitude affirmations lifted her out of suicidal depression and that can be dangerous. If anyone reading this is clinically depressed or suicidal, please do not think that those feelings are a punishment for not being grateful enough.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org. There is help and you are not alone.



Photo credit: Instagram and WENN/Avalon

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16 Responses to “Katy Perry was ‘broken’ after 2017 split with Orlando, ‘gratitude saved my life’”

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  1. Piratewench says:

    Well she’s not the brightest bulb so I hope people know better than to take advise from her. But if someone is feeling very depressed and vulnerable then yes they might think that gratitude somehow “cured” her suicidal depression, and that’s not a good message.

    She always bugs me but her admitting how extremely thirsty she has been wins her a few points in my book.

    • Beth says:

      To be fair to her though, the relationship between gratitude and depression is actually a well studied and current topic in research. There’s some evidence that gratitude plays a role in generating positive events (which mediate depression) and from what I’ve read, it’s a pretty strong predictor for depression.

      While I don’t think it would work for everyone, depression is a really complex illness. Medication works for some, but not everyone. CBT works for some, but not everyone. Providing people with personal anecdotes about what worked might give someone who is feeling hopeless a new tool that works for them. If she had said that was the Only choice, I would have zero respect for her, but that’s not what she says here.

  2. Valiantly Varnished says:

    As someone who has struggled with depression I dont like policing how people speak on their own struggles. So while I get that her approach and what worked for her certainly won’t and can’t work for others I am not going to discount her personal experience. And it actually rang true for me: learning gratitude actually helped me through a rough patch of depression as well. As did therapy.

    • Lolo says:

      Agreed! Katy is speaking about her OWN experience. She’s not offering advice or insisting others follow her path. She should be allowed to talk about what helped for her.

    • Esme says:

      I’ve been through depression as well, and I’m keeping up my therapy appointments, as I’m too scared for a relapse – it can be difficult to describe in which specific ways therapy is helping (evaluating reality, yourself, your relationships), so for her “gratitude” may be a short term that encompasses many feelings and a lot of progress, a lot of constant and not always easy work on yourself.

      At least she acknowledges depression and that a strategy is needed to come out of it… small steps, but helpful I think.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      adolescence was a 7 year battle with MDD complete w/suicide attempts – I had insight which was a double-edged sword when my parents finally realized it wasn’t just “teenage angst” and finally sought counseling for me (hint: if you don’t click w/your therapist to have fruitful sessions, find a different one). Obviously, depression is an ongoing battle so while I made great progress, it’s a routine discussion with my GP to evaluate when I have prolonged symptoms that could either be an underlying medical issue vs subtle signs of depression.

      The fact that I developed a very warped sense of humor is the reason I’m alive today. I’m fairly certain that the little things I do to keep myself in check would probably confound others

    • IMUCU says:

      I think gratitude helps me up to a point when used as cognitive restructuring…but right now I’m up to the point where I need to go back into therapy bc things have just gotten too hard again . Just too many things going on for me to be able to dig myself out of this hole with my usual tools.

  3. LadySwampwitchGivsNeauxFux says:

    Thank you for pointing this out. Too often people give me and others like me this type of armchair, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, lay advice on treating clinical depression. Like many people with clinical depression i have already tried much of that self help nonsense and its not a cure nor does most of it help. In fact it can make you feel worse bc you feel like you have failed and let people down bc you’re still depressed meanwhile theses self help affirmations are not scientifically sound so of course you aren’t feeling better. Sometimes you need medication and therapy. Also its great to be positive but its a little scary if the person thinks they have to be to please others and act this way when they are actually feeling depressed and suicidal. They need to get medical help not to Just be grateful (i dont understand how thats a thing to treat depression). That’s diminishing the problem as well and if she is prone to depression there is a higher risk for Post Partum Depression.

  4. shaughnanana says:

    As a mental health professional and someone who has struggled with depression, I have to defend Katy here. There’s significant research that shows that gratitude can decrease depression – it’s a kind of cognitive restructuring (changing negative thought patterns that contribute to depression). Of course, she didn’t explain it really well. And, given the stigma that’s still attached to mental illness, people will use even the most thorough explanation as a way to attack and belittle others.

    • Hmppy says:

      Not a mental health professional, but I love what you said. Really feeling into the things that make me feel safe and grateful is what helps me stop spinning out of control. Seems like it could be a nonelectronic neurofeedback of sorts. I don’t think she’s saying say empty platitudes, rather focus on the things that make you feel calm and safe and happy in your body when you have them in your mind.


    I actually smiled when I read it a bit because during my periods of depression (I’m bipolar, and I’ve learned to accept that there will always be periods of depression, and I just have to work through them) it’s easy to lose my sense of perspective. But my husband helps ground me in things I’m grateful for— what is one good thing that happened today? What is one good thing you did today, that you should thank yourself for? And that can be as “small” as getting out of bed or accepting help.

    I didn’t take it as her giving advice to others, even though I kind of related to it. Also I don’t think she has any young impressionable fans anymore now that she’s past 40.

  6. Rani says:

    Hecate, thank you for writing it in a way that doesn’t criticise and police Katy’s way of speaking about her own mental health struggles, while also acknowledging that her strategy won’t work for everyone. Very grateful for a considered take on this.

  7. Annabel says:

    “[the breakup] literally broke me in half.”

    Not to be the language police, Perry, but I feel like if you’d literally been broken in half that would’ve been a much bigger story?

  8. Marigold says:

    I’ve always wanted to know more about her time with John Mayer. More because I’m interested in Mayer. I’ve dated a douche or two in my life so the dynamics fascinate me from an analytical perspective. Why do beautiful talented women get sucked in? Etc.

  9. Ashley says:

    I have been feeling suicidal lately after a bad breakup and yeah… gratitude isn’t going to cut it. But it must be nice to have tons of money to be grateful for. Privilege much?

  10. Andyl says:

    I see the point being made about the danger in her phrasing and I agree with it in a sense too. I will say though, that Katy seemed to completely change a couple years ago and just started doing and saying the most asinine, out of character stuff. Hello, the SNL performance where she tried to dab? Some of the weird comments she was making while she was judging that talent show? So it’s slightly refreshing to hear her sound more self-aware and also be candidly honest (and not make it some big momentous thing that’s only ever happened to her, which is how I feel Lady Gaga has a tendency to discuss every aspect and emotion she’s ever had in her life LOL). But all those that cringey, erratic behavior makes me very convinced that she definitely *was* suffering clinically for some time. Hopefully she hears the feedback about that particular comment regarding suicide and *is* in a better place of mental growth and responsibility that she address is it. And I hope that it’s helpful/better for her fans and that she understands why it is problematic in the first place. I’m happy she’s feeling better. I do hope that she is grounded in things outside of her relationship and public Accolades. Because those things can come and go again too, and she needs to really have a grounded mental health regimen if she gets down again.