Kesha: ‘I’m constantly working on myself because selfishly, I’d like to be happy’

Being a woman in the public eye while the legal system says “No, this person didn’t abuse you, and you really need to fulfill your contract with him,” must be completely soul-crushing. We’ve watched Kesha work to come back into her own, and it’s been in turns heartfelt and kooky. Well, all I can say is her work has paid off. On the heels of releasing her fifth studio album, Gag Order, Kesha sat down with Zane Lowe from Apple Music, and in their nearly-one-hour conversation Kesha laid bare how leaning in more to her psychedelic breaks was her way forward:

Anxiety can often feel like one’s brain is playing a trick on them, and Kesha’s opening up about feeling that to the utmost degree.

In a new interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, the singer-songwriter revealed she once had such intense anxiety that she mistook it for a “psychotic break,” noting that she’s since turned to “spirituality” in order to heal.

“I went through this crazy psychedelic spiritual experience in the midst of the anxiety… it was pure anxiety,” said Kesha, 36. “My brain felt like… I thought maybe it was the process of having a psychotic break or something. But then once I just started leaning into it, I was like, ‘Well, it’s happening, so what am I going to do about it?’ ”

She explained that a song from her new album Gag Order was inspired by the experience: “I had this full psychedelic kind of trip sober, and that’s what ‘Eat the Acid’ is written about.”

Released last week, Gag Order finds the “Tik Tok” performer in an especially introspective space, as she sings about mental health and past romantic relationships. Throughout the record, she also seems to allude to her ongoing legal battle with ex-collaborator Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald.

“I have people that I trust implicitly so much in my life, so I’m very lucky for that. But I have a harder time in romantic relationships fully trusting,” explained Kesha. “I’m going to be honest with you. And yeah, it’s something I work on. That’s why I’m constantly working on myself is because […] selfishly, I’d like to be happy.”

She then detailed another Gag Order track, an emotional ballad titled “Happy,” that discusses her search for peace in its lyrics: “It’s about just that I want to be happy, I want to let go. I want to be free. I want to trust the process, trust the universe, all of those things.”

“And I do feel like I cannot just remain in my childlike self. So there’s an element of having to grow up,” added the Grammy nominee. “And I feel like this album completely documents the time where I was like, ‘OK, I have to deal with some s— and I just need to walk through it, and it’s going to be really uncomfortable. And I feel like it’s really helped me grow into a woman, and you know, you hear it all on the album.”

[From People]

“Selfishly, I’d like to be happy,” is one of the most emotionally honest things I’ve ever heard. And it’s not a bad thing to want! I highly recommend watching the full interview with Zane Lowe. For one thing, I have never seen her look so good. She’s clear-eyed and fresh-faced. I mean, she also seems like at any moment she could start crying, but she wears it as more of a strength than a weakness, and their conversation touches on how overwhelming it can be to take in the world when you’re a sensitive person. It can so easily feel like too much–that’s written all over her face. But she’s still showing up, and she’s investigating anything (spirituality, horoscopes, traditional therapy) that might make it easier. It sounds like making Gag Order (is that a freakin’ brilliant title for her or what?) was cathartic.

Here is the lyric video for Happy:

Embed from Getty Images

photos credit: Backgrid, Getty and via Instagram

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12 Responses to “Kesha: ‘I’m constantly working on myself because selfishly, I’d like to be happy’”

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  1. It Really Is You, Not Me says:

    I guess I take issue with the idea that wanting to be happy is selfish, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else on your path to happiness. What’s the alternative, wallowing in depression and self-loathing? If the definition of selflessness is that you’re putting others, first, then I fail to see how being depressed and hating yourself benefits others. Wouldn’t you have a better chance of doing good if you’re coming from a happy place?

    BTW, I am not suggesting that anyone who struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders owes it to others to stop being depressed or self-loathing and obviously many, many people require medication to equalize. I am just suggesting that it’s harmful to equate making yourself happy with selfishness.

    • Bee says:

      I totally agree. Wanting to be happy isn’t selfish. Suggesting that it is makes me feel like she’s still internally putting herself down. But, it’s a process. That’s mindset work.

      I’m cheering her on!

    • Betsy says:

      I took that somewhat sarcastically. As in “I want to be happy but some people think I’m selfish for taking care of myself finally.”

  2. Seraphina says:

    I get what she’s saying and while I may not like how it sounds – the bottom line is that yes, to work on oneself means others come second and you come first – selfishness. Kudos to her on recognizing true happiness comes from within and not from others. That is a lesson many never master and many remaster throughout their life. Me included. Doesn’t have to be a boyfriend or significant other – it could be your parents or children or work life. I think her support unit is also a positive on her side. Many celebrities don’t have people they can trust implicitly.

  3. Twin Falls says:

    I like her voice and she deserves peace. I’m glad she’s still making music and hasn’t given up.

  4. North of Boston says:

    Nothing wrong with working on yourself and your own happiness, especially when it doesn’t purposefully harm other and when you’re coming from a deficit of self-care or struggling with health issues.

    It’s like what they announce on every commercial flight. “First put your own oxygen mask on before trying to assist others”.

  5. Betsy says:

    I don’t usually appreciate this kind of slow music, but I love listening to Kesha’s music. I love the more up tempo stuff like Raising Hell (never actually heard Tik Tok somehow so I don’t know how that sounds) but her ballads are just wonderful.

  6. K says:

    I am absolutely rooting for this woman. I ❤️ Kesha.

  7. Kitten says:

    She sounds like she’s in a great headspace right now. I only want good things for Kesha.

  8. j.ferber says:

    I’ve always felt so sorry for Kesha. She got such a raw deal. She has an incredible voice and is super-talented. I only wish her the very best, and certainly the happiness that she deserved all along.

  9. Nicegirl says:

    💕 🔥 💗 🔥

  10. Wiggles says:

    There’s such a fine line between self love (really accepting oneself, warts & all) and selfishness (being wildly, overly focused on oneself, usually accompanied by blindness to one’s faults). As for happiness, it seems we only cherish it when it’s absent, although full-time happiness is both an illusion and an impossibility.

    Good for Kesha that she continues to pursue what she knows is right for her.

    Thanks for diving below the surface, Kismet. You make me think. And feel.