EXCLUSIVE: Tigerlily Opens Up About Anxiety, Depression & The Reality Of The Dance Music Industry
Today is World Mental Health Day (October 11) and in a further attempt to spread awareness for suicide prevention as well as open a dialogue that it’s more than ok to voice your feelings, we’ve spoken to mental health advocate and superstar producer Tigerlily.
For many who struggle with anxiety and depression, more people with a platform like Tigerlily’s need to stand up, and show behind the vibrant and bubbly personas we see on stage, everyone can struggle, everyone needs a shoulder to lean on and above all, we need to talk about it.
DJs don’t often talk about mental health issues – what makes you so passionate?
They don't and it's something I want to change. There is still such a negative stigma around mental health within our society (especially when it comes to men) and I really want to work towards changing that. I want the youth of Australia to feel comfortable talking about how they are going from an internal perspective and always feel that they have a safe space, or even a safe human, to open up to and express their feelings towards.
This is a little bit of a word vomit video but I feel so strongly about this issue... Positive self esteem and mental health are huge issues not only for myself but for the majority of people around us! 💪🏼💞 Our society places so much importance on how we look that we often forget what's REAL and what's IMPORTANT...! When did being beautiful become more of a priority than being a good, kind, loving person? It doesn't matter if you haven't got a six pack or a super sexy boyfriend, you're still amazing and I think we deserve to be told that every day (and we also deserve to tell ourselves that all the time)! ✨💭🐬 #goodvibes
I have struggled a lot with mental health issues, from battling eating disorders to dealing with debilitating anxiety, and I have also seen members of my close friendship circle as well as my family deal with mental health issues. It's so common and has the ability to destroy someone's life. However, this can be changed.
There is help out there. There are amazing support networks. Everyone deserves to be loved and guided and supported and I really want all Australians to know that.
Are mental health issues prominent in your industry? If so, why do you think? What needs to change?
100%. So many DJs have come out over the past few years talking about their struggles with depression and other mental illnesses. Being a DJ and a producer is an incredibly lonely and isolating job, despite what it might look like on Instagram or Facebook! I for one can vouch for that after just coming off the back of a solo 2 month Europe tour and really struggling mentally to get through it.
I think mental health issues are prominent within the dance music industry because of the lifestyle that goes with the career... late nights, drugs, alcohol, long plane flights, distance from family and friends, lonely hotel rooms... you name it, it's not a glamorous or healthy life style.
What needs to change? I'm not quite sure, but I know that education is the starting point, as well as potentially having role models in the industry speaking out about their battles with mental illnesses and encouraging people to speak out and get help. Dance music brings people together from all walks of life. I know for a fact that the music keeps people alive some days and is a very powerful tool that we (artists) use to communicate with our audiences.
How do you combat your own anxiety day-to-day?
I listen to a lot of things like Deepak Chopra, podcasts, and uplifting music. I journal. I exercise. I get outside in the sunshine. Sometimes, still this isn't enough and I have really dark days especially on tour. I often feel very alone and extremely sad. I think realising that it's OK to have dark days is the first step to making things better. As well as knowing your triggers to what makes you feel down, and avoiding them at all costs.
Who do you lean on?
My family is amazing. They really are. I can't even tell you how many whatsapp audio messages I've sent to my mum over the past two months while one tour, crying my eyes out, telling her I want to come home. She is a huge support for me. Kicks me in the butt when I'm tired or need to eat something, and is very comforting and sympathetic when I need to be listened to or calmed down.
Why do you think people should talk more about mental health?
Mental health affects every single one of us. We need to be educated about it and to also be comfortable with talking about suicide, depression and mental health in general. I really would love for my children to grow up in a community where they feel openly supported by everyone, not just their peers and family.
What would you say to anyone struggling with their mental health?
Reach out. It may be the hardest step, but it's by far the most important. I know it may not feel like it, but people love you, and people care about you.
If you need to talk, please call Lifeline's 24/7 hotline on 13 11 14.
Tigerlily's US Tour Diary...
EXCLUSIVE: Tigerlily's US Tour Diary
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