'My Dog Is The Reason I'm Alive': Paramore's Hayley Williams Opens Up About Depression
Singer Hayley Williams of Paramore fame got candid on her battles with depression, entering therapy and how mental health influenced her solo album ‘Petals For Armor’.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple’s Beats 1, the 31 year old revealed the extent of her depression during the creation of Paramore's 2017 album ‘After Laughter’, saying the only reason she was alive is because of her beloved pooch, Alf.
“My dog is the reason I’m alive, because he would’ve been waiting on me to get home, no matter what,” she said.
"You know how little sweet little puppies sit and they wait? I couldn’t think about it," she said while tearing up.
"I just couldn't, and I'm glad because life is still hard," she continued.
"It didn’t become just like a breeze overnight or anything and it’s been years and it’s still not a breeze, but it’s so rich and now that I’m taking account of all these feelings and I’m feeling all of them, there’s this beautiful rainbow versus just the deep end.”
Thankfully for Williams, she had the unwavering support of her Paramore bandmates, particularly Taylor York.
“Taylor’s the first person that ever told me anger is neither a bad nor a good emotion. It’s just an emotion, it’s a feeling, it’s a thing. You don’t have to assign it to something,” she said.
“Just let it breathe,” she continues. “Just feel it. I had the hardest time being angry while we were writing 'After Laughter' and I clearly had a lot to be mad about, but I was depressed. I think often depression is masking other pointed feelings.”
She then entered what she described as "intensive therapy" to deal with her issues that continued well after Paramore's tour ended.
"It was rough. It forced me to ask a lot of questions… I was making a lot of mistakes in my personal life. I was self-sabotaging left and right. And I joke about it in songs, Paramore songs, but it’s not funny to live it, right?” she asked.
These days, Williams is in a far better place mentally and has used her solo project as an outlet for her emotions and to tell fans her story.
"It’s the idea that being vulnerable is a shield,” she told Lowe of the album.
“Your world could be a stage, or your world could be your job and your apartment. It is subjective, completely… I also feel more protected than I’ve ever felt going out, because of the fact, what is there to hide really? What is the problem with making mistakes?" she asked.
She continued, "Are we scared of being cancelled, or are we just scared of looking stupid?”