How Battling Depression Turned YouTuber Lilly Singh Into a Superstar

Photo: Ramona Rosales

Lilly Singh knew something was very wrong.

The Toronto native was on vacation with her family in the Dominican Republic, but instead of enjoying her time in the sun, Singh found herself unable to shake the cloud of depression that had been plaguing her for months.

“I didn’t have goals. I didn’t feel like eating. I was upset for absolutely no reason,” Singh says in the current issue of PEOPLE. “I told myself, ‘You have a choice: Either continue feeling this way or do something to change your life.'”

Singh was at a crossroads between applying for graduate school or attempting the career in entertainment she’d dreamed of since childhood. Singh, now 27, ultimately decided that using YouTube as a creative outlet would not only help her move on from her depression but possibly help others as well.

And it worked. Singh still has rough days, but she has dedicated her life to her popular YouTube channel Superwoman, which is followed by seven million subscribers.

“People ask how I got out of my depression, and I don’t know. Something in my brain just switched,” says Singh, who is the subject of the upcoming YouTube Red documentary A Trip to Unicorn Island. “Now I hope my videos can be a switch for someone.”

For more from Singh – including how she got her nickname Superwoman – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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