"I think my ability to be vulnerable and be more intimate with people has really heightened," said the singer

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 07, 2020 10:40 AM

Demi Lovato is using the lockdown to open up to herself.

In a new Bustle cover story, the "I Love Me" singer, 27, said during her time self-isolating amid the ongoing pandemic, she's taken the time to better understand herself and adopt a healthy, introspective frame of mind.

Part of that self discovery came with relearning how to cry.

"Before quarantine, it was very difficult for me to cry. I had programmed the thought into my head when I was 16 that I'm only going to cry if people pay me to," Lovato explained. "I started doing all this work, allowing myself to feel the pains of all the losses that I've had or the adversities or traumas that I've faced."

"I think my ability to be vulnerable and be more intimate with people has really heightened," she added.

While acknowledging the widespread downsides to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Lovato looks at the silver lining: being allowed the time to pause and reflect.

Demi Lovato
Angelo Kritikos

"It's very common for people to only really work on themselves when crisis happens or when they notice that they're slipping into old patterns or behaviors," Lovato said. "So to be able to walk into this experience without a personal crisis and just be like, 'I can do the work on myself now because I have the time.' ... It was a beautiful thing."

Demi Lovato
Angelo Kritikos

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Lovato, who suffered a drug overdose in July 2018 after six years sober, explained that she jumped on the newfound free time to improve her mental health. The artist has spent the lockdown at a Los Angeles home she rents with new boyfriend Max Ehrich.

"I was given this opportunity, and I was like, 'I'm going to adapt. I'm going to shift to this. I'm going to learn from it.'"

Demi Lovato
Angelo Kritikos

The "Anyone" singer said she hopes to rediscover the "joy" that music used to bring her before the "hustle and bustle" removed that element — and latch onto that passion for good.

"I want [my career] to be about my music and my lyrics and my message. And I want a long-lasting career that I don't have to change myself for," said Lovato. "Music brought me so much joy when I was younger, and I lost that joy throughout the hustle and bustle of the music industry. I got miserable. And I don't ever want it to be like that again. That’s what I want."

RELATED VIDEO: Demi Lovato Says She Felt 'Controlled' by Her Team During Eating Disorder Recovery

Aside from working on herself, Lovato is also taking the time to help fight racial injustices amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Outspoken in her activism on social media, the singer is launching an auction to fund-raise for causes that benefit COVID-19 relief, combat racial injustice and support voting rights.

Among the items up for bid via Propeller are clothing she’s worn on tour and in music videos, original photos taken by Lovato, and other one-of-a-kind items. Fans enter to win by taking actions, like signing petitions, donating, checking their voter registration status and getting their friends to do the same.

Lovato told Bustle that the pivot from dropping her now-delayed album and tour to other more personal endeavors was foretold to her by a spiritual adviser.

"She was like: 'Don't panic when your work stops. It's going to slow down drastically,'" she said. "So I was kind of prepared in a weird way, and I just adapted. I think the universe — God — shifted that to happen in my life."