Miguel Opens About His Battle with Depression: Growing Up 'Mental Health Wasn't Something I Heard About'
Speaking with Sony Music's Certified, the R&B singer gets candid about his mental health journey and maintaining wellness while in the spotlight
Miguel is getting open and honest about his mental health journey.
In the R&B singer's latest EP, Art Dealer Chic 4, the 35-year-old singer touches on the topic of mental health, and while speaking with Sony Music's Certified, he shares how he's been navigating fame and his mental health throughout the years.
The "Sky Walker" singer mentions how growing up, therapy and getting help was still something that was heavily stigmatized.
"Mental health was not something I ever really heard about — to be honest, it wasn't a part of conversation, just culturally — and it wasn't really a big conversation at all," said Miguel. "I grew up in the '90s. I don't think people were thinking of it as mental health, it was people would go see a shrink or therapist, when you heard about it, it was referred to in sort of that way. So it didn't necessarily have a good connotation."
He added, "My own mental wellness and peace of mind really didn't become a priority until I found myself making decisions in a lot of different areas in my life that weren't rewarding, and we're affecting my relationships with my family and my closest friends."
He further opened up about how gaining fame over the course of his career, as well a social media, had an impact on his overall mental state.
"Success is addicting. Notoriety feels great and I'll say speaking from my own experience, all of those things played into me just kind of going and going and really getting away from the real fulfilling portion of what I get to do every day," said Miguel. "Social media is definitely one of those places that many would agree, how challenging it is to maintain your own sense of self worth, when it can be quantified by how many likes you get for a photograph or a piece of content, and unless you have a real firm grip on reality and what really matters, Or you have a sense of what really matters to you... It's a very slippery slope."
He added, "Everyone is susceptible, we're all human beings. It took me stepping away from it and really trying to understand it, to at least be able to set my priorities."
The singer also shared that in focusing on his overall wellbeing and mental health, the practice of mediation has become a staple in his routine.
"My day-to-day is to wake up, meditate, workout, read, and that's like my maintenance," said Miguel. "Meditation for me is such a rewarding practice that I can always go to when things get very hectic. Even when I have to fight through it, which sometimes is the entire time I'm fighting to just breathe and keep my mind off of all of the clutter."
He also opened up about his battle with depression and how the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People helped him on his journey.
"I started reading this book a couple years ago — and this is like my last real serious bout with depression — called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," said Miguel. "In the first two chapters, it discusses starting with the end in mind …. because my grandmother had passed, this specific topic really hit home because the author challenges the reader to consider 'what you would like people to say about you as at your passing.'
He added, "When you think about it, it can be a really morbid exercise, but if you allow yourself to consider what you would want people to say about you, you get a sense of what you want to be and what you want to accomplish. For me it was that I gave my time, I was always an honest artist, that I was of service, and I was genuine."