Shawn Mendes has been on quite the journey between last summer — when he canceled his Wonder tour — and January, when he debuted a surprising new hairdo. And in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, the 24-year-old pop star opened up about both.
Musicians Who Have Opened Up About Their Mental Health Struggles
When it comes to his new look, a close-shave buzz cut, Mendes told the publication that he thinks “everyone should know what they look like with a shaved head.” “I also was just feeling this urge to just shake myself up a little bit,” he added.
The “Stitches” singer has been open in the past about his struggles with mental health, which ultimately led him to postpone, then fully cancel, the North American and European legs of his tour last year. “I was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be,” he wrote in a July Instagram announcement. “It has become clear that I need to take the time I’ve never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger.”
“The process was very difficult,” Mendes reflected in the interview published Monday (Feb. 20). “A lot of doing therapy, a lot of trying to understand how I was feeling and what was making me feel that way. And then doing the work to help myself and heal. And also leaning on people in my life to help a little bit.”
“It’s been a lot of work, but I think the last year and a half has been the most eye-opening and growing and beautiful and just healing process of my life,” he continued. “I’m also really grateful for all the people that were so accepting and loving and kind and understanding. And it just really made me see how culture is really starting to get to a place where mental health is really becoming a priority.”
“Understanding how setting boundaries does not make you an unkind person has really changed my life,” Mendes added. “And also understanding that it’s not easy to do. It’s a difficult thing to do. It feels uncomfortable. It makes other people feel a little uncomfortable for a moment, but ultimately it’s a very powerful and helpful thing to do for every relationship. So yeah, boundary-setting is not mean, it’s actually very important. It’s very kind, actually.”
The three-time Grammy nominee also addressed an attention-grabbing video he posted in December showing his near-naked dive into a freezing cold river. “I mean, listen, I’m kind of crazy when it comes to the ice baths,” he confessed. “I have one, so I do it a lot. I do it probably five, six times a week. I know it’s a lot, but people who know me know that when I get on something that I like for the first little bit, I can be a little bit obsessive.”
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