"Everyone please listen to this IMMEDIATELY if you are struggling or feel like you need a hug right now."

By Faith Brar
July 28, 2020
Singer Demi Lovato attends the 2019 Teen Vogue Summit at Goya Studios on November 02, 2019 in Hollywood, California
Credit: Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Demi Lovato isn't afraid to speak openly about mental health. The Grammy-nominated singer has long been candid about sharing her experiences with bipolar disorder, bulimia, and addiction.

Through the ups and downs of her journey to self-love and acceptance, Lovato has also developed strategies that help her prioritize her mental health. She's spoken about the importance of taking time off and how maintaining a consistent fitness routine helps her stay balanced.

Now, Lovato is exploring meditation. She recently took to her Instagram Stories to share a few audio practices that she's found to be super grounding. "Everyone please listen to this IMMEDIATELY if you are struggling or feel like you need a hug right now," she wrote alongside screenshots of the meditations. "This feels like a giant warm blanket and makes my heart feel so fuzzy." (Related: 9 Celebrities Who Are Vocal About Mental Health Issues)

Continuing her Instagram Story, Lovato said her fiancé, Max Ehrich, introduced her to the meditations. She loved them so much that she wanted to share them "immediately with the world," she wrote.

Lovato's first recommendation: a guided meditation titled "I AM Affirmations: Gratitude and Self Love" by the artist PowerThoughts Meditation Club. The 15-minute recording includes positive affirmations (such as "I love my body" and "I thank my body") and sound healing to promote mindfulness.

ICYDK, sound healing uses specific rhythms and frequencies to help you downshift your brain from the beta state (normal consciousness) to the theta state (relaxed consciousness) and even the delta state (where internal healing can occur). While the exact mechanisms behind these benefits are still being researched, sound healing is believed to put your body into a parasympathetic state (read: slower heart rate, relaxed muscles, etc.), promoting overall relaxation and healing.

"Using different sound frequencies can stimulate cell production of nitric oxide, a vasodilator that opens up blood vessels, helps cells be more efficient, and mediates your blood pressure at a cellular level," Mark Menolascino, M.D., an integrative and functional medicine practitioner, previously told Shape. "So anything that helps nitric oxide will help your healing response, and anything that calms your mood down will reduce inflammation, which also benefits your health." (Related: Pink Noise Is the New White Noise and It's Going to Change Your Life)

Lovato also shared a meditation titled "Affirmations for Self Love, Gratitude, and Universal Connection" by the artist Rising Higher Meditation. This one is a little longer (an hour and 43 minutes, to be exact), and it focuses more on guided positive affirmations than sound healing. The narrator speaks about opening yourself up to others' love and support, even when you feel you're not "worthy" or "deserving" of that love.

Of course, meditation itself is known for lowering stress levels, improving sleep, and even making you a better athlete. But incorporating gratitude in the practice, as Lovato's second rec does, means you're also improving your relationships not just with others, but yourself, too. (Related: 5 Ways You're Practicing Gratitude Wrong)

Turns out, Lovato has been getting more into meditating since being in quarantine. "I swear, I haven't meditated so much in my life," she said in a recent interview on the Wild Ride! With Steve-O podcast. "I believe that meditation is hard work. That's why so many people don't want to do it. They use the [same] excuse I used to use: 'I'm not good at meditating. I'm too distracted.' Well, duh, that's the whole purpose. That's why you're supposed to meditate: to practice."

Want to start getting mindful like Lovato? Check out our beginner's guide to meditation or download one of the best meditation apps for beginners.