Demi Lovato Says Working On Their Mental Health Helped Them Become a Better Ally to the Black Community

"Moving forward, I want to put my energy into my music and my advocacy work."

Demi Lovato performs at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California
Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

There’s no question that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a spike in mental health issues, including anxiety and grief. But Demi Lovato is reflecting on the ways in which this health crisis has actually improved their mental and emotional wellbeing.

In a new essay for Vogue, Lovato shared that, like many people, their anxiety “skyrocketed” at the beginning of the pandemic. “I was suddenly confronted with all these questions: ‘When are we going to go back to work?’ ‘Are more people going to have to die?’ ‘How bad is this going to get?’” the singer wrote. “Everything was so suddenly out of my control and not just for me individually, but for us as a global community.”

But quarantining for COVID-19 also led Lovato to ask themself important questions about their mental health, they continued. “I started to ask myself questions: ‘What’s important to me?’ ‘What’s going to get me through this?’ ‘How can I remain positive?’” wrote Lovato. “I knew that I wanted to learn something from this time that could actually better my life, my mental health, and my emotional wellbeing in the long term.” (

In seeking answers to these questions, Lovato said they found themself embracing mental health practices such as meditation, yoga, journaling, painting, and spending time in nature.

In their Vogue essay, Lovato credited their fiancé, Max Ehrich for helping them stick with these practices, but Lovato also clearly had the intrinsic motivation to commit to the work. For instance, when they started having a tough time falling asleep during quarantine as a result of their anxiety, the singer “got into the habit of doing a nighttime ritual” for their mental health, they wrote. “Now I light my candles, put on an affirmation meditation tape, I stretch, and I have essential oils,” they shared. “Finally, I’m able to fall asleep easily.”

Establishing these rituals and practices hasn’t just benefited Lovato’s mental wellbeing. In their Vogue essay, the singer opened up about 2020 being a “year of growth” for their advocacy work as well.

“There has never been a more crucial time to spread awareness about issues that matter,” including not just mental health, but also the Black Lives Matter movement, wrote Lovato. “Having so much downtime during quarantine has given me the space to realize there’s so much more I could be doing to help other people,” shared the singer.

While Lovato said they haven't attended Black Lives Matter protests because of asthma and other health issues that put them at an increased risk for COVID-19 complications, they've been finding other ways to use their platform and raise awareness. Nearly every day, Lovato shares actionable ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, from calling local representatives and law enforcement officials about racial injustice to registering to vote to effect meaningful, systemic change.

Lovato also recently partnered with the activism platform, Propeller to auction off a collection of items from their closet to benefit multiple causes, including the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 relief efforts. From July to August, fans earned bidding points for the auction by completing different social actions each week, such as signing petitions, donating to Black Lives Matter organizations, and pledging to vote.

In their Vogue essay, Lovato said the downtime during quarantine, including the renewed focus on their mental health, allowed her to gain a better perspective on how to be a supportive ally to the Black community. (

“After taking some time to educate myself, what I’ve learned is that to be a good ally, you need to be willing to protect people at all costs,” they wrote. “You have to step in if you see something happening that’s not right: a racist act, a racist comment, a racist joke.”

That said, Lovato knows that they — and the rest of the world, for that matter — have a long way to go in effecting systemic change, they continued. “When it comes to advocacy work, when it comes to implementing change in society, there’s always room for improvement,” they wrote. “I wish I knew all the answers, but I know that I don’t. What I do know is that inclusivity is important. Creating environments where women, people of color, and trans people feel safe is important. Not just safe, but equal to their cis, white, male counterparts.” (

As part of their advocacy for mental health awareness, Lovato recently partnered with the online therapy platform Talkspace to help inspire people to take action in support of their mental health.

"It's important for me to use my voice and platform in a meaningful way," Lovato said of the partnership. "My journey to becoming an advocate has not been easy, but I am glad that I can help people out there struggling gain access to resources that could help to improve or even save lives."

“Moving forward, I want to put my energy into my music and my advocacy work,” Lovato wrote in their Vogue essay. “I want to continue to strive to be a better person. I want to inspire people in many different ways to do the same. Above all, I want to leave the world a better place than when I got here.”

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