Bella Hadid may be a thriving model and influencer, but she’s cut from the same cloth as everyone else. In a new interview with WSJ. Magazine, Hadid got real about her mental health struggles and how she’s learned to cope via journaling rituals and staying vulnerable online.
When it comes to her internal wellness, the model said she accepts the inevitable ups and downs. “I do have good days. Today is a good day. My brain fog is feeling better, I don’t feel depressed. I don’t have as much anxiety as I usually do. But tomorrow I could wake up and [be] the complete opposite. That’s why I get so overwhelmed,” she said.
What’s most important to her is staying conscious about the feelings when they arise and maintaining a state of gratitude. “Every morning, [I write] three pages, journaling,” she added. “What’s important for me is to have that ritual and have that moment to myself. … I try to do a gratitude meditation every morning. If it’s on my way to work, I usually put it on in the car, on the loudspeaker, so whoever’s driving me and I have a nice moment of gratitude together.”
The model also said that for the last three years, she dealt with depressive episodes that were difficult for her to articulate—so she instead opted to express herself through photos that most directly captured how she was feeling. “I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo,” she said. “It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling. I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why.”
With the intent to be more vulnerable with her fans, she also posted these photos online, fostering a kinship among followers that has helped her to better understand the experience and feel less alone. “[When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way,” she said. “I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn’t able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it.”
She added, “I had a lot of people that have reached out saying, ‘I feel that way too.’ Walking outside, being able to remember there are so many people going through things and have similar patterns to me, it makes me feel better.”
As for the people who don’t care for these types of posts, Hadid doesn’t mind. She noted the emerging movement on social media that favors being our realer selves over flaunting what is now considered to be an overdone, curated aesthetic. “I feel like real is the new real,” she says, “and that’s what’s important to me.”
From Harper’s Bazaar US