Demi Lovato has long been an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, and her latest project is no exception.
Lovato teamed up with DJ/producer Marshmello to drop a new single and corresponding music video, “OK Not To Be OK,” and it’s the timely mental health pop anthem we needed.
Due to COVID, social distancing, police brutality, and the ongoing racial reckoning, mental health issues have skyrocketed. Isolation is the standard and the unrelenting news cycle is a nonstop generator of fear and uncertainty. Depression and anxiety statistics keep creeping upward.
We’re all bored and lonely and, to put it simply, sad. Yet, the bills still need to be paid and the dinner still needs to be cooked and the house still needs to be cleaned as if nothing’s changed. And with everyone still reluctant to speak about their own mental health issues, it can feel like you’re the only one who’s having a hard time and faking your way through it all.
So it’s a great relief to finally hear the same fears so many of us harbor echoed back to us in a song by one of the biggest pop stars in the world, a soothing reminder that we’re not alone.
We’re reminded that we’re not the only ones who might feel like we’re “a drop in the ocean but don’t nobody notice,” or that we’re “broken down, you’ve got nothing left,” and that feeling this way is totally normal and fine. Even if we weren’t living through a pandemic, Marshmello and Lovato remind us that our feelings are valid and worthy and, yes, completely okay.
The music video (below), too, takes a similar focus. It features a lot of early-aughts angst, showing Lovato and Marshmello both waking up in their childhood bedrooms, grappling with their past selves and the burdens they’re still shouldering from their youth.
The tune itself is catchy and sweet, a slow instrumental that builds into a power-pop anthem, a mild earworm that gives you an excuse to open a window, turn up the radio, and dance your way through a particularly melancholy afternoon.
With the release of the video, Demi Lovato took to Twitter to add the simple message,
“Take a moment today to check in with yourself and your loved ones.”
Marshmello, too, echoed that sentiment, and emphasized the mental health message behind the song and music video, saying,
“Suicide prevention starts with a conversation we’re not having with our mental health due to stigma. The first step to breaking that silence is dispelling stigmas of fear, judgment, and shame about our internal experiences. We achieve that by proclaiming it’s #OKNotToBeOk.”
If you need someone to talk to, you can text CONNECT to 741741 to chat with a Crisis Counselor via the Crisis Text Line.
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Michelle Vincent is a project manager and freelance writer. She enjoys traveling, is worried she won’t love her future children as much as she loves her dogs, and is actively recruiting podcast recommendations.