Photos courtesy of The New York Times, Allure, Rare Beauty, and Glamour Paris.
Anxiety is an intense, excessive, and/or persistent worry about everyday situations. I started my anxiety journey in middle school and it was something that I never want to re-live. I’ve had anxiety for about a decade now. Something I did wish that I had back then was my celebrity role models speaking out about their struggles with anxiety. It’s not as taboo as it was back then. Today, I wanted to share with you a slew of famous faces that struggle with anxiety. Let’s get started.
Here are 21 celebrities who have opened up about their struggles with anxiety.
1. Lili Reinhart
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During the days when I was obsessed with Riverdale, I idolized Lili Reinhart. I still do. It’s because she’s so transparent about mental health and body image. She opened up to Glamour in 2017 about her struggles with anxiety and depression: “Honestly, therapy was a life saver. The same with medication. I did what I had to do, and I don’t think it’s weak. Saying that you’re sad or you’re hurt is not saying that you’re less than or that you’re admitting weakness. It’s the opposite. I wouldn’t be able to be here without therapy and without my medication that helps me. It takes the edge off and makes me not feel anxiety for no reason. I don’t know why people have a stigma against medication.”
She then goes on to talk about how school was triggering for her which is something I heavily relate to: “School was a big source of anxiety for me. I hated school. I have social anxiety, and it developed when I was a kid. I had trouble going to birthday parties. It was always there. I begged my mom to let me be home-schooled at one point for a semester because I was so miserable at school. I wasn’t being bullied—there was no particular reason—but depression runs in my family.”
2. Ariana Grande
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Ariana Grande has struggled with anxiety since she was a child. In 2018, she talked to ELLE about her experience following her Sweetener tour and the terrorist attacks in Manchester: “When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn’t breathe,” she begins. “I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I’ve always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down.”
3. Selena Gomez
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Selena Gomez has always been open about her mental health journey. In January 2022, she spoke to InStyle about her struggles with self-image and anxiety: “I became aware that my little world is complicated, but the picture is much bigger than the stuff I deal with. I have problems with depression and anxiety, and I found it difficult for me to be me. I didn’t want to post anything on social media because I realized that I was in a situation where I was extremely blessed. What could I possibly post or say? Then I had the idea of inviting multiple people to be on my Instagram to tell their stories.”
Gomez has been a constant advocate for mental health. On September 3, 2020, Gomez launched her beauty brand, Rare Beauty. Along with her brand, she created the Rare Impact Fund which is committed to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to give people access to the mental health services they need.
Along with the fund, Gomez launched Wondermind, a mental fitness company that’s here to destigmatize mental health.
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Zendaya talked to ELLE in October 2019 about her anxiety when it came to Euphoria: “Even though Euphoria coming out was amazing and exciting, it was also extremely stressful. It gave me a lot of anxiety every week,” she tells the media outlet. “That’s something I deal with; I have anxiety. I already know after this interview is over, I’m going to spiral about it for weeks.”
Two years later, she talked to British Vogue about her experience with therapy: “Yeah, of course I go to therapy,” she says. “I mean, if anybody is able to possess the financial means to go to therapy, I would recommend they do that. I think it’s a beautiful thing. You know, there’s nothing wrong with working on yourself and dealing with those things with someone who can help you, someone who can talk to you, who’s not your mom or whatever. Who has no bias.” The pandemic brought with it her “first kind of taste of sadness where you wake up and you just feel bad all day, like what the f*ck is going on? What is this dark cloud that’s hovering over me and I don’t know how to get rid of it, you know?”
5. Camila Mendes
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Camila Mendes revealed to Health in March 2021 about how she experienced panic attacks when she started filming season 5 of Riverdale: “It’s interesting. When we first started shooting season 5, I started having panic attacks, which was strange for me. I think it was because I was in Vancouver and borders were closed—no one could visit us. You start to miss your home and your life, and you don’t have your friends or community with you. I want to say, I am so grateful to be working and would never want this to come off that I am not. Taking baths helped with the panic attacks. I also learned in those moments to put down my phone and take a break from technology and get in the tub with some music on and a book. I never did that before the pandemic, and now I love that I’ve learned to do that for myself.”
She goes on to talk about how she maintains a healthy mindset: “I see a therapist once a week—it gets me through a lot. I also have a gratitude journal. I got it from a costar. You write a few brief things each day that you’re grateful for. I never thought I’d be one of those people, but I love it. I’d love to journal more in-depth every day but just don’t have the time. So with this, it’s great because you’re still checking in with yourself and you feel good because you’ve done something for yourself.”
6. Jennifer Lawrence
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Jennifer Lawrence talked with Entertainment Weekly in September 2017 about her plane anxiety: “It’s scary not being able to control yourself — I’ve recently had problems with plane anxiety and it’s really similar. I’m not afraid of the airplane, I’m afraid of me on the airplane and losing control of myself.” This is something I can definitely relate to.
7. Miley Cyrus
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Miley Cyrus felt a panic attack coming on during a concert so she told her fans about it. Health reported in September 2021 about her experience: “Like everyone else, for the last year and a half I have been locked away and isolating and it is very stunning to be back in a place that used to feel like second nature,” she shared. “Being on stage used to feel like home, and it doesn’t anymore because of how much time I spent at home locked away.”
Cyrus ended with the following: “The pandemic was startling and terrifying and coming out of it is slightly terrifying. So I just wanted to be honest with how I’m feeling.”
8. Natalia Dyer
Natalia Dyer told ELLE UK that social media causes anxiety for her: “I really don’t find social media easy,’ she says, shyly. ‘Almost increasingly so. Everybody’s different and some people are very good at it. And some people really enjoy it. For me, it kind of just seems like a lot of anxiety and asks a lot.”
If you follow the Stranger Things star on social media, you know that she posts sporadically and on a limited basis.
9. Simone Biles
Simone Biles went through a lot during the Tokyo Olympics. She experienced the twisties. Twisties are when you’re up in the air during vault and not knowing where you are. Gymnastics is a physically and mentally draining sport so it does make sense why Biles unfortunately experienced the twisties.
In an interview with NBC’s Today Show in October 2021, she opened up to Hoda Kotb that she’s still scared to gymnastics: “The twisting once I got back will come back, but I’m still scared to do gymnastics.”
She does get anxiety as well which she told People more in depth about in November 2021: “I have pretty bad anxiety sometimes so she tells me in my worry journal to put from 12 to 1 p.m. — that’s the time I’ve selected — and anything I’ve written down in my worry journal, I use that hour to worry about the things then,” Biles explained. “And usually by the time 12 or 1 p.m. comes, I’ve already forgotten about all my worries so that kind of is a tool that helps me.”
10. Camila Cabello
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Camila Cabello was candid about why she’s open about mental health with Rolling Stone in May 2022: “There are different degrees to which people struggle with mental health, but I think, whether it’s life-changing or life-saving, when you bottle that sh*t up, and you pretend, it eats away at your health. It eats away at your energy. It is so detrimental and I fully believe that trauma and mental health is physical health. It’s a public health crisis [and] people not talking about it. It leads to so much sickness in the world, so much violence in the world, so much mental illness in the world.”
She goes on to talk about why having these conversations about mental health is so important, specifically in the Latin community: “Having these conversations — especially in the Latin community — I feel like I want to talk about it more in Spanish and with that community too. Even talking about it with my family, it’s so different. There’s such a stigma, and you’re perceived as weak or not strong, or just like, ‘F*cking snap out of it.’ Especially in certain cultures, that’s the messaging and it kills people. It’s so necessary for us to be able to talk about the human experience, which is hard sometimes.”
Around the same time, Cabello talked to Selena Gomez for Wondermind about what anxiety feels like for her: “So for me, anxiety feels, mentally, like trying to get an answer, or a way of having control or certainty, which is hard because sometimes you just can’t. You have to sit with it. It feels almost like—it sounds weird saying this because I don’t do drugs — but a bad trip. In the moment, everything feels dizzying and overwhelming and like you’re on this ride thinking, Just help me get off. In my mind, it’s a loop, like obsessive compulsive stuff. In my body, it’s a tightness, almost like I can’t move, like my hands are tied and everything is just tied up.”
11. Emma Stone
Emma Stone had her first panic attack when she was a child. She talked to Glamour in March 2011 about the experience: “I had massive anxiety as a child. I was in therapy. From 8 to 10, I was borderline agora-phobic. I could not leave my mom’s side. I don’t really have panic attacks anymore, but I had really bad anxiety. There was a lot of fear, but it was also very exciting.”
In an interview for ELLE, Jennifer Lawrence articulated how Stone’s passion for acting is a way for her “to take something like anxiety or pain and…turn it into something.”
12. Anne Hathaway
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Anne Hathaway talked to Town & Country in February 2019 about her routine to cope with anxiety: “Even so, there are times—as there are for all of us—when the stress gets to be too much, or when panic takes hold. Hathaway pulls out a pen. “Set a timer on your phone, have a candle nearby, and write it all down,” she says, recommending that for 12 minutes you release your troubles, your worries, onto the page. “You spew it all out. You do not read it,” she says. “The timer goes off, you tear it out of the book, and you light it on fire.”
“Literally on fire,” she says with a nod. “All of this energy, this angst, this rage — everything is smoke.”
13. Kristen Stewart
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Kristen Stewart has experienced anxiety since she was a teenager. She told Marie Claire in July 2015 about the origins of her anxiety: “Between ages 15 and 20, it was really intense,” Stewart seconds. “I was constantly anxious. I was kind of a control freak. If I didn’t know how something was going to turn out, I would make myself ill, or just be locked up or inhibited in a way that was really debilitating.”
Her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight film series I feel like could’ve played a role with her constant anxiety considering how her fame skyrocketed after the first film was released.
14. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato has been open about her struggles with various mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, drug and alcohol addiction, and eating disorder.
Lovato talked to Jimmy Fallon about how she had anxiety attack while watching her documentary, Dancing With the Devil: “I watched it when the first cut was ready. Since then, I’ve seen it three or four times, maybe. It was challenging — I had a physical reaction the first time that I watched it, like anxiety attack.”
“But it’s been good, and a part of telling my story is taking ownership and just owning my truth,” she continued. “No matter what people say when they watch it, it doesn’t matter.”
15. Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga is open about her mental health struggles and got frank about her anxiety and depression with Billboard in October 2015: “I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day.”
Along with anxiety, Gaga suffers from depression, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and fibromyalgia.
16. Shonda Rhimes
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Shonda Rhimes has experienced moments of social anxiety throughout her life. The creator of the hit Netflix series, Bridgerton, spoke to Time about being a fan of having difficult conversations: “When I went into these difficult conversations knowing what my line was going to be, whether it was a business, personal, or parental conversation, the conversations became even easier, because I’d walked in with absolutely no sense of anxiety, because I’d already made all those decisions.”
17. Kylie Jenner
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Kylie Jenner wrote a heartfelt and now deleted Instagram post about her experience with anxiety. Vogue India published an article about the social media post and what Jenner said in her caption: ““My first tattoo was ‘sanity’ to remind myself everyday to keep it. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole young adult life and after my baby I dealt with all the internal ups and downs. I felt like I had to find myself completely again.”
18. Kendall Jenner
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Kendall Jenner opened up to fellow model Cara Delevingne for Harper’s Bazaar in 2018 about her “debilitating anxiety.” “It’s funny you ask that because I have such debilitating anxiety because of everything going on that I literally wake up in the middle of the night with full-on panic attacks. Where do I even start? Everything is so horrible, it’s hard to name one thing. I just think that the world needs so much love. I wish I had the power to send Cupid around the planet, as cheesy as that sounds. You go online and you see everyone saying the worst things to each other, and it’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard not to get eaten alive by all the negativity.”
Jenner talked to Good Morning America (GMA) in 2020 about when she first experienced anxiety: “I was really, really young and I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe and running to my mom and being like, ‘Mom, I feel like I can’t breathe. Something must be wrong…'”
She’s a huge supporter of the Mental Health Coalition, an initiative to create conversation around the topic of mental health, created by designer Kenneth Cole.
19. Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka has gone through countless bouts of anxiety. The professional tennis player withdrew from the French Open in the spring of 2021. This is a day after she didn’t want to do media interviews during the tournament in order to prioritize her wellbeing. Tennis officials fined her $15,000 because of it.
She posted a statement on Twitter on May 31, 2021 detailing her journey with anxiety and depression.
Adele went through a major physical transformation in late 2021 but it wasn’t about losing weight, it was about getting her anxiety under control. In October 2021, Adele was interviewed by Vogue about her year of anxiety: “The gym became my time. I realized that when I was working out, I didn’t have any anxiety. It was never about losing weight.”
21. Ashley Benson
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Ashley Benson frequently experienced crippling panic attacks and anxiety. The Pretty Little Liars star talked with Health about how she suffered panic attacks while she was on set: “I was on Xanax for a long time. It helped, but I decided I was going to be able to self-medicate through meditation, working out, sleeping, eating healthy and drinking more water,” she tells the media outlet. “I have this meditation app on my phone. I use it at least three times a week.”
The End Is Here
I hope you found this post informative and/or inspiring.
If you have anxiety, please remember that you’re not alone. I know it feels like you are but you’re not. There are so many people who struggle with anxiety on a daily basis like the individuals on this list.
Thank you so much for reading!