SZA revealed that she mistakenly went to a “life coach” instead of a licensed therapist, saying that she “didn’t get better.”
In a recent interview with WSJ Magazine, the “Snooze” singer spoke about how she deals with her mental health amid her stratospheric catapult to fame. She admitted that she’d tried everything from hypnotherapy to acupuncture.
However, not everything was smooth sailing when it came to the mental health journey of the R&B star, who admitted to accidentally seeing a “life coach” while under the impression that they were a real therapist. The “life coach” encouraged the singer to try a box breathing method to deal with her anxiety, but after she grew frustrated with the lack of results, she confronted the coach.
SZA explained: “After I had box breathed myself for three months and didn’t get better, I called her in a f***ing frenzy like, ‘I’m about to commit myself to an institution today, I need help!’ I said, ‘What form of therapy do you do? DBT[dialectical behavioral therapy]?’”
”She was like, ‘I don’t have a clinical form of therapy because I’m not a licensed therapist, honey,” the singer-songwriter continued. “I thought you knew that.’ It turns out she was not a board-certified therapist. She was a f***ing life coach.”
There is a stark difference between life coaching and therapy, one being that working as a therapist requires a degree while coaching does not. However, a life coach still needs a bit of training. Although both professions aim to help with mental health, according to The Washington Post, “therapists are trained to treat mental illness or other significant emotional and relational concerns, while coaches seek to help you elevate performance in a specific area.”
SZA also said that one of the best forms of therapy for her is songwriting, explaining: “When I leave the studio, I feel better and empty. There’s no better sleep than empty-brain sleep, and that can only come after I’ve been in the studio for 10 hours and done something good in there.”
Although she does find outlets for her anxiety and stress, the “Kill Bill” singer admitted that no matter how many arenas she sells out, she still gets stage fright when it comes to big perfomances.
“Sometimes when I’m in those situations, it makes me more anxious, because I’m like, ‘D***, they’re about to judge me for being a b****, or quiet, or looking rude,’” the singer-songwriter noted. “It’s everything, it’s not you, it’s me, and I’m freaking out, and I don’t know how to be any different right now.”
SZA has been candid about her struggle with anxiety in the past, having told Essence that the music industry is one of the most stressful, “psychosis-inducing” industries out there.
“This is the most psychosis-inducing industry that I can think of,” she told the outlet at the time. “There’s so much perception, there’s so much being perceived. There’s so much validation of self, [questioning] ‘what is the reason you’re doing this,’ and even if you find your reason, it’s hard to hold on to it.”
Grappling with constant self-doubt and fan expectations has led the R&B singer-songwriter to put an intense amount of pressure on herself. At the time, she noted that the reason she was slow to release her next album was due to overwhelming pressure from both the public and herself. She said, “That s*** is a head trip. And it definitely creates this weird bubble of unrealistic expectations, and [it’s] kind of feeling dehumanized, and [feeling like], ‘maybe I’m a product.’”