The 33-year-old pop star opened up to friend Derek Blasberg in her August 2018 cover story — published on Tuesday, July 17 — about her week-long stay in January at the Hoffman Institute, a “personal growth retreat” in California. “For years, my friends would go and come back completely rejuvenated, and I wanted to go, too. I was ready to let go of anything that was holding me back from being my ultimate self,” she explained. “I have had bouts of situational depression and my heart was broken last year because, unknowingly, I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn’t react in the way I had expected to … which broke my heart.”
Perry is referring to the less-than-stellar response to her 2017 album, Witness. “Music is my first love and I think it was the universe saying: ‘OK, you speak all of this language about self-love and authenticity, but we are going to put you through another test and take away any kind of validating ‘blankie.’ Then we’ll see how much you do truly love yourself,’” she continued. “That brokenness, plus me opening up to a greater, higher power and reconnecting with divinity, gave me a wholeness I never had. It gave me a new foundation. It’s not just a material foundation: it’s a soul foundation.”
The “Swish Swish” singer’s experience at the retreat turned her life around: “I recommend it to everyone, my good friends and other artists who are looking for a breakthrough. There are a lot of people who are self-medicating through validation in audiences, through substances, through continually running away from their realities – denial, withdrawal. I did that for a long, long time too.”
Now, Perry sees how her — and many other musicians’ — approach to her craft was flawed. “I was with someone recently who asked: ‘Well, don’t you think that if you do too much therapy it will take away your artistic process?’” she recalled. “And I told them: ‘The biggest lie that we’ve ever been sold is that we as artists have to stay in pain to create.’”
Elsewhere in the sit-down, the “Roar” singer spoke about her relationship with boyfriend Orlando Bloom. Perry felt the couple’s visit to Rome in April, during which they met Pope Francis, was overshadowed by an unwarranted focus on their romance. “I don’t want [my relationship] to be a headline of the story, because it takes away from the purpose,” she lamented. “Also, it’s extremely misogynistic. Of course, I love my relationship, but that is one part of me, and I don’t want any part of what I do to be diminished.”
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