Beyonce may have had Destiny's Child bandmate Michelle Williams in mind when she co-wrote the group's hit song "Survivor." Williams is indeed surviving — thriving, even — but there have been times in the past when she felt like she was walking under a dark cloud, with no chance of sun in sight.
"I've dealt with depression," the 32-year-old singer told the Huffington Post recently. "I had to choose to get out of bed and do whatever I needed to do to be happy."
The star, who became one-third of R&B supergroup Destiny's Child alongside Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in 2000, suffered her first bout of moderate depression when she was 15 or 16, but has never taken medication for her condition. Instead, she seeks out exercise, therapy, and positive thinking to help turn things around, she explained in her interview.
"We're taught, 'Just go to church and pray about it. The Lord is going to heal you.' Well, in the meantime, I believe God-gifted people, physicians, doctors, therapists — that's your healing," she told HuffPo. "Take advantage of it. Go see a professional so that they can assess you. It's okay if you're going through something. Depression is not okay, but it is okay to go get help."
Williams should know. She took that advice to heart, and now her future is looking bright and happy for the first time in years. She recently reunited with her Destiny's Child bandmates to record a new song, "Nuclear," their first original music in eight years, and as Us Weekly revealed earlier this month, both she and Rowland are set to join Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3.
The actress is also currently in rehearsals for the national tour of the Broadway musical Fela!, which kicks off later this month. (Her previous Broadway credits include Aida, The Color Purple, and Chicago.) And she's almost done with her fourth solo album, a mix of original Christian pop inspired by her struggles with depression and bullying.
"Sometimes you're going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed or some situation might have you down in the dumps, but you have to choose to be happy," she told the Huffington Post. "I'm choosing life. And I'm hoping this album makes people want to choose life."
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!