Mental health is having a moment and we're totally here for it. Not only are popular TV shows incorporating mental illness and treatment into their storylines, but celebrities are feeling more empowered than ever to share their own struggles (proving we really are all human). One such star is Rachel Bloom, a writer, executive producer and star on the award-winning musical comedy series "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." In real life, the Golden Globe winner isn't afraid to admit that she's seen her fair share of therapists and psychiatrists to help her through difficult periods of anxiety and depression. She even decided to give her character, Rebecca Bunch, a mental health diagnosis during Season 3 (which aired its season finale on Feb. 16, 2018) to further help erase the stigma of mental illness. Since positive representations of mental health are a good thing, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at some of the celebs who've opened up about their experiences with therapy and mental illness. Keep reading to see who's keeping it real when it comes to their mental health…
Brad Pitt destroyed the myth that men shouldn't ask for help when he revealed in a 2017 interview with GQ Style that he'd turned to a therapist after his marriage to Angelina Jolie came to an end, saying, "You know, I just started therapy. I love it. I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one." The Oscar-winning producer also acknowledged that he had a major problem with drinking and admitted that since college, he'd regularly consumed booze but was finally "happy to be done with all of that."
In 2017, Gabrielle Union published her memoir, "We're Going to Need More Wine," and in it were some powerful revelations. Gabrielle, who's married to NBA star Dwyane Wade, used her story to examine her own experiences with discrimination, family trauma and being raped at gunpoint at 19. The actress said therapy was what helped her survive, explaining, "You need to find a way to talk about the darkest parts of your life. I've been in therapy for the last 25 years. Whatever path you need to take to heal, it's the best one."
RELATED: Young black stars you need to know
In 2017, Prince Harry publicly discussed the effects his mother's death had on his mental health with Bryony Gordon on her podcast "Mad World." After admitting that he spent 20 years refusing to think about Princess Diana ("because why would that help?" he convinced himself), Harry said he finally reached a point where "burying his head in the sand" didn't work. It brought him to a place where he was finally ready to see a therapist and talk about his pain. He also credits his brother, Prince William, for being a major source of support. Showing that he's not just paying lip service, Harry, William and Duchess Kate joined forces to start the Heads Together Foundation, which focuses on providing education and resources to help remove the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental illness.
Academy Award-winning actress Emma Stone is smart and talented and she's also dealt with anxiety most of her life. In 2017, she appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" where she admitted anxiety caused her numerous panic attacks as a child. Emma told Stephen that by the time she was 7, her parents recognized her need for help and sent her to a therapist. "I benefited in a big way from therapy," she said. Interestingly, Emma also believes that acting has therapeutic benefits. "Improv helped me so much," she said. "I still have anxiety to this day — [but] not panic attacks, knock on wood."
Addiction is a beast and no one knows that more than Demi Lovato. The "Sorry Not Sorry" singer has been open about her struggles with bipolar disorder as well as alcohol and drug dependency. In 2017 — the same year she celebrated her sixth year of sobriety — she told People magazine, "I see a therapist twice a week… I make sure I stay on my medications. I go to AA meetings."
We already adore Chrissy Teigen, and after she penned an essay for Glamour magazine in March 2017 detailing her experiences with postpartum depression after the birth of daughter Luna, we couldn't help but love her more. In the essay, Chrissy talked about how she didn't realize she had PPD until, frustrated and burnt out, she went to see her doctor, who prescribed an antidepressant. Chrissy also made sure to let readers know she had plans to start seeing a therapist, writing, "I just got the name of a therapist who I am planning to start seeing. Let's be honest though — I probably needed therapy way before Luna."
Halle Berry isn't new to therapy. In fact, the longtime actress shared that she's been in and out of therapy since she was "about 10 years old" to help her cope with an alcoholic father prone to abuse. As an adult, Halle's life continued to be difficult, especially after the demise of her first marriage to baseball star David Justice. That toxic relationship, Halle told Ebony, "took away my self-esteem. It beat me down to the lowest of lows — the gum on the bottom of David's shoe, that's what I felt like." The pain of that experience is what led Halle back into a therapist's office. "I know it sounds cliche," she said, "but you have to find a way to hold on."
Jon Hamm is also a big believer in the restorative benefits of therapy. In 2015, the actor checked himself into a 30-day treatment facility for alcoholism. Jon later revealed in an interview with Mr. Porter's The Journal that his weekly therapy sessions were "helpful" and that inpatient treatment was "…just an extended period of talking about yourself. People go for all sorts of reasons, not all of which are chemically related. But there's something to be said for pulling yourself out of the grind for a period of time and concentrating on recalibrating the system. And it works."
In 2018, we learned that Jennifer Aniston and husband Justin Theroux were headed for splitsville. While the news is sad, we're certain Jennifer will be okay because a) she's been through heartbreak before and b) she recognizes the importance of checking in with a therapist. During her divorce drama with Brad Pitt, Jen found an amazing therapist who truly helped her. "I learned so much in the four years I worked with her," Jen told The Hollywood Reporter, like how to deal with anger. "I understood anger, but I didn't know that you should express it. Which has been something that I've really tried to work on."
In 2016, singer-actress Selena Gomez made an important decision to put her mental health ahead of her career so she canceled her "Revival" tour to focus on getting help. Selena shared with InStyle that she immediately checked herself into a 90-day treatment center in Tennessee to help her cope with anxiety and stress, which are related to lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease she's suffered from for years. Since leaving treatment, Selena has continued with therapy, explaining, "I can only go forward. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I'm in a really, really healthy place." In late 2017, it was reported that Selena and boyfriend Justin Bieber were in couples therapy to iron out some issues in their rekindled relationship.
Another actor who's no stranger to the benefits of therapy is "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. After a long history with drug addiction that saw him in and out of jail, Robert finally found sobriety thanks to treatment and the help of his wife, producer Susan Downey. Today, Robert's all too happy to admit that he and Susan regularly attend couples therapy. "It's like housekeeping," he told GQ Style. "I think half the job is communicating to the point where what you're really doing is team-building and conflict resolution and all that stuff."
New mom and tennis champ Serena Williams might be powerful, but even she needed the helping hand of a therapist after the tragic murder of her half-sister, Yetunde Price, in 2003. In Serena's 2009 memoir, "On the Line," she acknowledged there was a stigma around her receiving mental health support and admitted that she didn't even tell her mom, to whom she's notoriously close. Serena also admitted that she, like every woman, has difficulties accepting her always-changing body and that therapy was crucial in helping her find self-love.
In January 2014, "We R Who We R" singer Kesha made a major move toward healing when she checked herself into a Chicago-area treatment center to seek help for an eating disorder, explaining that "I convinced myself that being sick, being skinny, was part of my job." For two months, Kesha remained in an inpatient setting where she went to daily therapy sessions and followed a rigorous treatment schedule. When it was over, Kesha said she felt stronger. "Strong enough to admit that I needed help and strong enough to have faced it head-on… Even I need to be reminded that we are who we are."
Keira Knightley is not here for your therapy-shaming. In 2015, she told ELLE magazine that therapy was what got her through a painful and chaotic time during her 20s. "Oh f— yeah, I've totally done therapy," she shared. "I highly recommend it… You have to give it a go. Try anything that might help."
Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is used to turning heads because of her talent and beauty, but in early 2011, she caught the world's attention for another reason: She bravely disclosed that she'd entered a treatment facility for help managing her bipolar II disorder. She later told Good Housekeeping of her diagnosis, "The fact that there was a name for my emotions and that a professional could talk me through my symptoms was very liberating."
JAY-Z made waves in November 2017 when he revealed in an interview with The New York Times that therapy was a crucial part of his journey to repair himself and his marriage to Beyonce. Jay explained that therapy helped him grow. "The most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a… you're at such an advantage," he said. What's so pivotal about Jay's revelation is that research shows black men often avoid psychotherapy as a form of treatment, even though they statistically suffer from more psychological stress. Jay's admission coupled with his fame means he's actively helping to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues for both himself and his community.
"Mamma Mia!" star Amanda Seyfried might seem like she's at home in front of a crowd, but the truth is, she's long suffered from stage fright. It became even more apparent in 2015 during her Off-Broadway debut in "The Way We Get By." Amanda revealed to Vogue that once before appearing on the "Late Show with David Letterman," she'd downed a few shots of Jack Daniels in order to calm her nerves but ended up looking drunk while on the show. "It made it fun for me. But then I watched it and was like, 'That is not what I want to promote about myself,'" she said. Instead of booze, Amanda says she's now relying on the help of a psychiatrist to help her "get over her fears." In 2016, Amanda — who's also discussed her issues with obsessive-compulsive disorder — told Allure that she'd been taking the anti-anxiety and depression drug Lexapro for 11 years. "I'll never get off of it," she said. "I'm on the lowest dose. I don't see the point of getting off of it. Whether it's [a] placebo or not, I don't want to risk it. And what are you fighting against? Just the stigma of using a tool?"
On a 2016 episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," model and little sister Kendall Jenner revealed to her mom that she was anxious about falling asleep after having several experiences of sleep paralysis (where your mind is awake but your body isn't). The experience was "terrifying," according to Kendall, and prevented her from getting a good night's rest. To cope with her sleep anxiety, Kendall went to a therapist on-camera who helped her by using guided meditation. Since then, Kendall has continued to speak out about her struggles with anxiety.
Gabourey Sidibe has broken so many barriers in her relatively young career that we can't help but be awed by her. In addition to starring in "Precious" — which earned her an Oscar nomination — Gabourey has appeared on several hit TV shows like "American Horror Story" and "Empire." And in 2017, she released the memoir "This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare," in which she got super-real about her experiences with mental illness, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. Gabourey credits therapy with saving her, explaining, "Here's the thing about therapy and why it's so important. I love my mom, but there's so much I couldn't talk to her about… I couldn't tell her that I couldn't stop crying and that I hated everything about myself." Gabby later told People magazine, "I just accepted depression as something that's part of my anatomy… When it's too big for me to just turn around on my own, I see a therapist. I see a therapist anyway. We all should see a therapist."
Bubbly Bryce Dallas Howard has also waged a battle against mental illness. Shortly after the 2007 birth of her first child, Bryce shared that she experienced "debilitating" postpartum depression that left her with what she describes as "emotional amnesia." In an essay she penned for Goop, Bryce talked about the difficult weeks following her son's birth that included physical pain, exhaustion, anger and an overwhelming feeling of insecurity. With the help of her midwife and a therapist, Bryce learned she had severe PPD and began treatment which included homeopathy and talking to others, as well as reading about Brooke Shields' experiences with PPD in the actress' memoir "Down Came the Rain." As Bryce continued working on her mental health, with the support of family and friends, she says things slowly got better and that one day, she "got this sudden feeling of summer," which she later explained as "I just got this feeling… like everything is going to be okay."
Comedian Sarah Silverman is known for her humor, but that hasn't protected her from the darkness and despair of depression. In an interview with NPR's "Fresh Air," Sarah talked about depression and how it's impacted her since she was young as well as her experiences with an ill-equipped nurse practitioner who over-prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Xanax (thankfully, a psychiatrist recognized the dangers and weaned her off by the time she was 16). In an interesting web series called "Shrink" from filmmakers Alex Karpovsky and Teddy Blanks, Sarah shared that she'd been in therapy, on and off, for most of her life. As an adult, therapy "changed my life," Sarah said, adding, "I have a therapist that I owe so much of the best of me to. It can give you so much if you're open to it."
"Scandal" star Kerry Washington is an amazingly talented actress with some of the most famous friends in Hollywood, but even she has to work each day on protecting her mental health. In a 2016 interview with InStyle, Kerry revealed that, like anyone else, mean internet comments can cause her a lot of stress and unhappiness. "I don't read comments on other platforms. Not only comments about myself… if someone is commenting on a picture of Jennifer Lopez, I won't read those either. People are just so mean," she said. Of course, because she's human, sometimes she breaks her own rules. "Quite frankly," she admitted, "sometimes I decide whether to read comments based on how close I am to a therapy appointment."
In June 2017, Katy Perry took a bold step when she livestreamed her life for three days on YouTube — including a powerful and emotional therapy session with Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh. In the session, a tearful Katy talked about her desire to no longer look like the pop star icon she'd created (which was her reason for cutting her hair short) and about how she wants to find authenticity within herself. She also delved into painful childhood memories as well as the trauma she experienced from former romantic relationships. While the livestream was part of her promotion effort for her "Witness" album, Katy also showed that it's okay to explore your pain and get the help you need.
Yes, even brilliant and prolific "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has relied on therapy to help her cope with life's difficulties — including when she was just starting out as a writer and surviving with her daughter while relying on government benefits as well as after she'd achieved sudden fame and a financial windfall thanks to her beloved book series. Along with having the public eye suddenly focused on her, J.K. felt overwhelmed by the endless pleas for financial help from everyone. Therapy helped her with this "disorientation," she told The Telegraph, adding that "it really helped. I'm a big fan of it, it helped me a lot."