Harry Styles Shares Why He Started Going to Therapy

Harry Styles Shares Why He Started Going to Therapy
Getty / Joseph Okpako

Shooting into superstardom is not a typical experience. For Harry Styles, therapy has played a large part in helping him handle the overwhelming side of fame. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Styles talks about how he started taking therapy seriously when he realised he needed to put as much effort into his mental health as his physical health – especially considering the constant scrutiny he faces as one of the biggest musicians in the world. “I committed to doing it once a week,” the singer says. “I felt like I exercise every day and take care of my body, so why wouldn’t I do that with my mind?”

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In therapy, Styles says, he’s discovering more about himself and learning how to face his feelings without fear. “So many of your emotions are so foreign before you start analysing them properly,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I like to really lean into [an emotion] and look at it in the face. Not like, ‘I don’t want to feel like this,’ but more like, ‘What is it that makes me feel this way?'”

On stage in front of thousands of cheering fans, Styles is a rock star and an idol – someone whose humanity is not fully understood, or at least not always contemplated in the usual way. After big shows, he says, the first thing he does is take a shower in an effort to snap back to reality. “It’s really unnatural to stand in front of that many people and have that experience,” he explains. “Washing it off, you’re just a naked person, in your most vulnerable, human form.”

“I exercise every day and take care of my body, so why wouldn’t I do that with my mind?”

But getting a moment to be his most authentic self is a luxury – and something Styles has had to learn to keep from the public eye. Ever since he was a part of One Direction, everything about his personal life has been called into question, from his sexuality to his romantic relationships, which has made the line between privacy and vulnerability a difficult one to manage.

Styles says he’s using therapy to work on overcoming the shame that’s come from having his sex life closely analysed and speculated about by the public for years. Despite these negative experiences, he knows now that it’s best to focus on himself and let people believe what they want to believe.

“I’ve never talked about my life away from work publicly and found that it’s benefited me positively,” Styles says. “There’s always going to be a version of a narrative, and I think I just decided I wasn’t going to spend the time trying to correct it or redirect it in some way.”

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