Here's What Your Favorite Ariana Grande Song Says About Your Mental Health
This is a satire story.
This writer is not a mental health professional, and the contents of this story should not be regarded as fact.
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One of my favorite pop star ascension stories of the past decade has been Miss Ponytail herself, Ariana Grande (pronounced Grahn-Dee and not Grahn-Day, apparently). Miss Ponytail is as much a pop star as she is a mental health advocate and icon.
Healing both publicly and privately, she’s had to endure traumatic events such as the Manchester bombing at her concert in 2017, the public loss of losing her ex-boyfriend and soulmate when Mac Miller passed in 2018, and more. She doesn’t owe us her trauma, and yet she’s invited us through song, lyric, prose, and Instagram captions (utilizing little to no capital letters at times) on her mental health journey.
In the spirit of National Mental Health Month, and just me trying to find an excuse to write about Ariana Grande, here’s what your favorite Ariana Grande song says about the state of your mental health, based off of your favorite Ariana Grande song.
How does it feel feeling trapped, wanting to fully express yourself and yet you don’t feel like you quite can. You long for freedom and you’re looking for that metaphorical high. Keep chasing that dopamine, but please be careful on the “how.” Taking risks can be fun, but maybe you should talk to your therapist about it first.
Aw! Congrats! You’ve hyper-fixated on a crush only to overwhelm yourself and then run away! Easier to leave them before they get the chance to leave you (even if you’ve only said two words to them ever. Best two words of your life though!) You crave companionship and are chronically lonely, and feel safer in your own dream world due to how scary it is to pursue someone in real life. No judgment here, though. Promise I get it.
“Leave Me Lonely feat. Macy Gray”
You’re really on the cusp of leaving that toxic relationship, aren’t you? As they say in the song “Dangerous love, you’re not good for me darling,” and ain’t that the damn truth! You want to leave something or someone, but you still have a fondness in your heart. You’re still trying to figure out how to make both those things work. Sometimes you just can’t, and what’s on the other side is usually much healthier and happier even if it’s scarier. Only one way to find out though…
Please stop forsaking your needs for other people! Stop that! Right now! Pretending like you don’t have needs in your life with your friends, partners, family, whoever it may be, doesn’t make you chill. It’s self-betrayal. Please stop doing that. You’re only hurting yourself.
“Almost is Never Enough”
On the flip side, sometimes you can’t be who they need no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t make you a bad person, rather just human. You’re not a failure even though it may sometimes feel like it, I promise. You are good enough, regardless of what you feel like at this moment.
People can only give what they have to give, and it’s OK for that to not be enough for us. Not everyone can meet your needs. You still want to have hope that it’ll change, but it may not. I suggest talking through it with some close friends or even journaling (I know I sound like an annoying self-help blogger but stay with me). Just sit with your feelings because you do deserve to have your needs met.
You’re saying baby don’t worry
But we’re still going the wrong way baby
“Honeymoon Avenue,” Ariana Grande
“the light is coming (feat. Nicki Minaj)”
You’re on your up-and-up! Yes! Go you! Things have been rough and you’ve lost so much, and yet you’re still optimistic that things are going to turn around. I’m so excited for you, and it’s true. Better days are ahead, and bad things may still happen. You may have moments where you may mentally relapse, but at the end of the day you’re still fighting for your happy ending. Love that for you. Keep it up!
“God is a woman”
Sexual re-cla-ma-tion! Yes! Reclaiming your body after sexual trauma, whether it be assault or just a shitty partner is so hard but you’re feeling out your skin, owning it, and charging forward reminding everyone who has the privilege to look your way that your body is yours and no one else’s. A baddie if I’ve ever seen one, truly.
I am only going to say this once – if you text that toxic ex of yours back, I’m stealing your phone and you’re not getting it back for a week. OK, not really, but you’re definitely in a back and forth scenario with someone or something that isn’t good for you. Once again, it’s hard to let go of what doesn’t serve us, but sometimes that’s the only way we can move forward…
…You got those stuffed animals in your car, don’t you? You know the ones – they’re reversible and come in cute colors? Squishmallows! I have never met someone who has a Squishmallow who doesn’t have an anxiety disorder, OK? Not trying to diagnose you, but you definitely have been struggling with your anxiety, big time. Please remember your brain is a liar. People love you, and we’re all happy you’re still here.
OK, I’ll take it back. I said “Into You” was the leave them before they leave you song, but I lied. It’s this one. You fall hard for people. Big time, but then right when things get serious you leave. Why is that? It’s either that, or you’re mentally checked out but won’t make the leap of faith. You know you’re better off (sorry), and yet you’re still there. I’m excited for the day you choose you. Don’t worry, though. We’re still going to stick by your side throughout the whole journey.
“Love Me Harder”
Stop begging to be loved. Right now! Don’t do that! OK, easier said than done, I know, but I promise you don’t have to beg to be seen, heard, or loved. There are people, places, and jobs ready to accept you with open arms. Go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated.
“Best Mistake (feat. Big Sean)”
Alright, we’re grown here, right? I think it’s safe to say as bad as toxic partners are, there are certain aspects that can be a bit thrilling and fun. That being said, y’all are both wrong. There I said it. There are relationships where one partner is toxic and manipulative and the other is the victim.Then there are relationships where two people are such a bad match they’re both as toxic as Manhattan sewage after St. Patrick’s Day. You do realize you deserve more than that, right? That, and it may be worth seeing a therapist and talking through some things. When we have our own trauma, we can easily be the toxic person in a relationship. Does it make you a bad person? No! Is it probably a good idea to use that EAP? Mayhaps.
Maybe I’m the sinner, and you’re the saint
Gotta stop pretending, what we ain’t
Why we pointing fingers, anyway?
When we’re the same
“Best Mistake (feat. Big Sean),” Ariana Grande
You can’t love without experiencing loss. You can’t experience loss without loving. Whether that loss is a breakup or death, if you love “imagine” you’re grieving – reminiscing about someone who is no longer there to hold you and tell you “it’s going to be OK.” Grief is hard, and if it’s destroying you the way it is me, I do want you to know that while it may feel like you’ll remain this broken person that was left behind when they disappeared from your life, you will grow. The beautiful thing about being broken, is being able to make something new out of all the pieces.
You don’t love “too hard,” you have crappy boundaries. I know, I know. It’s tough to hear. I used to feel the same way, and then I learned I’m a better lover, friend, daughter, and person to the people I care about when I have stronger boundaries and not when I’m self-betraying all the time. Just saying.
It’s all an act. They don’t know the real you, and it makes you itch. You’re too busy living as a fake watered down perfect version of you that makes everyone else comfortable and it may even keep you safe. Authenticity is so crucial, and you deserve to live as authentically as possible.
Loving after loss is so hard. There’s that part of you that may feel like you’re betraying the people around you who are still there, because you’re still missing and pining over who is gone. Then there’s the guilt because they’ve been loving and supporting you through the loss, but you still can’t give the people around you what they need. To experience loss and the feeling of “failure” all at once is so hard. Grief isn’t linear, and it’s a blessing to have people around you who are willing to support you. They’re focusing on your healing, so don’t feel guilty about doing the same thing.
“in my head”
You’re doing that thing where you see someone’s potential and you’re basing everything in the now about that big elusive “if.” If they start taking care of themselves, they’d be such a great partner! If they give you this promotion you’ll be happy! You can’t base the now on nothing but “ifs.” You’re not giving up on them. You aren’t being a bad friend. You aren’t responsible for their growth, but you are responsible for your own. Facing reality is hard, but living in a fantasy world is even harder.
“thank u, next”
Here’s to practicing detachment! Loss happens, and going through the stages of grief can be painful. That acceptance phase though? Nothing like it whatsoever. What happened happened and we can’t change that, but we can move forward with the lessons we’ve learned. Here’s to you! Proud of you!
“break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored”
Do me a favor and stop attaching yourself to emotionally unavailable people due to your commitment issues and abandonment trauma? You deserve love that’s available, even when it’s scary. Self-sabotage is a hard habit to kick, but it’s worth it.
People love to give their opinions on our life, especially when you’re in a controlling situation with another party. If you aren’t already, you’re very close to speaking up and advocating for yourself and that’s big. Your voice matters, as it’s your life! Don’t be afraid to fight for yourself, ever.
When you don’t quite love yourself, it’s hard to imagine how someone else could. All you see when you look in the mirror is flaws and yet they look at you and see someone not just worthy of love, but admiration and all the beautiful and darling things the world has to offer. Yes, you have flaws, but they don’t define you. There may have been people who made you feel that way, but for every one person that’s judged you at your worst, there’s five more ready to love you in whatever state you show up in that day.
For all of my pretty and all of my ugly too
I’d love to see me from your point of view
“POV,” Ariana Grande
Lead image courtesy of Ariana Grande’s YouTube Channel