As an artist who’s been open about his own experience with depression and anxiety, Lauv (aka Ari Leff) knows that mental health is not just an individual experience—it’s also a broader cultural experience where we all have the power to drive empathy, understanding, and change. His music is a vital outlet for his feelings, and fans worldwide have connected with his songs about loneliness, love, and loss.
“Music has been my way to figure out what’s subconsciously going on with myself. I go in, and it’s really therapeutic. I’m the type of person who just feels more comfortable when I’m an open book.”
Looking in, reaching out, and turning isolation into the strongest bond of all
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and even a little hopeless as a champion for mental health awareness while COVID-19 is physically and emotionally isolating everyone on the planet. Or you can be galvanized by knowing it’s more important than ever.
For Lauv, doing everything he could do wasn’t going to be good enough. So he called a few friends, collaborators, and mental health advocates. Musicians Kim Byeongkwan from A.C.E., Paige, Maalavika Manoj (aka Mali), Liz Lokre, Francis Arevalo, Wengie, and Tessa Violet; musical acts RITVIZ, Theia, and Parker James; and singer-songwriters Anne-Marie (from Lauv’s song “F*ck I’m Lonely”), Alessia Cara (who collaborated with Lauv on “Canada”), and Sofía Reyes (who’s featured in “El Tejano”) all added their own creativity, insight, and vulnerability to help Lauv raise mental health awareness.
Lauv’s Blue Boy Foundation presented the latest edition of Breaking Modern Loneliness: Conversations on Mental Health on May 24 featuring Hayley Kiyoko, Alec Benjamin, Two Feet and Meet Me @ The Altar’s Téa Campbell.
“There are millions of people that deal with depression, and so to have somebody in this platform speaking about his own struggles, it makes people want to speak up more.”
— Caleigh (Lauv fan)
“Even though it can seem like we are alone in the things we are feeling, there are millions of other people going through the same thing,” says Lauv. It’s a simple idea powerful enough to reframe a complicated cultural issue.
If you or somebody you know is currently struggling, please reach out for help. You can view a list of international resources on Lauv’s official site.