What you see on social media doesn’t always reflect how a person is feeling on the inside. For Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee, she’s reflecting on her past social media posts and using them as an example to open the conversation about taking care of your mental health.
Check out Audacy's I'm Listening Mental Health Mix, a station curated for every mood, featuring artists who have championed mental health causes.
"That picture says to me, 'Here's a person who is trying so hard to hide what she was truly feeling,'" Zee said. "It was one of my darkest points in all of my mental health journey, and my smile is so forced and is so big."
She urged those watching to see how someone can simultaneously look happy on the outside and appear to function well in society, all while struggling internally.
"I hope that me talking about it can help distinguish for people that just because you look bright and sunny does not mean that that is what's happening on the inside," she said. "All of us are complex human beings. We are also allowed to have a really big smile one day and a non-smile the next day."
Zee’s willingness to be open about her struggles comes as part of her desire to end the stigma about discussing mental health. Her latest book A Little Closer to Home is a continuation of her healing, something she acknowledges as a lifelong process.
"What writing these books and talking about mental health has done for me is it has said to me, 'You don't just heal, and then you're done. Healing is a constant maintenance,'" Zee said.
"Just like physical health, you don't go and get in sick shape and have a personal trainer for a year and eat right for 12 months and then you stop and everything stays the same. That's not how it works, and that's not how it works with mental health either."
Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.