I’m Listening: Lauren Alaina says ‘On Top of The World’ is really about her encounters with depression

'I just made it about a boy because I thought that would be an easier way to kind of convey the thought'

After an eventful couple of years leading into the pandemic, Lauren Alaina is speaking out about her own journey with her mental health and how her new album, Sitting Pretty On Top Of the World helped her find healing.

Lauren’s conversation happened just before Audacy’s 2021 I’m Listening Broadcast last week. In case you missed our broadcast, check out all the artists and athletes who shared their amazing mental health stories on our full podcast of the 2021 I’m Listening special below.

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Ahead of the the nation-wide lockdown in 2020, Lauren found herself in the midst of exciting times with her career as a competitor on Dancing with the Stars and a touring schedule that kept her schedule filled to the brim. While things may have looked great from the outside, Lauren admits her personal life was crumbling as she didn’t prioritize her mental health after two public break-ups.

“I went through two really bad break ups, then I was on Dancing With The Stars, I was on tour, I was doing all these exciting things in my career and my personal life was like falling apart,” Lauren shared with Audacy’s Katie Neal.

As quarantine became reality, Lauren shifted her focus to working on her next album, which turned out to be a very therapeutic venture for the 26-year-old American Idol alum.

“It was such a time of healing for me, I mean, it was a devastating time, but for the first time in ten years, I stopped… Like I stopped traveling, I stopped going,” she said. “I was able to more fully process the things that have happened in my life and I’ve had a lot of things happen in the last two years… It has been a time of emotions, and the best things for writing songs is emotions.”

The emotions super-charged Alaina and her writing as she penned 14 of the 15 tracks that ended up making the album, Sitting Pretty On Top of The World, which released earlier this month.

“I think I wrote the best music I’ve ever written,” Alaina said, before sharing that the track “On Top of the World” is really about her encounters with depression. “I wrote it about my struggles with depression, I just made it about a boy because I thought that would be an easier way to kind of convey the thought.“

She continued, “I wrote it with Sasha Sloan and Jordan Reynolds about faking it. We’re all faking it. At some point or another we’re faking it. We’re sad and acting like we’re not sad and unfortunately and fortunately I felt that way for a couple of years.”

While “On Top of the World” proved to be a song that aided Alaina in much of her healing, she says her favorite song on the album is by far “It Was Me,” an apologetic, autobiograhical ballad, that gives Lauren the opportunity to sing her truth about the break-up with her former fiancé.

“I think it really shows my growth specifically, because it takes a lot of self awareness to be able to say that,”  Lauren said referring to the song’s title. “To put something on yourself, nobody wants to do that. It took me a lot of therapy and healing for me to like, look at that situation [the break-up] and realize that it wasn’t that I didn’t love him — I didn’t love me and I wasn’t ready for that. Realizing that was pretty cool for me.”

She continued, “I think this album really shows my growth as a human and as a woman and it’s all about healing.”

Lauren’s album is available now everywhere. Check out her full interview with Katie Neal above.

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