Lorde shares an emotional update on her physical and mental health and ‘living with heartbreak’

Lorde sings into a mic, in a white bodysuit with red ribbons on her arms, as guitarists play behind her
Lorde sent a cryptic newsletter to fans updating them on her physical and mental health, but some interpreted it as a tease to new music.
(Joel C Ryan / Invision / Associated Press)

Lorde is telling the truth about how she’s really been — and it isn’t pretty, nor authentic to the neat long letter she previously wrote to fans.

The 26-year-old, who launched her career with the 2012 hit “Royals,” said, “I ache all the time,” and shared her relationship status and how she feels stifled by social media, and revealed her decision to break up with a certain medication she has been taking for more than a decade.

“I chose my words well, but I didn’t tell the truth. So I’m starting again, gonna type and not look back, and send what comes out,” the singer-songwriter wrote Wednesday in a cryptic newsletter updating her followers on her physical and mental health. She got real about her feelings, creative doldrums and feeling lost in the daily grind, relaying that work and fame had been taking a toll on her. She also shared recent photos, her current reads and plugged the Kindness Institute, a mental health resource for Māori youth that recently lost government funding.


But she attempted to end the somber check-in on a positive note.

Well, she’s certainly seen a diamond in the flesh by now.

June 16, 2017

“Hope you’re taking care of yourself. Don’t worry about me, I still laugh every day, it’s all moving, even when it goes slow. I’ve accepted the mission — I have a self to recover,” she concluded the update.

Fans interpreted the singer’s bittersweet candor as a tease to new music, even though she didn’t explicitly announce any forthcoming projects.

The New Zealander, real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor, said she’s been living in London since May but missed home. And she’s “living with heartbreak again” after apparently breaking up with Justin Warren, 42, whom she had been dating since 2015.

“[The heartbreak is] different but the same. I ache all the time, I forget why and then remember. I’m not trying to hide from the pain, I understand now that pain isn’t something to hide from, that there’s actually great beauty in moving with it. But sometimes I’m sick of being with myself,” she wrote.

The two-time Grammy Award winner said she eats chocolate to try to “manipulate the endorphins” and bring back “the sweet happiness of Easter morning.”

“I sit in the time machine and wait for it to move, but it hasn’t been invented yet,” Lorde wrote, adding, “My body is really inflamed, it’s trying to tell me something and I’m trying to support it but nothing seems to help and I get frustrated.


Holy cow, Lorde said in more colorful language, “there are a lot of people here tonight!”

March 15, 2018

“My gut isn’t working properly, my skin is worse than ever, I’ve gotten sick half a dozen times,” she continued. “I realised earlier this year that listening to my body is hard for me, it’s something I never really learned how to do. I’ve been trying to teach myself that this year, but it’s been hard actually, pretty confronting, has made me fully aware of all the times I ignored it or didn’t give it what it needed, shamed it for a fight or flight response, took a handful of pills and pushed through.

“The little yellow pill I took every morning for thousands of mornings since I was 15, I stopped taking it 5 days ago. Gonna see how it goes,” she added.

The “Team” singer then turned her missive to the trappings of social media, looking at the “beautiful people” who sing to her and those toting “the right bag, the right sunglasses.”

“I wonder if it feels as good as it looks, it’s been so long since I chose the best picture from a hundred, lined it up like pulling an arrow taut in a bow, and let it go. Everyone looks very thin. Just thinking that makes me feel tired and far away. I’m not sure if it’s having an effect on anyone else. I keep spending money, wondering if what’s in the package will make me feel right, but I guess I buy the wrong things,” she wrote.

Lorde said she had planned to go to Paris this week, for fashion week, but canceled all her “grand plans”: “I txted my manager and pulled out. At the start of my career I promised myself I’d never be one of the people in the light smiling if it wasn’t real.”

Lorde’s third LP, ‘Solar Power,’ produced by Jack Antonoff, is uniformly gorgeous but curiously low-key.

Aug. 19, 2021

She explained that she turns to music as a kind of catharsis, leading fans to believe that she has new music on the way. (Lorde released her third studio album, “Solar Power,” in 2021, exploring the burdens of fame on the record and setting out on a tour to support it last year. It was her first new music in four years.)

“It might seem funny or be easy to forget, but I make records because I need to. The songs are spells; a spell to let go of something, a spell to unlock a door. Every time I put something into words just as I see it, set it to the right music, a knot comes loose in me,” she wrote.

“But it hurts too, confronting the knots. I’ve made enough records to know that this feeling of my skin coming off is part of it. I know I’m gonna look back on this year with fondness and a bit of awe, knowing it was the year that locked everything into place, the year that transitioned me from my childhood working decade to the one that comes next — one that even through all this, I’m so excited for. It’s just hard when you’re in it.”

That’s why she went out on “a short European festival” tour “in this state.” The singer-songwriter built a new version of the show in a couple of days and said it was “good to change gears and get out of my head.”

Lorde said she “put effort” into the show, changing up the set list and arrangements, and noted “it was cool how you picked up on that, and it felt good dancing to the new versions with you, looking out at you, all sweaty with your friends, all on the same drugs.”

“I felt the throb of history that’s under this music now, how each year makes these songs feel more like collectively written and sung pieces. I left my body and merged with yours and it was ecstasy. Then I went home to a business hotel and washed the glitter and smoke out of my hair.”