Katy Perry released her fifth album, Witness, in 2017, receiving mixed reviews from critics and spawning several singles that failed to hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart.
Though Perry is currently on a world tour in support of the project, the pop star revealed to Vogue Australia that the generally unfavorable reaction left her in a negative state.
"I have had bouts of situational depression and my heart was broken last year because, unknowingly, I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn't react in the way I had expected to … which broke my heart," she told friend Derek Blasberg.
Perry's career had previously been marked by massive success, as the star is one of the best-selling artists of all time and tied Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 singles from a single album, with Perry achieving the feat in 2011 with her third effort, Teenage Dream.
The 33-year-old added, "Music is my first love and I think it was the universe saying: 'Okay, you speak all of this language about self-love and authenticity, but we are going to put you through another test and take away any kind of validating 'blankie.' Then we'll see how much you do truly love yourself.'"
To work through her feelings, Perry revealed that she visited the Hoffman Institute, a mental-health retreat in California, last January.
"For years, my friends would go and come back completely rejuvenated, and I wanted to go, too," she explained. "I was ready to let go of anything that was holding me back from being my ultimate self. That brokenness, plus me opening up to a greater, higher power and reconnecting with divinity, gave me a wholeness I never had. It gave me a new foundation. It's not just a material foundation: it's a soul foundation."
The star further shared her feelings about the institute with a technological comparison.
"I believe that, essentially and metaphorically, we are all computers, and sometimes we adopt these viruses via our parents or via the nurture that we are given or not given growing up," she said. "They start to play out in our behavior, in our adult patterns, in our relationships."
The institute also changed the way Perry looks at her creative process.
"I was with someone recently who asked: 'Well, don't you think that if you do too much therapy it will take away your artistic process?'" she recalled. "And I told them: 'The biggest lie that we've ever been sold is that we as artists have to stay in pain to create.'"
Elsewhere in the interview, Perry discussed her relationship with Orlando Bloom, referencing her recent trip to visit the Pope. The singer was accompanied by Bloom for the visit, with the duo's relationship taking center stage in the resulting headlines.
"I don't want it to be a headline of the story, because it takes away from the purpose," Perry explained. "Also, it's extremely misogynistic. Of course, I love my relationship, but that is one part of me, and I don't want any part of what I do to be diminished."
Photo Credit: Getty / Carlos Osorio