Alanis Morissette Discusses Destigmatizing Mental Illness & The Need for More Empathy

This year’s Icon Award recipient Alanis Morissette spoke with Billboard backstage at Women in Music, sharing advice for women who might be struggling to find their self-worth and explaining why a little more empathy is needed in the world.

Asked to share some words of wisdom for women who are having difficulty finding their self-worth, Morissette told Billboard that there are so many parts to each of us and that is important not to fight them — even the parts that are terrified or broken.

“All these parts are just aspects of ourselves and they’re all trying to tell us something and actually help us in some way,” she explained. “I usually just ask what wisdom they have for me, what message they want to get to me, and also, what action I can take.

“It’s less about being happy all the time, where happiness is just a temporary state,” she continued. “It’s more about not fighting these parts of ourselves that are trying to express themselves through our consciousness and through our minds.”

In the interview, Morissette was also asked which social justice issues have been the most important to her this past year.

“The biggest social justice movement or topic that I feel most passionate about this year and, all years frankly,” she replied, “Is the idea of the taking of our bodies and trauma recovery and understanding personality disorders and understanding depression and anxiety and looking at mental health and mental wellness.”

She also emphasized the importance of having empathy for the human condition, noting, “We’re a lovely and often powerful but very fragile bunch, at times, and I think empathy is a little bit more needed.”

You can watch the full video interview with Alanis Morissette above, and watch her accept the Icon Award below.

2019 Billboard Women in Music