Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Hayley Williams talks frankly about taking a Paramore hiatus and mental health

hayley williams depresion paramore.jpg

Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, has discussed in a new interview why she took a brief break from the band, describing debilitating bouts of depression that saw her spend days in bed.

Mississippi-born Williams, 28, said one of the worst periods was in 2015 and led her to privately quit the hugely successful group for a spell.

Speaking to Fader magazine, she said she eventually turned to a therapist to get through the period, but described one of her lowest points.

“For the first time in my life, there wasn’t a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel. I thought, I just wish everything would stop. It wasn’t in the sense of, I’m going to take my life. It was just hopelessness.

“Like, what’s the point? I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts.”

Read more: “How beauty rituals help me manage my mental health”

Williams was 15 when she signed a record deal and 16 when the band’s debut album All We Know is Falling was released in 2005.

On the break two years ago, she told the magazine: “I just was done. I thought, ‘There’s gotta be something else that I’m good at in my life. Maybe it’s time for me to find that.’”

However, she slowly began working again with songwriting partner Taylor York, whom the article says suffered depression himself in the past, and eventually an album started forming.

hayley williams

Williams on stage this year

“I told her she didn’t have to do stuff. But I just kept writing, and then there was this time that she got it again,” he explained.

New album After Laughter was released in May this year, and Williams describes how she didn’t exactly feel jubilant when it came out, because she realised that working on it had been what had kept her going through such a dark time.

“It was a heavy day because we were letting go of this thing that we felt kept us alive,” she said. “And I do think it kept me alive.”

Read more: Ellie Goulding reveals how she used exercise to overcome her debilitating anxiety

Other women in the public have discussed about their mental health struggles in the past in the hope of showing others experiencing the same thing that they’re not alone, and opening up the conversation for those who might otherwise find it difficult to talk about it.

Recently, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry have talked frankly about suffering from, variously, depression, OCD, anxiety and postnatal depression.

If you or someone you know if struggling with a mental health issue, information and support can be found at mind.org.uk.

Images: Rex Features



Britney Spears on how ‘overwhelming’ anxiety caused 2007 breakdown

lena dunham tattoo.jpg

Lena Dunham explains how health issues inspired new tattoos


Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral


We’re so ready for the Gavin and Stacey film, truth be told

Breathe, everyone

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Kate Hudson's French fix to Reese Witherspoon's lucky moment

by Nicola Colyer
28 Jul 2017

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is working with Chris Pine again

On a TV show about one of the 20th century’s biggest unsolved murders

by Moya Crockett
28 Jul 2017

We all forgot this OITNB star was once in Friends

Watch the clip and it all comes flooding back

by Amy Swales
28 Jul 2017

Angelina Jolie slammed for “cruel” experiment on impoverished children

The children were selected from orphanages, circuses and slum schools

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jul 2017

Kate Hudson has shaved her head (and now we want to, too)

The actor showed off her new buzzcut on Instagram

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jul 2017

Women are to blame for BBC gender pay gap, apparently

“I suspect they let it happen”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017

You need to read Jennifer Aniston’s epic tribute to BFF Jason Bateman

Find someone who talks about you the way Aniston talks about Bateman

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017

Michelle Obama on pain she felt after enduring racism as first lady

Rather than pretending she wasn’t hurt, Obama wants to own her scars

by Moya Crockett
27 Jul 2017

Usher’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden is most hilarious one yet

The pair’s chemistry is positively off the charts

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017