Katy Perry is opening up about a rough time in her life when both her personal life and career weren't going as planned. In a new interview with SiriusXM's CBC Radio One, the 35-year-old singer said that after she briefly split from her now-fiance, Orlando Bloom, in 2017, and her album, Witness, fell short of expectations just a few months later, she struggled with her mental health.
"I lost my smile," she said about the difficult period. "I don't know if my smile was fully authentically mine, but I was riding on the high of a smile for a long time, which was, you know, the validation and love and admiration from the outside world and then that shifted."
"My career was on this trajectory when it was going up, up, and up, and then I had the smallest shift -- it wasn't that huge maybe from an outside perspective -- but for me it was seismic," she continued.
Perry said that she had trouble coping with the new feelings.
"I had given so much out, and it literally kind of broke me in half," she said. "I had broken up with my boyfriend, who is now my baby daddy-to-be, and then I was like, excited about flying high off the next record and the record didn't get me high anymore ... well, the validation didn't get me high. ... And so I crashed. I just crashed."
Looking back, Perry said the difficult period was a "necessary brokenness" she had to experience so that she could stop living her life like "a thirsty pop star." She also shared how she copes with negative emotions today.
"Gratitude is probably the thing that saved my life, because if I didn’t find that, I would have wallowed in my own sadness and probably just jumped," she said. "But I found the ways to be grateful. ... If things get really, really hard, when I'm in a shi**y mood -- which, I can swing -- I just walk around and go, 'I'm grateful, I'm grateful!’ Even though I am in a shi**y mood, I am grateful. And that's been my light at the end of the tunnel."
This isn't the first time Perry has opened up about having dark thoughts following a breakup. In a 2014 interview with Australian show The Project, she talked about the suicidal thoughts she referenced in the lyrics to her song, "By the Grace of God," which is about her 2011 divorce from Russell Brand. At one point in the song, Perry sings, "Couldn't take it anymore… I looked in the mirror and decided to stay / Wasn't gonna let love take me out that way."
"Sometimes you can be blinded by your extreme emotions," Perry said at the time. "I definitely was looking for answers during that time I wrote that song. And yeah, I was depressed, and it was sad, and there were thoughts, but there were never actions, thankfully."
"That song is evident of how tough it really was at a certain point," she continued. "I asked myself, 'Do I want to endure? Should I continue living?'"
Meanwhile, in January, Perry also talked to Vogue India about 2017 to 2018 being a tough period in her life.
"I became depressed and I did not want to get out of bed," she shared. "In the past, I had been able to overcome it, but this time something happened that made me fall down too many flights of stairs. I had to really go on a mental health journey."
"I've done a lot of mental, spiritual and emotional work in the past few years," she continued. "The biggest lie we've ever been told as artists is that we have to stay in pain to create. I don't want to be in emotional pain my whole life in order to write songs."
As for why Perry and 43-year-old Bloom's relationship is different from her previous one with Brand, Perry explained that she's learned much about love since her divorce.
"Love is different from dating," she explained. "You date in your 20s. Love is partnership, friendship, truth and being an absolute mirror to someone. Orlando is like a sage. When we first met, he said we would pull the poison out of each other, and we really do."
"It’s exhausting, but we really hold each other accountable," she added. "I've never had a partner who was willing to go on an emotional and spiritual journey like Orlando. It's challenging, because you’re facing all the things you don’t like about yourself. It's like a never-ending cleanse."
ET spoke with Perry in April about preparing for motherhood while under quarantine. Watch the video below for more: