Ariana Grande had just finished performing her concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017 when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device, killing 22 people and injuring many hundreds. The singer suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the attack and when she'd completed her worldwide tour she started suffering anxiety attacks. "When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn't breathe," Grande told Elle.
"I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I've always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down."
Grande told Sweetener producer Pharrell about her attacks, and they wrote this piano-heavy song with her voice interwoven in hundreds layers of sounds. She described it as an inner dialogue with "all the voices in my head talking to one another."
"Get Well Soon" finds Ariana directly confronting her anxiety. She told a fan on Twitter: "I felt like I was floating for like 3 months last year and not in a nice way. Like outside my body? Was scary and I couldn't breathe well."
Grande told Fader magazine how she played "Get Well Soon" for a select group of fans before sending the track to her label. "The thing that makes me feel OK with opening up and finally allowing myself to be vulnerable is that I know [my fans] feel the same feelings. I've talked to them about it. I have fans that have become friends of mine," she said. "I have their numbers, and we talk all the time. I played [the song] for them before I played it for my label. They were like, 'Thank you,' when they heard that one. It was so scary to do that, but to see them be like, 'I get it, I feel that too.'"
Speaking to Beats 1's Ebro Darden, Grande detailed her motivation behind the track. "It's about being there for each other and helping each other through scary times and anxiety. I just wanted to do something to make people feel good - and less alone. I feel like the lyrics can be kind of corny when I talk about wanting to hug you and stuff, but I do."
Grande also clarified that the song isn't just about Manchester Arena terror attack. "There's some dark s--t out there, man, and we just have to be there for each other as much as we can," she said. "[But] it's not just about that. It's also about personal demons and anxiety and more intimate tragedies, as well. Mental health is so important."
"Get Well Soon" finishes with 40 seconds of silence bringing the track's running time to 5:22. In doing so Grande is subtly commemorating the May 22 date of The Manchester attack.