Anxiety

Album: Inner Monologue Part I (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • Julia Michaels has been vocal about her mental health problems ever since the success of her "Issues" single. She even wrote an intimate essay about her battles with anxiety for the magazine Glamour. Here, she sings about her personal experience living with the condition.

    But all my friends, they don't know what it's like, what it's like
    They don't understand why I can't sleep through the night
    I've been told that I could take something to fix it
    Damn, I wish it, I wish it was that simple


    "I wanted it to be a little satirical, because anxiety is typically such a dark topic," Michaels said. "It's something that when you talk about it, you don't talk about it with a smile. I guess it's my way of trying to take my power back from anxiety. I'm like, 'Yeah, it sucks. I have it, but it's fine.'"
  • The song is a duet with Selena Gomez, who has also been open about her struggles with mental health. The pair sing over a plucking acoustic guitar about how their anxiety affects their relationships.
  • Michaels told Billboard that she and Gomez liked the idea of doing a song together about their relationship with anxiety rather than one about fighting over men or other typical duet topics for women.

    "This is a female empowerment thing, but it's completely different," she said. "We're not throwing our fists in the air, but we're saying, "Hey, we have anxiety, but we're okay with it."
  • Julia Michaels has co-penned several of Selena Gomez's hit songs in the past, including "Good For You" and "Bad Liar," but this marks their first duet together.
  • Michaels wrote the vulnerable song with her longtime collaborator, producer Ian Kirkpatrick, and frequent Shawn Mendes co-writer Scott Harris. She told Beats 1's Zane Lowe:

    "I was writing with Scott Harris and Ian Kirkpatrick, and I basically was just like I kind of wanna talk about these sort of things that I deal with on a daily basis. Not just anxiety, but the fear of missing out and sort of wanting to do things but never actually having the ability to go through with anything that you want to do. It's just a way into the mind of someone that has anxiety and has these struggles for someone that doesn't understand it."

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