Nobody can accuse Demi Lovato of not doing important work during the coronavirus outbreak. The 27-year-old singer says she's been using her months in self-isolation to learn how to cry again.
"Before quarantine, it was very difficult for me to cry. I had programmed the thought into my head when I was 16 that I'm only going to cry if people pay me to," Lovato said during a candid interview with Bustle.
"I started doing all this work, allowing myself to feel the pains of all the losses that I've had or the adversities or traumas that I've faced," she said, adding, "I think my ability to be vulnerable and be more intimate with people has really heightened."
Though the former Disney star's heart breaks for those who've been sick or suffered job losses during the pandemic, the past four months, for her, have been "really good."
"It's very common for people to only really work on themselves when (a) crisis happens or when they notice that they're slipping into old patterns or behaviors," Lovato said. "So to be able to walk into this experience without a personal crisis and just be like, 'I can do the work on myself now because I have the time.' ... It was a beautiful thing."
It also helped Lovato to be able to process it all from the comfort of the home she shares with her boyfriend, actor Max Ehrich.
"I wasn’t in rehab; I was outside in the world with Netflix. So when I was too tired of therapy, I'd put on 'Schitt's Creek,'" said the singer, who suffered a 2018 drug overdose after six years of being sober.
"I was given this opportunity," Lovato added of life in quarantine. “And I was like, I'm going to adapt. I'm going to shift to this. I'm going to learn from it."
During the interview, Lovato also opened up about her eating disorder, which began before she was famous. As a young girl, she was aware that other girls and women were struggling, too. "I kind of looked around and had a moment where I was like, ‘Wow. This is so terrifyingly normalized,'" she recalled.
Once she became a star, Lovato's battle with bulimia got more intense, thanks in part to her former management team, who, the singer told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year, gave her watermelon with fat-free whipped cream on her birthday each year instead of cake.
"I used to have people watching me the night before a photo shoot to make sure that I didn't binge or eat and be swollen the next day," she recalled.
These days, Lovato has a healthier body image, and her relationship with food has improved.
"It’s just a totally different world now," she shared. "I don't prepare for photo shoots, even. I can eat Subway for breakfast."