If You’re Struggling With Mental Health Problems, J Balvin Wants You To Know You’re Not Alone
J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. His ‘Arcoiris’ tour, which holds a partnership with arts collective “Friends With You,” stayed true to its name, bringing light, color, and positivity to every city it stopped in. The tour of the US started in September and ended just a few weeks ago in LA’s Staples Center. The Colombian reggaeton icon kept up his signature high energy and used the tour as a platform to shine a light on a very taboo subject in the Latino community; mental health.
J Balvin used his tour as a platform to talk about mental health issues.
The Colombian singer’s “Arcoiris Tour” officially launched Sept. 11 in Atlanta and then headed off to Miami, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Tulsa. The itinerary also included visits to Phoenix, El Paso, San Jose, and Las Vegas before wrapping up in Los Angeles on Oct. 26 and in all of those stops Balvin took a moment to talk about immigration, mental health issues, love, and compassion.
Arcoiris was a bright and energetic show that shone a light on issues close to the singer’s heart.
The Arcoiris Tour, or “rainbow” tour in English, stayed true to its name as every night, a venue was covered with neon lights, dancers dressed in elaborate costumes that ranged from walking clouds to mushrooms. All the while, the performers were accompanied by a huge cloud-shaped screen and two smaller screens that displayed colorful graphics throughout the night.
J Balvin performed his big hits and paid tribute to other icons of the genre.
Balvin performed some of his biggest hit songs like “Bonita” and “Ginza,” as well as iconic songs by fellow reggaeton singers, such as Wisin y Yandel’s “Rakata” and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” He would later move on to perform “La Canción,” which is part of Balvin’s collaborative album with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, titled “Oasis.”
The singer then came to a halt to share his important message.
During ‘La Cancion’ Balvin took a moment during the interlude to first speak on the importance of addressing one’s own mental health, encouraging people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and letting the audience know they are not alone.
“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”
“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”
The singer also addressed immigration issues, by sharing his own story.
J Balvin explained that eight years ago he came illegally into the U.S. where he painted houses and fixed roofs for a living. “Vine con ese sueño de echar para adelante y seguí soñando. Después de pintar casas, pasé a pintar mis sueños.”
“I came with a dream to move forward,” Balvin said in Spanish. “I followed that dream and after painting houses, I started painting my dreams.”
The fact of the matter is that Latino culture tends to disregard mental health.
Balvin highlighted this by reminding the audience that as much as we can trust God to pull us through difficult situations, we must be more willing to seek out professional help when we need it.
In fact, only 20 percent of Latinos with symptoms of a psychological disorder talk to a doctor about their concerns, and only 10 percent contact a mental health specialist, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. J Balvin took the opportunity to raise awareness about how both depression and anxiety affect Latinos and emphasized on the need to address it.
In social media, Balvin highlights the fact that even artists who seemingly are on top of the world, struggle with mental health issues.
Balvin has been very transparent with fans about his mental health struggles in recent months. While the hugely successful reggaetonero is having a major moment in his career, he hasn’t remained immune to depression or anxiety. This is why Balvin has used his platform as an urbano superstar to normalize experiences of mental illness for his fans.
In recent social media posts, the reggaetonero has shared his own experiences as an example of how help and recovery are possible.
In a video posted on Instagram, J Balvin revealed that he is feeling better now, only after receiving professional help.“I want to thank you all for the good vibes. After two months, I’ve left this chapter of anxiety and depression. Thanks to God, thanks to the professionals, to the medication, and thanks to you for the support. Definitely, sometimes we don’t prioritize these things, but we can always learn to,” he said in the video.
He’s also taken to Twitter to share his evolution with mental illness.
In a recent tweet, the singer expressed that these two months have been “hell,” but he is now feeling on top of the world. “Seek professional help,” he wrote, “Anxiety and depression are real.” If you struggle with depression and/or anxiety, seek help by reaching out to a trusted friend, relative, teacher, or counselor. You can also reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contacting the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.