Singer Alanis Morissette Talks About Eating Disorder Recovery

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Singer Alanis Morissette Talks About Eating Disorder Recovery

The Canadian singer songwriter best known for penning angsty 1990’s hits about breakups, revenge fantasies, and other life issues recently opened up about her early struggles with eating disorders and emotional struggles. 20 years after her song “You Oughta Know” was at the top of the charts, Morissette says she has found healthier ways to deal with stress and life’s emotional ups and downs.

The 41 year old recently talked to Women’s Health magazine about some of the daily practices that help keep her balanced. Morissette starts each day by listening to music, meditating, writing, or reading. She says these are things she has enjoyed her whole life and that by continuing to include them in a regular practice, she has cut down on stress and has created a healthier lifestyle. Morissette has also made her home into a healing space and sanctuary that is uniquely hers.

Morissette says that she has spent most of her life feeling disconnected from her true self. This dissociation has cropped up in various ways. Dealing with eating disorders and not establishing healthy boundaries with romantic partners were common struggles for the young singer.

In her interview, Morissette also brings up an important point about how eating disorder recovery is different from alcohol or drug addiction recovery. Because it’s simply not possible to avoid food in day to day life the way you can avoid drugs or alcohol, it’s difficult to determine exactly what “sobriety” means when it comes to an eating disorder.

Morissette says developing a healthy attitude towards eating was challenging for her and took some time, as she swung between extremes such as binging and purging to starving oneself. She knew that something needed to change when eating disorders began getting in the way of her music and taking a toll on her health.

Now Morissette had changed the way she approaches eating as well as her whole attitude toward living. She looks at food as something that can provide healing and nourishment for her body and mind. Paying more attention to the way certain ingredients made her feel was the first step toward eating a more balanced and healthy diet. For the singer, this meant cutting out dairy from her diet (to eliminate allergies), eating more leafy greens (for better sleep and a balanced mood), and just generally looking at food as medicine for the body.

In addition to eating a healthy diet and redefining her relationship with food, Morissette has made an effort to balance work and life responsibilities. This has proven much harder to accomplish than it sounds. In the music industry and also our society in general, working long hours and devoting most of one’s time and energy to career is seen as a positive thing.

Morissette realized that working tirelessly was beginning to do more harm than good for both her career and health. She realized the high levels of stress that kind of lifestyle creates was simply not worth it anymore. Now the singer makes an effort to clear space in both her schedule and her home to do the things she loves and that nourish her spirit.

Meditation, yoga, and mixing essential oils are some of the hobbies Morissette makes time for each day because of their value to her. By creating a more balanced lifestyle and increasing her awareness of the relationship she has with the world around her, Morissette has begun a recovery process for herself that is truly inspirational.