"Later this year I will be launching Happiness Takes Work, an organization focused on preparing teens for the challenges they will face in young adulthood, and empowering them to live their happiest and healthiest lives," Lindsey Stirling announced on Virgin.
With over nine million followers on YouTube, Lindsey Stirling was the highest-earning woman on YouTube in 2015. Her recent album has sat atop Billboard charts for an incredible six months. But Stirling keeps it no secret that her success didn't come without struggle, without humiliation, and without unhappiness.
"A lot of my fans view me as this beacon of happiness; however, I wasn’t always this way," Stirling writes. "In my late teens and early twenties, I fell deep into anorexia and depression. . . . Happiness felt foreign, so I accepted that some people are born happy and others aren’t.
"It’s not like I was choosing to be unhappy. No one ever thinks they are choosing to be unhappy. And yet every day we make small decisions that take us towards or away from happiness.
"But with the help of loved ones and what I believe to be divine intervention from God, I woke up to the fact that the problem was within my own mind. Surprisingly this gave me hope. Since I’d found the source of the issue, it meant that I could fix it, and I’ve always been good at fixing problems."
Stirling then goes on to share how she worked constantly at her own happiness through reading, therapy, and what she calls "the most powerful antidote for depression, pride, and jealousy"—gratitude.
"It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy," she writes.
Gratitude even helped Stirling over the past year as she watched her father "slowly die from cancer." Near the end of his life, Stirling talks about sitting with her family while everyone shared their favorite memories of her father.
"It was one of the sweetest moments of my life and I was filled with so much love, spirituality, and gratitude. Yes, I was losing an amazing father but I was reminded that I had an amazing father. How lucky was I?" she writes.
And it is that kind of resilience, that kind of joy that can be found in any circumstance that Stirling hopes to pass onto teens.
"Through all of this, I’ve learned that happiness is not connected to circumstances. External influences have the power to drag us down or lift us up momentarily but lasting joy is only created through consistent work on our mental health," she writes. "I look forward to continuing this journey with you, because you are capable of happiness, and you deserve happiness."
Lead image from lindseystirling.com
Lindsey is not afraid to be herself. In fact, it’s her confidence and individuality that have propelled her into the spotlight. But the road hasn’t been easy. After being rejected by talent scouts, music reps, and eventually on national television, Lindsey forged her own path, step by step. Detailing every trial and triumph she has faced until now, Lindsey shares stories of her humble yet charmed childhood, humorous adolescence, life as a struggling musician, personal struggles with anorexia, and finally, success as a world-class entertainer.