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Why ‘thank u, next’ can empower you to be grateful for pain

“She handles pain / That shit’s amazing”

Over the past year, Ariana Grande has been a prime example of the notion that even musicians struggle with mental health problems. With her single ‘Breathin’ omitting a raw and honest tale of her struggles with anxiety, the 24-year-old has had her fair share of hurdles – yet her latest release brings a resounding openness about how self-love can conquer all.

Opening with a direct nod to her most notable ex-boyfriends, the singer tells a story of how the love, patience and pain that she has experienced through each relationship has transformed her into an undefeatable entity. Instead of condemning the men and mocking their sexual performances like Little Mix boldly asserted in ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ (a banger regardless), Grande puts forward a positive and grateful message to those she has lost, teaching us to value the mistakes we have learnt from our own relationships and appreciate that those experiences – positive or negative – ultimately carve us into stronger characters, no matter how long it takes.

Coping with an unsuccessful relationship or even the loss of the one you love whilst battling your own inner demons is merciless, and whilst learning to love yourself can seem hopeless, it is something that is often discovered through heartbreak. If you’re struggling with the relationships around you or can’t understand how falling in love with yourself could be possible – let Ari guide you into that mindset. Learning to be thankful for pain is a seemingly never-ending uphill hike but once you get there (and you will), the journey ahead will be luminescent.

Words by Sophie Barnden