On October 24, Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation stopped by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The singer gave a personal and thought-provoking talk about her emotional health and career.
Gaga joined 200 high school students, top policy makers, and academic officials, including Yale President Peter Salovey, a pioneer in the study of emotional intelligence, to discuss ways to recognise and channel emotions for positive outcomes.
Gaga spoke about the nature of the music industry and its effect on her mental health, questioning why her career was beginning to make her unhappy and what she could do to change that.
“I have had to make decisions like, why am I unhappy, why is it that [I] wanted to quit music?” she said. “Ok, well, I really don’t like selling these fragrances … I don’t like wasting my time spending days just shaking people’s hands and smiling; It feels shallow to my existence.”
She concludes that she felt overworked and had to make a choice to say no.
“I don’t like being used to make people money. I feel sad when I am overworked and that I’ve just become a money-making machine and that my passion and my creativity takes a backseat — that makes me unhappy,” she said. “So what did I do? I started to say no. I’m not doing that.”
Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, unveiled the results of an online survey of 22,000 high school students. The survey explored how young people currently feel and how they want to feel in school and the possible reasons for these emotions.
The preliminary findings reveal that the most common words these students used to describe their feelings at school were “tired,” “stressed,” and “bored.”
“We need to close the gap between what students are currently feeling and how they want to be feeling,” Brackett said.
The Born This Way Foundation is an American non-profit organisation founded in 2011 by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. The foundation aims to inspire youth and build better communities.