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Rita Ora Opens Up About Anxiety: Signs, Coping Strategies, and the Power of Conversation


Rita Ora, the acclaimed British singer and former X Factor judge, has candidly shared her ongoing battle with “really bad” anxiety, shedding light on a struggle many in the entertainment industry face. Speaking on the Brave New World podcast, Ora’s openness contributes to the growing dialogue around mental health, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and addressing anxiety.

It’s no surprise that living life in the public eye can be extrordinarily anxiety provoking. Most of us are challenged enough with trying to navigate the day to day relationships and opinions of our co-workers, friends, and family members. Imagine having people all over the world weighing in on what takes place in your life.

Nina Westbrook, licensed marriage and family therapist, weighs in, “learning to cope and adjust to these unusual circumstances is a process. Just like most other things in life, there’s going to be a lot of trial and error. Eventually with enough practice, you really start to get a good feel for what your boundaries are, and what type of system you can put in place in order to create an emotionally safe, and functioning environment for yourself.”

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Ora, at 33, has been navigating the complexities of anxiety for several years, experiencing fluctuating days of intensity. Her journey towards understanding and managing her anxiety highlights a crucial aspect of mental health: the power of awareness and proactive coping strategies. “I’ve really learnt now to recognise when it’s coming,” Ora shared, illustrating her personal growth in identifying the onset of panic attacks. This self-awareness has enabled her to employ specific techniques, such as acupuncture and focused breathing, to alleviate her symptoms, particularly targeting her nervous system and stomach area.

"I have really bad anxiety, I think anyone in my industry has the anxiety, to be honest. It is, I think now really cool that it's become a conversation and there's days that are better than other days, just like anxiety is, just like having panic attacks."

Ora has embraced diverse coping strategies for her anxiety, from Chinese medicine to Wim Hof’s meditation and ice baths, even surprising her husband, Taika Waititi, with a visit from Hof. Her dedication to mental health is also shown through her ongoing weekly therapy sessions since 2016, highlighting the value of professional support.

Recognizing the Signs & Learning to Cope with Anxiety

As anxiety becomes a more widely recognized and publicly discussed issue, it’s vital to be aware of its signs and symptoms, which can include:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Feeling agitated or restless
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Tense muscles
  • Trouble sleeping


Coping with anxiety can be a personal journey, but some effective strategies include:

  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Regular physical exercise
  • Establishing a routine
  • Seeking professional help through therapy
  • Building a support network


Rita Ora’s openness about her anxiety not only brings attention to the prevalence of mental health issues in the entertainment industry but also highlights the importance of discussing and addressing these challenges. For more insights and related discussions on anxiety, check out some of the below related articles:

Ora’s experience underscores the message that dealing with anxiety is a multifaceted process, involving self-awareness, various coping mechanisms, and the support of professionals and loved ones. Her story encourages others to speak openly about their struggles, fostering a more understanding and supportive community.

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