The singer discusses overcoming suicidal thoughts, her parents' approval, and Taylor Swift on Today

By Joey Nolfi
June 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM EDT

Katy Perry invited fans to experience an entire weekend with her when she launched a 96-hour live-stream of her life last Friday, and now the pop superstar is further opening about a particularly emotional therapy session that aired as part of the event.

Speaking to Today‘s Natalie Morales during an interview broadcast Monday morning, Perry revealed the inspiration behind her decision to publicize the tear-filled exchange with Dr. Siri Singh, during which she discussed past struggles with suicidal thoughts that made her “ashamed that [she’d] feel that low or that depressed.”

“I was letting go of this thing that I created, which is a more exaggerated version of me,” she told Morales of the foundation for her star persona. “For a long time, I didn’t feel like old Katheryn Hudson from Santa Barbara was anything special. I didn’t feel like I was enough, so I had to kind of create this character of myself, and she’s done really well.”

In response to Morales’ questions about her mental health, Perry confirmed she’s wrestled “very low thoughts,” saying: “It’s not just been one time that I felt really low. I have my own addictions that I struggle with, whether that’s love or substance or things like that, and it’s up and down… even attention, I get so much attention and that can become addiction.”

The debut of Perry’s four-day live-stream coincided with the release of her fourth major label album, Witness, which is currently projected to premiere atop the Billboard 200 next week.

“[The songs are] all little chapters in my book that is still being written,” Perry explained before touching on how her religious family feels about the sexually charged lyrics on tracks like “Bon Appètit,” the set’s second single. “My parents are great and I love them so much. I cry so much thinking about how much I love them. They don’t agree with some of the things I do, and they do wish that I could do other things, and I just have to [tell them] you are your own person, I am my own person, and my intentions are pure.”

Throughout the Witness era, which began in February when she unveiled the LP’s lead single, “Chained to the Rhythm,” Perry has regularly detailed her ongoing feud with fellow musician Taylor Swift after their high-profile falling-out — reportedly stemming from an issue with backup dancers.

“No, it’s not about anyone in particular, and I’ve said that on the record,” Perry said when prompted to disclose the meaning behind “Swish Swish,” a tune many have interpreted as a Swift diss track. “That might be your story. But my story, which I know is true for me, is I’ve had not just one person bully me or one person hold me down, or met one troll. All I need to say to her is I love her, and God bless her on her journey.”

As for her thoughts on Swift’s decision to release her entire music catalog to digital services, including Spotify, the same day Witness dropped, Perry responded: “I don’t know. I [can] only do me.”

Watch Perry’s full interview with Morales here.