"I felt extremely unsafe in my music career in the past," the singer said.
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Willow Smith is putting herself first.

During an appearance on The Yungblud Podcast for the BBC's Sounds, the pop-punk star asked Smith how her mental health is now that she has released her fourth album, Lately I Feel Everything. The British musician was particularly curious if her sharing new music was a cure, or a curse and a cure.

Willow Smith
Willow Smith
| Credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

"That's a really, really good question. For so long, I had a lot of fear that was just like in my heart, and just sitting there," Smith said. "I felt extremely unsafe in my music career in the past, and that feeling of insecurity or un-safety — I just didn't feel protected, which went really deep. And... I kind of had to come back from the music industry. And now I'm kind of going back in, and it's so interesting because all of those memories and emotions have just been resurfacing."

Smith added that an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon triggered a painful memory from years ago when she performed her breakthrough single, "Whip My Hair," during a set. She didn't specify which show, but Fallon was hosting Late Night when that song first dropped, in 2010.

"I was doing the Jimmy Fallon performance and I had a flashback of being, like, 10 or 9 and, like, having an anxiety attack on set, and basically feeling like everyone around me was just, 'You're just a brat… Why aren't you grateful? You're having an anxiety attack,' but they didn't see it as an anxiety attack," Smith recalled. "They saw it like a tantrum. And now, I look back and I know it was an anxiety attack, and so when I'm in these situations now and I have those flashbacks, I need to take time."

Taking time for Smith means pressing pause.

"I need to go into a little meditation," she said. "I need to separate myself from the situation a little bit and kind of tell myself, 'You're not 9. You're a grown a-- woman.' … And so I have to retrain my mind. So, my mental health is in a very fragile state, but I think it's a state where it's about to grow in a really awesome way."

As the two musicians further discussed their anxieties, Smith said that when people get them, it's important to "remind yourself that you're a beautiful human that just needs to take a moment." 

"Don't crash down on yourself so hard," she said.

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