“I’d built my whole personality around unrealistic and perfectionist ideals…“
As her new album Earthling on the Road to Self Love drifts out into the universe, Grace Cuell, the brainchild behind the new project Baby Cool and co-frontwoman of Nice Biscuit, shares and reflects on her mental health journey, and shares some tips on challenging perfection and nurturing your own wellbeing as an artist, an industry worker, and a creative.
In 2019, after pushing through almost seven years of chronic fatigue, I experienced a huge and sudden breakdown of my mental health. I was on the run from how I was feeling for a long time and it caught up to me all at once.
Being forced to face the state of my health was a huge challenge for me. I’d built my whole personality around unrealistic and perfectionist ideals, and the thought of hitting rock bottom with my mental health was really confronting. In the early days of my recovery I learned very quickly that this journey was going to be a three-steps forward, two-steps back kind of situation. My perfectionist self hated this.
What followed was a slow and beautiful process of learning to be ever so patient and gentle with my evolving emotional landscape. I had to unlearn a lot of negative thought patterns and learn how to recognise them when they would arise.
” The greatest thing I have learned through this time is that it is ok to not be ok, and learning how to care for and love yourself during the low times is one of the most empowering things.”
During the past four years, yoga, journalling, therapy and songwriting have been my absolute saviours. I fall off the wagon from time to time when it comes to self-care, but these are the core things I come back to every time to keep me grounded.
Creating Earthling on the Road to Self Love was the pinnacle of my healing journey over the last few years. Writing an album entirely for myself to serve as a reminder of all of the beautiful things I feel and experience in my body was incredibly special and rewarding.
I should mention too that the healing journey is ongoing. I don’t think I will ever reach a destination of “perfect” stability, and that is something I’ve come to understand as being part of the human experience. The greatest thing I have learned through this time is that it is ok to not be ok, and learning how to care for and love yourself during the low times is one of the most empowering things.
“Healing is not a linear journey. Be gentle with yourself.“
Baby Cool’s new album Earthling on the Road to Self Love is out now via Virgin Music Australia, Bad Vibrations (UK/EU), and Greenway Records/Levitation (US).