If you or someone you know is struggling or in a crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

  • Beyond Sport on Instagram
  • Beyond Sport on TikTok
  • Beyond Sport on Youtube
  • Beyond Sport on Twitter (X)
  • Beyond Sport on Facebook
  • Beyond Sport on Linkedin
Beyond Sport
Quick Exit
Quick Exit
Click to leave if you need privacy.

Inspiring Black Artists Who Champion Mental Health: Zendaya’s Story

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to highlight Zendaya for her openness about her mental health journey.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to spotlight outstanding Black figures who’ve made their mark with their talents and shown us the power of being real about their lives and mental health journeys.

These Black artists, dancers, and actors are open about who they are, flaws and all, and they teach us valuable lessons.

They remind us that it’s totally okay and normal to face tough times and challenges no matter who you are. Life isn’t always smooth sailing, and that’s alright.

They highlight the importance of seeking help when it comes to mental health. Reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

They remind us that speaking up and standing for your beliefs can positively change the world.

We hope these stories inspire you from these artists’ actions and the words they want you to hear.

You’re not alone in your journey; just like them, you can overcome anything with determination and resilience.

Why we’re celebrating Zendaya

Zendaya has risen from a Disney child star to an acclaimed actress and singer, renowned for her performances in “Spider-Man” and “Euphoria.”

Her advocacy for racial equality and diverse representation in the entertainment industry has made her a prominent voice beyond the screen.

The actress says she knows she has privilege among other Black stars, saying she is an “acceptable version of a black girl” in Hollywood.

Zendaya star told Cosmopolitan in 2016 it was important for her to understand her “privilege” as a light-skinned black woman.

“Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot.”


Zendaya said she hopes to transition into directing to help promote and extend diversity in Hollywood. She said: ‘If I ever do become a filmmaker, I know that the leads of my films will always be Black women’.

Her Mental Health Journey

Zendaya has openly addressed her struggles with anxiety and the “dark cloud” of sadness, sharing her experiences to destigmatize discussions on mental health.

Zendaya manages her anxiety by distancing herself from its triggers. She paused live performances to focus on movies, which eased her nervousness when she returned to singing.

She explained that during Covid, she experienced deep feelings of sadness unlike ever before.

It was the “first kind of taste of sadness where you wake up and you just feel bad all day, like what the f—k is going on?” she told British Vogue. “What is this dark cloud that’s hovering over me and I don’t know how to get rid of it, you know?”

And while therapy and coping mechanisms have helped her, Zendaya is honest that she still has hard days, even when people may think she is at her best.

“Even though Euphoria coming out was amazing and exciting, it was also extremely stressful. It gave me a lot of anxiety every week. That’s something I deal with; I have anxiety. I already know after this interview is over, I’m going to spiral about it for weeks”


We hope these stories inspire you, just like these athletes inspire us. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey. With determination and resilience, you can overcome anything.

‘Head in the Game’ is here to help support young peoples mental health. To learn more about the ‘Head in the Game’ program click here. Young people can also explore resources to support their mental wellbeing by clicking here.