Singer Hayley Kiyoko Says ‘Chronic Stress’ Has Impacted Her ‘Mental and Physical Health’

Hayley Kioko Talks Struggles WIth Chronic Stress and How Living Her Truth Set Her
Hayley Kioko Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
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Hayley Kiyoko is opening up about her battle with chronic stress and how she’s learned to manage it.

“I don’t think chronic stress is a great thing to have. I think it’s severely impacted my health. I’ve had a lot of health issues,” Kiyoko, 32, said during a Thursday, January 18, interview with Variety presented by the American Heart Association.

She continued: “Being in this industry and having such a demand to constantly show up, and be going and going and going, has definitely affected my mental and physical health. It’s always been a challenge of, ‘How do I manage that stress while also still getting to pursue the things that I want to?’”

In addition to the pressure associated with being a performer, the singer shared that “being closeted added a huge level of stress” before she publicly came out as gay in 2015 with the release of her song “Girls Like Girls.”

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Kiyoko said that the candid track “shifted [her] career for the better” and helped her find “this beautiful community that I was always searching for.” Although she acknowledged that feeling safe enough to come out is a privilege, Kiyoko noted that “hold[ing] in your truth” can affect “your stress and your health.”

Kiyoko has been dating Bachelor alum Becca Tilley for years. The twosome confirmed their romance in May 2022.

Kiyoko told Variety that she became more aware of the importance of heart health when her dad received a heart transplant several years back.

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“Heart stuff is very near and dear to my heart, because someone saved my father’s life by being a donor,” she said. “I just learned that our health is so important and [so is] taking care of your body, checking in with yourself, seeing doctors, and not neglecting the fact that we get older as each year goes by, and trying to maybe avoid alcohol and drugs and certain things that can really amplify stress and health issues down the line.”

When it comes to managing her stress levels, Kiyoko has a few tools she likes to use.

“Acupuncture has been really helpful, I highly recommend it once a week if you can,” she said. “It just kind of, like, allows blood flow and alleviates stress. I also try to eat healthier for myself [and] standing out in the sun really helps me.”

Kiyoko has also come to love journaling despite hating it while she was growing up.

“Realizing the feeling of writing something out [and] being like, ‘I’m upset, I’m this, I’m that,’ and then being able to, like, close the book and letting it go — it helped me so much,” Kiyoko said.

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Although she’s made progress, Kiyoko shared that she is “still navigating a lot of health issues,” something she previously opened up about in April 2021.

“I haven’t really shared much about my health journey these past couple of years but I know there will be a time for that,” she wrote via Instagram while commemorating her 30th birthday. “When your body is in pain and not functioning properly, you are forced to advocate for it. It can be exhausting trying to find the answers.”

Despite her struggles, Kiyoko noted that turning 30 “felt like the biggest accomplishment of [her] life” and a “massive restart.”