How Lovato’s New Album & Docuseries Shows That She’s Back and Stronger Than Ever
Demi Lovato is sharing the beauty of healing.
The former Disney star has always been candid about her struggles with mental health, addiction, and eating disorders, but her latest projects take her honesty to a new level. On March 23rd, Lovato debuted her newest docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil—a four-part documentary that details the aftermath of her near-fatal 2018 overdose. The release directly coincides with the drop of her seventh studio album with a similar name: Dancing With The Devil…The Art of Starting Over.
Both the album and docuseries discuss difficult topics surrounding drug addiction, sexual assault, and mental health. Lovato holds nothing back—her lyrics and testimonies are brutally honest and don’t sugarcoat the truth. In the midst of all the heavy content, however, there is an undeniable glimmer of hope and healing. The tracklist of the album is intentionally split into two parts; the first half details the trauma and hardships she has endured, while the second half focuses on moving forward into a brighter future. This strategic binary shows that after all of the trauma and pain, there is beauty in healing.
The music video for the album’s title track serves as a disturbingly realistic reenactment of the night of her overdose, complete with actual audio from the 911 call that helped save her life. The poetic lyrics serve as an honest account of that fateful night, with the chorus being: “I was dancing with the devil, out of control / Almost made it to Heaven / It was closer than you know.” While most of the video is incredibly heavy and difficult to watch, the ending is an undeniable message of hope. As the music fades out, a disco ball hangs above an empty hospital bed, symbolizing Lovato’s resiliency and lust for life. Both the song and video are hauntingly beautiful and show the power of the human spirit.
Perhaps one of the most impactful tracks on the album is “The Way You Don’t Look At Me” which references Lovato’s ongoing struggle with body image as well as the extent that her heart has been broken. Recovery isn’t always linear, and she details the heart-wrenching pain that still lingers in the chorus, saying “‘Cause when you say nothing / It’s much worse than things I’ve overcome and / This hurts harder than my time in heaven.”
The final track of the album “Good Place” is a love letter to herself and her hopes for the future. She addresses her tumultuous past head-on and sings about the growth and healing she’s endured, saying “And with a whole lot of work, whole lot of hurt, whole lot of grace / Now I’m in a good place.” The final track serves as a reminder to both herself and her fans that she’s in a better place and is now stronger than ever.
For fans struggling with similar issues, her raw honesty is a beacon of hope. There’s a stigma surrounding mental health and addiction, and all too often people think they’re alone in their struggles and suffer in silence. By creating art that addresses these difficult topics, Lovato sends the message to her fans that they are not alone.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, call 1-800-662-4357. You are not alone.