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Alanis Morissette dominated the world in the mid-1990s. This is her life now.

This post deals with post-natal depression and might be triggering for some readers. 

Alanis Morissette is a busy woman. 

She’s putting out new songs, her Grammy-winning musical Jagged Little Pill is on its way to Australia, and she’s recently debuted a new 'do.

During an interview with Today, the Canadian-American singer looked almost unrecognisable with her bleached blonde hair and red lipstick.

When asked how long she'd be sporting the new hair colour, she said: "Oh I don’t even know, I’m post-partum so it’s been a couple of months I have no idea." 

"I think everyone played with their hair during the pandemic time because we were all slightly insular," the 47-year-old added.

Image: Today.

Last year, Morissette announced she was "unschooling" her kids Ever, Onyx and Winter.

Unschooling, according to Morissette, is “24/7”. It’s education, but totally led by her kids.

“So if there’s some agenda like, ‘Let’s play with these magnet tiles,’ and my daughter is like, ‘F*** those tiles. I want to put glitter on that thing and cut the tree and put the thing,’ boom – we do that,” she told Health.

Watch: Alanis Morissette on how being a mum changed her music. Post continues below.


Video via ABC News
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“I basically get inside their eyeballs. I’m constantly watching their eyes and what they’re pulled toward, and then we do the deep dive.”

It means she’s there to be her kids’ teacher, any time of the day or night. 

“If Ever wakes up in the middle of the night and asks me a question, I’m not gonna blow him off, ‘cause this is the time he’s gonna learn about that dinosaur,” she said in Vanity Fair. 

Morissette’s own childhood was very different. Brought up by parents who were teachers at military school, she moved a lot as a child. 

By the age of 12, she was a minor TV star in her home country of Canada, appearing in the kids’ sketch comedy series You Can’t Do That On Television. She was also establishing herself as a singer-songwriter, having already sent out demo tapes to record companies. 

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“I always remember working my ass off 24 hours a day and looking out and seeing the kids playing in the backyard and thinking, ‘Well, I can't do that right now,’” she told Self.

At 14, she scored a recording deal, and her first album, the dance-pop Alanis, came out two years later. But life wasn’t easy for her. She revealed to Us Weekly that she struggled with anorexia and bulimia from the age of 14.

"I recall being called to a meeting at the recording studio, and the person said, 'I know I called you to redo vocals, but I actually want to talk to you about your weight. You can't be successful if you're fat.’ 

"The pressure was hardcore. For four to six months at a time, I would barely eat, so I constantly felt dizzy. I lived on a diet of Melba toast, carrots and black coffee.”

Morissette found her own therapist at the age of 15 and sought help for her eating disorder. But she continued to struggle with eating issues into her twenties, as well as battling depression.  

There was a lot going on behind the scenes. 

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Morissette explained said she had experienced "sexual abuse, exploitation, financial undermining" throughout her life, starting when she was three.

In 1995, Morrisette had a worldwide smash with Jagged Little Pill. With hit songs like 'Ironic' and 'You Oughta Know', the album sold 33 million copies, more than one million of them in Australia alone. The hit albums kept coming. 

Morissette started dating actor Ryan Reynolds in 2002 after meeting him at Drew Barrymore’s birthday party.

“He’s just such a supportive creature,” Morissette told People after they got engaged. “I feel so loved by him, in a trampoline kind of way. He’s always very happy for me.”

But she ended up marrying another muso, rapper Mario “Souleye” Treadway, in 2010. She described him in Self as “an incredibly modern man”. 

“He has never had an issue with being married to an alpha woman, God bless him,” she added.  

The couple welcomed their first child, son Ever Imre, the same year they married. Next came daughter Onyx Solace and then another son, Winter Mercy. 

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“Between Ever and Onyx there were some false starts,” she said. “I always wanted to have three kids, and then I've had some challenges and some miscarriages so I just didn't think it was possible.”

In 2019, Morissette went public with her experiences with postnatal depression, or as she called it, “postpartum tar-drenched trenches”. She said it took till her first child was 16 months old to realise what she was dealing with. 

"I spoke with a professional who knew all about postpartum depression. And I asked her, 'Does this go away if I just white-knuckle through it?' she said, 'No, it actually gets worse.' So as soon as I heard that, I thought, ‘It can't get worse than this...’ so then I went on medication right away."

She revealed to CBS that with her third child, it was less depression and more anxiety and “a little more of the compulsive, obsessive thoughts”. 

"I mean images that are horrifying, just a lot of times about safety about the people you love, your loved ones, your children… and then me just having to remind myself, 'Oh no, this is just postpartum depression swooping in again. Stop,’” she added. 

Now, she’s open with her kids about mental health.  

“Oh, we talk about therapy all the time,” she told Health. “

‘Where’s Dad going?’ ‘Oh, he’s going to therapy.’ ‘What’s therapy?’ ‘Oh, therapy is where someone really helps you understand your heart, and your soul, and your mind, and your story, and your thoughts.’

“I really think the earlier you get your family into therapy, the better.”

As a parent, she’s been able to look back with clarity at a relationship she had with an older man when she was a teenager. 

“I remember forever I just kept saying, ‘But I was participating, I was…’’ to my therapists,” she said in Self. “And now that I'm a mum: ‘Are you f***ing kidding me?’”

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Morissette is still making music, but, as a mother of three, she’s a lot less particular about the recording environment than she was in her late teens and early twenties. 

“There could be nobody looking at me,” she explained to Health

“If I was doing vocals and there was someone walking in the other room, I’d be like, ‘Stop moving.’ Now it’s like, my son is sitting on my head and I’m singing. And my daughter comes running in, and I’m like, ‘Just a second. We’re doing one more take.’”

As for the unschooling, Morissette says it’s really up to her kids how they want to learn. 

“When Ever says to me sometimes, ‘Mum, what if I want to get my doctorate?’ or whatever, I just say, ‘Yeah, whenever you want to go to school, you’re gonna go to school. And if you want to just keep learning outside of that context you will,’” she told Vanity Fair

For now, unschooling means she can work with the kids around, and they can all come on tour with her. 

“We’re an attachment village,” she says. 

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, contact PANDA – Post and Antenatal Depression Association. You can find their website here or call their helpline – 1300 726 306.

Feature Image: Instagram / @alanis


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