Essence: Janet Jackson gets candid about intense struggle with depression

The child actress turned singer has had both good and bad times throughout her life and career, but recently shared how she manages to focus on that which is good. 

52-year-old Janet Jackson first burst onto the scene as Penny on Good Times, but her career exploded from there. Over the years, she has added another 46 acting credits to her name, as well as 90 soundtrack credits. 

She recently spoke to Essence for the July/August issue, on which she graced the cover. Dubber "the happiness issue," Jackson was a prime choice for the cover, as she has always shown an incredible ability to radiate happiness. 

Speaking to the publication, she explained to them how she has fought to find her joy through the highs and lows of her life. 

But the singer admits that she is no expert on maintaining a happy life. 

“I have only my life experience as a guide. I’ve known great happiness and great sadness. But I guess the key question is, What do I really know about happiness?” she said. 

Her next step was to answer that question to the publication, and admitted that it wasn't always easy finding the answer. Different phases in her life have led her to different answers to that all-important question. 

“In my forties: Like millions of women in the world, I still heard voices inside my head berating me, voices questioning my value,” Jackson shared. “Happiness was elusive. A reunion with old friends might make me happy. A call from a colleague might make me happy. But because sometimes I saw my failed relationships as my fault, I easily fell into despair.” 

But even though she's suffered through plenty of hard times, Jackson has always found a way to approach life with the best possible attitude and sunny outlook. 

At 52, she finds her piece in hugging her 1-year-old son, Eissa, and in her relationship with God. 

“The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness,” Jackson gushed. 

She also added that she owes all that happiness to God. 

"During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God. Happiness is saying, ‘Thank you, God, for my life, my energy and my capacity to grow in love,’” she expressed.

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