How Alanis Morissette Handles Her Self-Confessed Work Addiction: ‘I’m a Little Manic’

Fame may seem easy, but it takes hard work. Getting to the top of the music industry isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of rejection on the path to success, so persistence is key. 

Persistence is exactly how Alanis Morissette became the Grammy award-winning musician she is today. Morissette recorded her first song at 10, bad started her own record label when none of the established studios would sign someone so young. But that drive has a downside. 

Alanis Morissette is a self-confessed addict

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Although Morissette couldn’t be where she is today without the drive she displayed at just 10 years old, it’s a gift as well as a burden. Morissette is a self-confessed work addict.

She discussed the double-edged sword of work addiction with Dax Shepard on his podcastArmchair Expert. She describes it as “slightly torturous. Work addiction is actually my No. 1. And one of the signs of work addiction is [working] 110,000% and then boom dead.”

It also can lead to some serious procrastination. Since Morissette knows when she’s in the moment and “manic,” she’ll be giving her all, she can be reluctant to dive in.

“One of the signs of work addiction is also procrastination,” claims Morissette, “Because we know how much of a toll it takes on our body that we anticipate it and that’s when my laziness is triggered but it’s really fear. When you’re in 1,000% mode I’m a little manic actually when I’m inspired.”

And Morissette is inspired a lot, by many different things. She’s famous for her music, but she paints, designs, acts, directs, and cooks, and the list goes on.

Work isn’t the only thing Alanis Morissette is addicted to

Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Work addiction can be taxing on mental health. It may not be as physically dangerous as other types of addictions, like drugs, but Morissette still works hard to keep things in check. She doesn’t want to burn out and lose herself, which is a real risk. She practices mindfulness and meditation, and she’s recovering. But work isn’t the only thing Morissette is addicted to.

Morissette has been open about her drinking in the past. She even wrote a song about it titled “Reasons I Drink.” She describes alcohol as a secondary addiction. It’s actually kind of a side effect of her work addiction. She described her alcohol addiction to the Guardian in 2016, saying drinking was a byproduct of her addictions to “love, food and work.” 

The good news is that Morissette acknowledges her addictions and is working through them. She’s been in recovery from her alcohol addiction for a long time. She’s still working on getting her work addiction under control, but she speaks out as often as she can to help others in the same situation. 

Alanis Morissette also spoke out about postpartum depression

Morissette often speaks out about her mental health struggles to normalize what she’s feeling. Morissette has three children. She has gotten postpartum depression after each birth, and she is very open about what she’s felt during these episodes. The most recent addition to Morissette’s family came in the fall of 2019.

She wasn’t sure if she’d get postpartum depression the third time around. It did happen, but she experienced different symptoms than with her first two. “This time around, it’s less depression, it’s more anxiety and a little more of the compulsive, obsessive thoughts.”

Like the persistent work addict she is, Morissette wanted to push past postpartum depression without getting help the first time around.  After discussing with an expert, Morissette learned that ignoring the symptoms of postpartum depression can actually make it worse. She decided to go on medication.