Yale University welcomed an unconventional lecturer last week: none other than Lady Gaga.
In partnership with her Born This Way Foundation and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Lady Gaga hosted over 200 high school students, policymakers, and educators at the inaugural Emotion Revolution summit. The daylong event was all about sparking conversations on how to improve schools and the education experience so that all students can thrive.
The singer and actress had a candid conversation about the important role emotional intelligence plays in her personal and professional life.
In a conversation with Soledad O'Brien, Lady Gaga opened up about why it's so important for people to be aware of their feelings and express their emotions — an ability often referred to as emotional intelligence or EQ. A person's EQ may affect how they navigate social situations, make choices, or manage their behavior.
Here are five thought-provoking moments from Lady Gaga's presentation (paired with a few of our favorite Gaga photos) that may change the way you think about emotions, self-acceptance, and even the former Stefani Germanotta herself.
1. On confronting her lifelong struggle with struggle with depression and anxiety
#IamNotJust ANXIOUS. I have depression. @btwfoundation
A photo posted by The Countess (@ladygaga) on
"I invented myself, Lady Gaga, I curated my life to be an expression of my pain. This is how I overcame my depression. It's by creating somebody that I felt was stronger than me. But once I went through all sorts of changes, my career taking off, becoming isolated ... nothing was able to fix how I was genetically made. I was born this way."
2. On learning to love yourself
"No matter how much success you have, no matter how many opportunities, fame, fortune, no matter how many accept you to your face, the person that really needs to accept you is you."
3. On the importance of saying "no"
"I realized that part of my identity is saying no to things I don't wanna do. ... It is your right to choose what you do and don't do. It is your right to choose what you believe in and don't believe in. It is your right to curate your life and your own perspective."
4. On making emotions cool again
"Our emotions are put in this compartment with a massive stigma around it that it is just not cool to feel. We have to make it cool to feel again..."
5. On battling negativity and ignorance on the Internet
"You have to be a rebel. ... You have to be the antithesis of the status quo. You have to work against it. It's not about a reaction. You don't need to react to anything. We need to be proactive in our own movement of positivity."
But all of that was just the beginning of a much bigger conversation.
That same day, Lady Gaga launched #IAmNotJust, a campaign that values and celebrates how people talk about their emotions.
The singer announced the campaign and hashtag on her social accounts and encouraged fans to ditch labels and join her emotion revolution.
And they're already off to an honest, powerful start:
Couldn't make it to Yale for Lady Gaga's session? You're in luck.
The entire thing is available online. Jump to one hour in and soak up the wisdom of Mother Monster.