Zayn Malik canceled a huge show. It was a very brave thing to do.

Zayn Malik had a big show lined up earlier this month.

The former One Direction heartthrob was supposed to take the stage at Summertime Ball in the U.K. on June 11, 2016. But it didn't happen.


Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images.

It was a huge event (especially for teens who are into pop music). Artists Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, and Will.i.am were among the many A-listers who performed.

Malik's mental health, however, had other plans for the pop star.

The day of the event, Malik — who's only had a small handful of performances promoting his new solo album out earlier this year — posted a candid note to fans on Twitter and Instagram announcing he had to cancel.


"My anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me," he wrote, noting he's living with the "worst anxiety of [his] career."

"I know those who suffer [from] anxiety will understand," his message concluded. "And I hope those who don't can empathize with my situation."

Malik is far from alone in the struggle with anxiety.

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans are living with some form of anxiety disorder, making it one of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

So Malik's honesty could make a real difference to others in the same boat — especially men.

Research suggests men are less likely to seek treatment for their mental health issues than women. There are a few realities that help explain this, from the backward social expectation that boys and men shouldn't express their emotions to the more general stigma applied to those who live with mental health issues.

It's a big deal when famous male stars speak up about what they're going through.

When Wentworth Miller opened up about his chronic struggles with depression and battles with suicidal thoughts, it felt like the whole internet was on his side.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Trevor Project.

More recently, actor Dominic Purcell, Miller's co-star on "Prison Break" and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," encouraged other men to "talk it out," "see a shrink," and "be brave." Because those things worked for him.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.

And Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson certainly deserves a thumbs-up for addressing his history of depression and reiterating to anyone going through tough times that "you're not alone."

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV.

It doesn't matter if you're a pop star, famous actor, or larger-than-life wrestler. Opening up about your mental health isn't a sign of weakness.

It's the bravest thing you can do.

Need help? Learn more and access care at MentalHealth.gov.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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