The twins write from experience about the importance of connection on mental health.
Bloom Twins are a Ukrainian pop duo formed by twins Sofia and Anna Kuprienko. Their latest single ‘Talk to Me’ was written to help break the stigma around mental health.
Hello, Talk To Me is obviously a poignant single. I believe it is focused around mental health and wishing to be able to help a friend/lover through tough times?
‘Talk To Me’ explores how people tend to close down when they are feeling depressed. In our society, letting feelings out can be taken for weakness. People often feel ashamed to say they are not feeling ok mentally. It’s really important to talk to each other, help one another as it can lead us to dark places.
Do the lyrics in ‘Talk To Me’ relate to any of your personal experiences?
‘Talk To Me’ was dedicated to one of our best friends who we lost to anorexia nervosa. She was going through really dark times and felt ashamed/scared to talk about her problems. It is terrible not to be able to help a very close friend. You feel helpless. It is hard to make somebody talk to you if they don’t want to. They don’t want to for various reasons: because of the stigma surrounding mental health, because they can’t make sense to why they feel what they feel, because they can’t articulate why they feel that way etc. All of us need to learn how to make this a non-judgmental safe topic for someone to let their thoughts/feelings out. It’s not them who have a problem – it’s us not knowing how to deal with it.
Have you ever been that person instead who was refusing the help of the people around you?
I (Anna) was never in this situation, but I saw people who I really care about that needed my help. It’s important to let people help you. You are the strongest when you are weak.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
The biggest challenge of our lives was to appeal the decision that refused us to enter the UK for 10 years. Our new home, friends, future plans all were taken away in just a second. We’re so happy we got the appeal, but waiting every day for six months not knowing if we will ever come back into the country was a challenge that made us stronger.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
When you are feeling overwhelmed it is very important to breathe normally, otherwise you are under control of your emotions. But most importantly to have someone to talk to: be it a family member, workmate, partner, or a mental health professional. It is incredibly underrated the importance of talking and letting all of the thoughts out.
What three songs lift your spirits?
Luis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
50 Cent – In Da Club
Lou Reed – Perfect Day
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Our perfect day is the present day. The best things are the things that haven’t happened to us yet because there is a wonder/gamble if they will happen. And that’s what makes us the happiest, not the goal but the process of getting there. Not the plans that we create, but the things we couldn’t have planned, or seen coming. Just a normal day full of disasters, laughs, jokes, mistakes. With all of the ups and downs. The great happiness of life is a mystery.
Do you have any routines that help you through stressful situations, such as right before a live performance?
We have a breathing technique, that our drummer and a great friend Paul Love introduced us to. The idea is to count your breaths (so it distracts you from bad thoughts) and to inhale slowly with your chest and diaphragm, and exhale even slower.
They say healthy body, healthy mind. What do you eat to stay healthy? Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
Eating a balanced diet is our everything. It is important to provide your body with all of the vitamins it needs. We think it is better to eat diverse food every day, and also important to have a strict schedule of eating. We all sin on skipping a meal due to our busy working schedule sometimes, so it is also good to have few healthy snacks in the bag. Sport is very healthy, not only to be in a good shape but you also feel happier. So we try to stick to daily sports activities as well.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
No stigma surrounding mental health. People being comfortable not only to listen to people speaking up about their struggles but also opening up about their own dark times.