“We All Struggle”: ‘Frozen 3’ Star Opens Up About Mental Health Challenges

Credits: Disney

These days, Disney Princess fans are more likely to discuss the upcoming Frozen podcast, the voice acting cast for that podcast, or the rumors about Elsa’s romance in the upcoming Frozen 3 animated movie than they are to discuss the phenomenon that was “Let It Go” back in 2013.

Songs like “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” stole the show in the film’s sequel, and there have been several new animated Disney films with popular power ballads (such as “How Far I’ll Go” from the 2016 film Moana) taking center stage since then.

Will Idina Menzel Ever Be Able to “Let It Go”?

The actress who originally sang “Let It Go,” however, can’t seem to let it go!

idina menzel disney legend headshot

Credit: D23

Idina Menzel recently spoke about her Disney Princess role in an interview with the Guardian, and specifically pointed out how her character’s first power ballad presents a potentially inaccurate picture for audiences.

Defying Gravity — and Expectations

After describing how her Frozen role “changed [her] life in so many ways” and how she “was thrown into being a role model for empowerment and self-esteem,” the Wicked and Rent actress went on to explain how “Let It Go” could help depressed or anxious Disney fans.

“The film’s messaging resonated with young audiences,” the actress reminisced. Because Elsa’s iconic song is about defying expectations and demonstrating strong “self-esteem,” Menzel also explained that she was associated with those themes.


Credit: Playbill

However, the actress confessed that she has sometimes sung her signature song (as well as a similar song called “Defying Gravity” from Wicked) while having “really hard” days mentally.

“It Feels Hypocritical”

“When you’re singing “Let It Go” or even “Defying Gravity” in Wicked and you’re a woman that sometimes feels depressed or insecure about your own life, it feels hypocritical,” Menzel said.

“I’ve wanted to make sure people understand that we all struggle, that you can’t always rise above – there are going to be days where it’s going to be really hard.”

Idina Menzel Elsa Frozen

Credit: Disney

Menzel added that she loves her Disney Princess role, but that trying to “embrace that responsibility, while still having [her] own lessons to learn in [her] life” has become “something [she loves] but also [wrestles] with.”

Menzel also confessed that her mother “always wanted [her] not to worry about what people thought of [her],” but that she has “sort of failed when it comes to that” and that “you have to work really hard at not caring about what people think.”

Is “Let It Go” the Best Frozen Song for Depressed or Anxious Audiences?

There is another Frozen song, while we’re on the subject, that might theoretically be even better for listeners with depression or anxiety than “Let It Go.”

The song sung by Princess Anna (who, spoiler alert, becomes Queen Anna by the end of the film) that is called “The Next Right Thing” seems far more relevant. While singing this emotional song, Anna thinks that her sister Elsa has died.

Elsa and Anna in Frozen 2

Credit: Disney

The song involves confronting strong painful emotions like grief and focusing on simply doing “the next right thing”, taking one little step at a time when struggling mentally or emotionally.

In the Guardian interview, Idina Menzel also spoke about motherhood, her struggles as a young actress, and her marriage to the man who started out as many Newsies and Mighty Ducks fans’ first serious crush.

Do you find it disheartening to learn that the real Elsa is not always as confident as her signature song suggests, or do you think that it’s refreshing to hear a “Disney Princess” speaking up about depression and insecurities?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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