Before he was even a teenager, Jacob Sartorius had millions of social media followers, but he was also the most-bullied kid on the Internet. Now, the 19-year-old artist is opening up about his yearlong respite from the spotlight, and his struggles with anxiety and depression, which led to his brand new documentary, BREATHE.
The film was birthed after Jacob’s therapist suggested that Dutch guru’s Wim Hof’s breathing exercises might help relieve his anxiety. “I was so lost and hurt and confused and anxious emotionally that I was willing to try,” Jacob told GQ. “Basically, anything to find some peace, I was like, sure, if you want me to take some deep breaths. I can do that. In a matter of about two days I was already feeling the effects, and I really did start doing it every day.”
Jacob also shared advice for anyone out there struggling with social media bullies. “Tell yourself: I’m spreading a positive message. And this person was obviously hurt or threatened by what they saw, and kind of just take it for what it is,” he explains. “If we’re able to look at it for what it is, which is obviously somebody hurting on the other side, and have compassion for somebody that’s actually hating on us, it can be a pretty powerful thing.”
Watch Jacob’s powerful documentary now: