Kesha’s Health: Her Struggles With Bulimia, CVID, & How She’s Doing Today

'TikTok' hitmaker Kesha has been open about her health highs and lows over the years. Get her latest health updates here.

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  • Kesha is a pop singer who burst into the scene with “TikTok” in 2009 and went on to earn 10 Top 10 hits in 10 years
  • Kesha was diagnosed with bulimia in 2014 and an immune disorder called CVID in 2022
  • Kesha nearly died in Jan. 2023 following complications related to her CVID, but is now in a better place

Kesha made headlines in June 2023 after she and Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald announced on Instagram that their nearly decade-long legal battle was over. In 2014, the now 36-year-old pop star sued the music producer, 49, for sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Dr. Luke countersued for defamation, and their trial was scheduled to start in July 2023. Aside from her legal battles, Kesha has been open about more struggles she has dealt with behind closed doors, such as bulimia, depression, and an autoimmune disorder called CVID.

Kesha was treated for bulimia in 2014 — the same year she sued the famous producer. She has been in active recovery since. In 2023, she announced she also has CVID (common variable immunodeficiency), which is a disorder with the immune system. Read on to learn all about Kesha’a health struggles over the years and how she is doing now.

Kesha white dress
Kesha has worked on her physical and mental health for about 10 years following her bulimia diagnosis (Photo: Can Nguyen/Shutterstock)

Kesha Diagnosed With Bulimia And CVID

Kesha’s Bulimia

The “TikTok” hitmaker revealed her bulimia diagnosis in 2015. “I started to think being hungry to the point of feeling almost faint was a positive thing,” she confessed in an interview with Vogue at the time (via Life & Style). “The worse it got, the more positive feedback I was getting. Inside I was really unhappy, but outside, people were like, ‘Wow, you look great.’”

In 2014, she entered rehab for two months to learn healthier habits for herself. “I realized being healthy is the most important thing I can do for myself. Now, I’m trying to embrace the skin I’m in,” she noted. Although Kesha admitted that approving of her body every day can be “difficult”, she knows it’s her choice to treat herself with kindness. “This is who I am — I have to love that,” she added.

Kesha’s CVID

Kesha was diagnosed with CVID in 2022, and opened up about it for the first time during a June 2023 interview with SELF. She explained that she knew something was wrong when she would end every day extremely fatigued, but assumed her constant exhaustion was a result of her busy schedule. “When you’re lucky enough to have a song that catches on, you’re just trying to keep up. I had a really hard time saying no to interviews or photo shoots because I didn’t want to let my one chance fall away by not being able to fulfill every request,” the “Animal” hitmaker said. “It led to severe exhaustion physically and mentally.”

Kesha concert
Kesha performs in 2013, a year before she entered rehab for bulimia (Photo: Greg Allen/Shutterstock)

Kesha’s Anxiety

Kesha has battled depression and anxiety since her childhood. “When I think about the kind of bullying I dealt with as a child and teen, it seems almost quaint compared with what goes on today,” she wrote in an essay for Teen Vogue. “The amount of body-shaming and baseless s***-shaming online makes me sick. I know from personal experience how comments can mess up somebody’s self-confidence and sense of self-worth. I have felt so unlovable after reading cruel words written by strangers who don’t know a thing about me.”

She went on to say that the anxiety she felt from bullying between childhood and adulthood fed into her eating disorder. “It became a vicious cycle: When I compared myself to others, I would read more mean comments, which only fed my anxiety and depression,” the two-time Grammy nominee remembered. “Seeing paparazzi photos of myself and the accompanying catty commentary fueled my eating disorder. The sick irony was that when I was at some of the lowest points in my life, I kept hearing how much better I looked. I knew I was destroying my body with my eating disorder, but the message I was getting was that I was doing great.”

What Is Bulimia, CVID, And Anxiety?

Bulimia (full name bulimia nervosa) is a common eating disorder that causes people to obsess over their weight and take extreme measures to avoid gaining any weight. It often surfaces as a person secretly binge-eating, and then self-inducing vomiting to rid their bodies of the calories, per Mayo Clinic. It can also involve taking dangerous amounts of laxatives and diet pills.

CVID, meanwhile, causes people to have weaker immune systems than most. Specifically, it is a “genetic condition that causes frequent infections,” according to Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms include but are not limited to breathing issues, a chronic cough, and diarrhea that may lead to weight loss. There is no cure for CVID and people with it require life-long treatment, but can live full and fruitful lives.

Anxiety is the body’s “reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations,” per It makes people feel “uneasiness, distress, or dread”, and for those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can be jarring and interfere with daily life.

How Long Has Kesha Been Sick?

Kesha red carpet
Kesha poses at the American Music Awards, one year after ‘TikTok’ shot her to mainstream stardom (Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock)

As mentioned above, Kesha first got treatment for her eating disorder in 2014. “I had a particular moment with my eating disorder when the anxiety just got so high that I was not functioning,” she candidly recalled during her 2023 interview with SELF. “It was taking up so much of my brain space, from morning to night. I was obsessed with what I looked like, what went in my mouth, what size things were, and people’s approval.”

As far as her CVID, the “Take It Off” singer was not diagnosed until 2022. She said she originally did not want to speak out about it to avoid sounding like an ungrateful brat. “I just never wanted to be the whiny, privileged girl,” she explained to SELF. “Also, my image had been that of going out and having fun.”

Kesha did not reveal when exactly she began suffering from anxiety, but she said she has felt it immensely since childhood, which is when she was bullied for her unique style.

How Is Kesha Doing Today?

Kesha feels she “turned a corner” with her bulimia thanks to the therapists she speaks to on a weekly or monthly basis and her dedication to happiness. “[After] not allowing myself to eat or enjoy food for so long in my life, I really turned a corner, and now, I f****** love food. I started cooking; I go to the farmers market,” she gushed to SELF. “I always have three meal breaks, ’cause being in recovery, I need to have time to sit and have a meal.”

She also said she has a routine for herself when she’s on the road. “I have about 30 minutes before I go on stage where I meditate, stretch, and do breathing exercises,” she explained. “People probably think I’m back there doing shots, and [my routine is] the most zen s*** you’ve ever seen.”

The “Pray” singer revealed in the same interview that she nearly died after a performance in the Bahamas. She said she felt too weak to walk following the New Year’s Eve show and found out from her doctors that she had developed CVID-related complications after freezing her eggs. She then spent nine days in a Miami hospital. “I finally feel recovered, but it took a couple months,” she noted. “It was horrifying.”

Although her early songs spoke about partying all night and living like there won’t be a tomorrow, Kesha learned how to implement serious lifestyle changes to help with her CVID symptoms. “I learned after my diagnosis that sleep is the most important thing. I took that for granted for, god, about 29, 30 years,” she admitted to SELF. “I feel like I’m just playing catch-up on my teens and 20s, still. But I try to get as much sleep as possible, and I have to protect that fiercely.”

Kesha seems to have a handle on her anxiety and said in 2017 that she took a social media break to help her mental health. She revealed in 2016 that she wants to be honest with her fans about her struggles to potentially help someone experiencing something similar. “Finding the strength to come forward about those things is not easy. But maybe, by telling my story, I can help someone else going through tough times,” she noted to Billboard.