Hozier Opens Up: “I Was At War With Myself” - How To HEAL & UNBLOCK Your Creativity

Added: Apr 2, 2024

In this podcast episode, Hozier, the talented singer-songwriter, reflects on his journey from the breakout single "Take Me to Church" to achieving global success. He recalls feeling overwhelmed by the sudden fame and success that came with the song's popularity, earning him a rare Diamond certification and becoming one of the top 30 most streamed songs ever on Spotify.

Key takeaways


The breakout success of 'Take Me to Church' propelled Hozier to global stardom, including the pressures and challenges of sudden fame.


Hozier grapples with the responsibility of creating art that can heal, comfort, and offer a new perspective to listeners.


Hozier discusses the challenges of sustaining success without succumbing to the pressures of commercial success, underlining the value of authenticity in music.


Hozier struggled with self-doubt and imposter syndrome and shares the importance of mindfulness and meditation in his healing process.


Hozier emphasizes the power of music to connect people, create shared experiences, and foster a sense of community and understanding among diverse audiences.

Navigating Early Success and Pressure

At the young age of 24, Hozier found himself catapulted into stardom with the success of "Take Me to Church." Despite the accolades and recognition, he remains grounded and humble, attributing his ability to navigate the pressures of early success to his upbringing, cultural background, and a sense of skepticism towards praise and compliments. He shares how he struggled with imposter syndrome and the pressure to live up to the expectations placed upon him by the world.

Creating Meaning Through Art

As an artist, Hozier grapples with the responsibility of creating art that can heal, comfort, and offer a new perspective to listeners. He delves into the challenge of balancing personal expression with the potential impact his music can have on others. He shares his process of introspection and self-reflection to ensure that his art remains authentic and true to his own experiences.

The Evolution of Success and Longevity in Music

Reflecting on his decade-long career, Hozier acknowledges the challenges of sustaining success and avoiding the pressure to chase commercial success or chart-topping hits. He emphasizes the importance of creating music that resonates with him personally and connects with listeners on a deeper level. Despite the changing music landscape, he finds fulfillment in the lasting impact of his music and the continued support of a new generation of fans.

Facing Self-Doubt and Stage Fright

Hozier shares his experience of battling self-doubt and stage fright, revealing that he constantly has to regulate his body and calm his nerves before performances. He describes the feeling of being at war with himself, constantly combating his thoughts and struggling to hold onto a single idea.

The Journey to Self-Healing

After years of avoiding addressing his mental health, Hozier reached a breaking point and realized he needed to cultivate a positive relationship with himself. He particularly struggled during the pandemic when he faced a creative block and doubted his ability to write another song. He shares his journey of self-discovery and the realization that his relationship with himself directly influences his creativity and artistry. He embarked on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, learning to put an arm around himself and address the root of his struggles.

The Impact of Mindfulness and Meditation

Hozier discusses the importance of mindfulness and meditation in his healing process. By practicing mindfulness before shows, he is able to stay present on stage and avoid distractions that can hinder his performance. He emphasizes the need to remain grounded and focused in order to deliver a meaningful and authentic performance.

Spiritual Experiences on Stage

Reflecting on his performances, Hozier recalls a particularly spiritual experience in Mexico City where the audience sang his songs back to him with passion and energy. He describes the overwhelming feeling of hearing his words sung in a language that is not their first, and the profound connection he felt with the audience during that moment.

The Power of Music and Connection

Through his music and performances, Hozier finds a deep sense of connection with his audience and himself. He acknowledges the transformative power of music in bringing people together and creating moments of shared emotion and understanding. He expresses gratitude for the opportunity to connect with audiences around the world and share his art with them.

Reflection on Career and Music

Hozier recalls the early days of his career when he was playing in small pubs and venues, trying to make a name for himself. He remembers the excitement of performing his songs live for the first time and the overwhelming feeling of gratitude when his music started reaching a larger audience. Despite the success he has achieved over the years, Hozier still finds moments of deep connection and fulfillment in his music, especially when performing live and witnessing the impact his songs have on his fans.

Staying Present and Authentic

One of the challenges Hozier faces as an artist is staying present and authentic, especially when performing the same songs night after night on tour. He emphasizes the importance of being fully engaged in the moment and allowing the energy of the crowd to flow through him during his performances. By staying present and connected to the music, Hozier is able to maintain the freshness and authenticity of his performances, regardless of how many times he has sung a particular song.

Creating Art for Oneself

Hozier discusses the concept of creating art for oneself, as opposed to seeking validation or approval from others. He shares the idea that artists should view their work as a personal diary or journal, expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism. By staying true to his own artistic vision and creating music that resonates with him on a deep level, Hozier is able to maintain a sense of authenticity and integrity in his work.

Lessons on Humanity and Solidarity

In reflecting on his own experiences and observations, Hozier shares three important lessons that he believes are essential truths for humanity. The first lesson is the importance of recognizing and honoring the lived experiences of others, acknowledging that each person's journey is as valid and significant as one's own. He emphasizes the need for empathy and compassion in understanding the struggles and triumphs of others.

The second lesson Hozier shares is the concept of crediting poetry, as inspired by Seamus Heaney's Nobel Prize lecture. He highlights the idea that art and storytelling can bear witness to both the darkness and the light in human experience, acknowledging the presence of love and solidarity amidst the chaos and violence of the world. Hozier encourages a deeper appreciation for the moments of connection and compassion that exist alongside the challenges and hardships of life.

The final lesson he offers is a call for greater awareness of our shared humanity and the need for sustainable practices in how we interact with each other and the world around us. He emphasizes the importance of viewing the Earth as a common space that we all inhabit, recognizing the limitations of our resources and the necessity of working towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Defining Greatness

In closing, Hozier shares his definition of greatness as a commitment to one's mode of being that is marked by grace, good faith, and alignment of the heart, mind, and spirit. He believes that true greatness lies in the ability to maintain a sense of authenticity, compassion, and integrity in all aspects of life, whether in artistic pursuits, personal relationships, or community engagement. By embodying these qualities, he suggests that individuals can inspire and uplift those around them, leaving a lasting impact on the world.


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