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Mabel

Premiere: Mabel's mental health-tackling ‘OK, Anxiety Anthem’ music video


TextAlex Peters

Get a first look at Mabel’s new music video for her positivity anthem featuring Munroe Bergdorf

Fresh off the release of her debut album, High Expectations, earlier this month, we can give you an exclusive first look at Mabel’s new music video for latest single “OK, Anxiety Anthem.”

“OK, Anxiety Anthem” centres around the message of accepting that you’re not always going to feel OK – and that’s OK. Drawing on her own experiences with anxiety and depression, it is Mabel’s most personal track yet and the one that was the most challenging to write, she says. “There’s so much stigma around talking about our feelings and that’s so dangerous because it makes people feel like they’re alone in things,” she tells us. “I wanted to send the message that talking about your feelings and being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak, I actually think it makes you stronger!” 

The black and white video is simple, no-frills necessary, and features a cast including Dazed Beauty LGBTQ+ editor Munroe Bergdorf and Kat Hawkins. It was important to both Mabel and director Jade Jackman that the video reflected a diverse and inclusive range of people. “When I was younger, there was such a lack of representation of non-white, non-cis, differently-abled bodies and diverse womxn in the media,” says Jade. “For so many of us, never seeing yourself reflected positively in pop-culture can become a source of anxiety or worry in itself. Visually, I wanted to create something that felt universal.” 

So what does Mabel do to feel empowered? “I really think that the most empowering thing you can do is to be honest with yourself and the people around you about how you’re feeling at all times!” she says. “Never pretend to be something you’re not in order to please other people. Make sure you’re putting yourself first!”

Below Mabel and Jade discuss the video and the message they hope people take from it.

The song conveys a message of empowerment and finding strength in embracing and accepting how you are feeling. Is this an important message to you?
Mabel: There’s so much stigma around talking about our feelings and that’s so dangerous because it makes people feel like they’re alone in things. The reality is that we all have good days and bad days and I think it’s important to highlight that! I wanted to send the message that talking about your feelings and being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak, I actually think it makes you stronger! 

What was the concept behind the video?
Jade Jackman: Experiences such as anxiety and worrying can be incredibly equalising. Like Mabel’s aim with the song, we wanted to create a striking yet intimate portrayal of how universal having those feelings are and that is it okay to have them. However, the track ultimately sends out a message of empowerment and moving through those feelings. We wanted to find other cast members who had also transformed those feelings into a message of positivity for others. Aesthetically, the stripped-back feel really allows you to focus on the poignancy of her words as well our cast subtly breaking out into movement. Sometimes, anxiety can feel incredibly isolating so shooting each cast member alone in the white studio space goes some way to express that self-reckoning too.

“For me, Munroe was a no-brainer. On a daily basis, she uses her platform to advocate for diversity and make others accept themselves for who they are” – Jade Jackman

How did you convey that message through the video?
Mabel: I felt that it was important to make a video that was simple and that just supported the lyrics and Jade completely got that! There are so many incredible people in the video too that were chosen as they can all relate to the song. It really helped strengthen the message having them in it and I’m so grateful that they were a part of it!  

The video features a great cast. How did you go about casting it?
Jade Jackman: Coming from a documentary background, I really enjoy finding cast with stories that relate to my projects. So, I thought about individuals whose presence made others feel more positive and were open about their own experiences with anxiety. For me, Munroe was a no-brainer. On a daily basis, she uses her platform to advocate for diversity and make others – especially womxn, non-binary and the LGBTQ+ community with her Goddess Platform – accept themselves for who they are and she is a Mabel fan too! Others, such as Kat Hawkins, never cease to amaze me with her sparkling personality and her multi-media approach to visually representing diverse and differently-abled bodies. 

What message do you hope people take from the video?
Jade Jackman: When I was younger, there was such a lack of representation of non-white, non-cis, differently-abled bodies and diverse womxn in the media. Due to the amazing work of activists and people advocating for better representation, I feel that is starting to shift. But, the work isn’t done yet. As a director, I contribute to that and honestly represent the world that I inhabit. For so many of us, never seeing yourself reflected positively in pop-culture can become a source of anxiety or worry in itself. Visually, I wanted to create something that felt universal and that, like Mabel’s song, everyone can relate to, so I hope we managed to convey that here.


Contributors: Munroe Bergdorf, Kathleen Hawkins, Ryan Josiah, Jordan Charles, Ruqsana Begum and Russie Miessi 

Director – Jade Jackman
Production Company – Black Dog Films
Producer – Holly Wolfers
Executive Producer – Martin Roker
Production Assistant – Xiaoxuan Zhu
1st Ad – Tom Ivens
DOP – Olan Collardy
Steadicam operator - Michael Vega
1st AC – Benjy Kirkman
2nd AC – Charlie Knight
Art Director – Freya Newmarch
Artist Stylist – Simone Beyene
Artist Chief Make Up Artist – Maria Asadi
Artist Hair Stylist – Rio Sreedharan
Contributors Stylist – Beka Moore
Contributors Make Up Artist - Aaliyah Oke
Gaffer – Jonny Boomer
Editor – Laura Cairney-Keize @ Marshall Street Editors
Grade – Ruth Wardell @ Electric Theatre Collective

with special thanks to Frankie Markdot 

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