Always candid about her struggles with mental health and sobriety, Jessica Simpson has been out of the spotlight, mostly, since her 2010 holiday album Happy Christmas, returning most recently with her 2020 memoir “Open Book,” accompanied by a six-song EP.
Healing, reflecting, and working on her physical and mental state over the past few years, Simpson reconnected with music, and one song in particular, Nothing But Thieves’ “Particles.”
“The whole idea of music heals is an honest truth to me,” said Simpson in an Instagram post upon the release of her cover of the 2017 song by the British indie rockers, which also marks her first official release in more than a decade. “This song saved a broken piece of me.”
Simpson first teased the release in an earlier post showing her clutching a microphone with the caption “11.11.” Her last non-holiday release, Do You Know in 2008, marked the artist’s cross-over from pop to country, but life has been anything but smooth the past decade for the 41-year-old artist, who struggled with ongoing addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs, which she documents in “Open Book.”
As of November 2021, Simpson has been sober for four years.
“I can’t believe it has been four years,” Simpson posted when she reached the milestone. “It feels like maybe two. I think that is a good thing… There is so much stigma around the word alcoholism or the label of an alcoholic. The real work that needed to be done in my life was to actually accept failure, pain, brokenness, and self-sabotage.”
Now 41, Simpson who is now the mother of three—9-year-old son Maxwell, Ace, 8, and 2-year-old Birdie—with husband Eric Johnson, who she married in 2014, returns healthier and renewed on “Particles.”
Throughout her struggles, Simpson revealed that music was one thing that helped her stop drinking. “The music is actually everything that inspired me to get sober and write the book,” Simpson said in a 2020 interview around the release of her book. “Because I realized when I was going down into my studio, even though I was in the comfort of my house, I had to drink to numb the pain that I was about to experience to write.”
Elaborating on the power music had on helping her with addiction in her book, Simpson says, “Songwriting takes me to an honest place, and honestly, I was in a dark place. I just didn’t know it until the words came out of me.”