Hannah Zeile is opening up about her lifelong battle with anxiety. The This Is Us star, who plays teen Kate Pearson on the NBC drama, recently released her first single, "Ode to My Anxiety," while quarantining at home amid the global health pandemic.
Zeile, 22, told TV Insider that -- while she has long struggled with anxiety -- she was inspired to create the song for people who are experiencing chronic anxious feelings for the first time due to the pandemic.
The This Is Us star added she has a small recording studio set up in her home, so the whole song was written and recorded during quarantine. Her brother provided the instrumentals.
"The lyrics are personal," Zeile said. "It just kind of touches into that feeling of when you feel trapped and anxious and repeating a mantra to yourself just as simple as, 'I'll be okay.'"
In a separate interview with Hollywood Life, she explained that she tried to find a "silver lining" in the unprecedented stay-at-home order.
"I really had all the time in the world to focus on music and I needed a creative outlet because my anxiety was really heightened," she said.
When writing the deeply personal song, Zeile told the publication the words came easily, because it was like "having a conversation" about the way she was really feeling.
"I felt more anxious than usual that day and just didn't feel like myself," she admitted. "Sometimes it feels hard to breathe and your chest feels heavy."In comments posted on YouTube, fans resonated with Zeile's song, which can be accessed via a link on her Instagram bio. Many said they could relate to the song and thanked the TV star for being brave enough to share her feelings with the world. Others urged her to keep putting music out.
In the past, Zeile has performed covers on her social media pages, but she never released her own original music until "Ode to My Anxiety."
This Is Us fans know that her character, Kate, has had a lifelong dream of being a singer and had eyed top performing arts colleges in early seasons of the show. During the second season of the Emmy-nominated NBC drama, Zeile's Kate performed the song "Where I Belong," which landed on the show's official Season 2 soundtrack.
Unfortunately, Kate scrapped her plans to go to college after her father Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died and instead took a job at a record store.