Anxiety Disorder Nearly Sidelined Her – But She Roars Back With ‘Hallelujah’

There’s a lot in the news and social media these days about mental health, which is a good thing. For far too long, it’s been a bit stigmatized and that has certainly not helped those who suffer from it. Well here’s a video from a few years back about a woman who stepped over her mental demons on the way to a personal triumph witnessed by millions of people.

20-year-old Anna Clendening suffers from anxiety disorder–so bad that she was recently bedridden. But somehow she found the strength to turn it around. “Being here today is incredible,” she said. “I didn’t want to face the world and now I’m facing thousands of people” on the AGT stage.

Judge Howie Mandell, who also suffers from anxiety and an obsessive-compulsive disorder, told her how brave she was. “For you to even show up today is so amazing.”

Once Anna starts playing, amazing is an understatement. She launches into a raw, emotional version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and the audience is floored. By the time she’s finished everyone is on their feet and Anna is in tears.

Howard Stern tells her that the emotion in her voice–her personal story aside–moved him more than any other contestant he had experienced. “You’re the first singer to come out here and give me the chills.”

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