Ellie Goulding battled “debilitating” panic attacks and “ridiculously low” days in her 20s.
The 34-year-old singer has revealed she struggled with her self-worth during the early days of her fame, as she said she would often feel as though she was “failing” because she wasn’t “being productive” enough.
She said: “My low days used to be ridiculously low. I just couldn’t find a way out of them. I often felt as if I was failing because when I felt down I wasn’t being productive.
“My voice, my music and writing will always be my mysterious, unpredictable, fiery friend for life.
“But even if I write something I love, I can’t always rely on it to make me feel good. I often write my best songs when I’m feeling miserable.”
The ‘Starry Eyed’ hitmaker rose to fame after the release of her debut album ‘Lights’ when she was 24, and said her journey to the top was so fast that it left her struggling with her mental health.
She added: “It was like being strapped to a space shuttle.
“I was performing live on TV, going to awards ceremonies and sometimes flying to three countries in a day. It was a dream come true, but brilliant things can also be detrimental, and by my mid-20s I was suffering debilitating panic attacks.
“They began to build slowly. I remember experiencing one on an early photoshoot. It happened again shortly afterwards, when I was about to take part in a live TV show.
“I did the show. I was acting the part of the pop star, but inside none of it felt real or deserved.
“To this day, I have never watched that show back. I’m scared I will spot the terror in my eyes.”
Ellie described her 20s as a “combination of complete euphoria and utter terror” and began to suffer from imposter syndrome, which is a common mental health condition in which a person doesn’t believe they deserve their own success.
And while putting a name to her feelings was “really helpful”, she eventually knew she needed therapy.
Writing in her upcoming memoir, ‘Fitter. Calmer. Stronger.’, she said: “For reasons of shame and confusion, it took me a long time to seek help. Eventually, I found cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
“It was life changing. Crying suddenly seemed like a release, rather than a sign of weakness. As I began to recover from my panic attacks, fitness became my sanctuary.”