Ellie Goulding reveals how she overcomes her ‘paralysing’ anxiety and panic attacks

‘I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself down’

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding has spoken out about her battles with ‘paralysing’ anxiety attacks, and the methods she uses to control them.

The BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter was speaking to Well + Good about how she uses fitness to overcome panic attacks and anxiety – revealing ‘the scariest part was it could be triggered by anything’.

She said that sometimes it was so bad, she was unable to leave the house.

“My new life as a pop star certainly wasn’t as glamorous as all my friends from home thought,” she said. “Secretly, I was really struggling physically and emotionally.

“I think part of what sparked my panic attacks was not feeling confident enough to believe in myself – I was scared I wasn’t as good of a singer as everyone thought I was. And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down.”

Goulding went on to say that despite going through therapy, she would still struggle with anxiety: “Last year, I was asked to perform at the Grammys – a massive honour but, as you can imagine, pretty nerve-wracking. In the moments before I walked on that stage, I gave myself a good talking-to. I was annoyed for being paralysed with nerves every time I was about to perform on television. I told myself that this was exactly where I was supposed to be and if other people believed in me, I had to start believing in myself.”

Speaking of how she found results through fitness and exercise, she continued: “I love that extra kick of adrenaline. Keeping fit doesn’t mean spending hours at a gym; the key is to find a workout you really love. The more I started doing (boxing and kickboxing) classes and also working out with my trainer, Faisal Abdalla, the better I felt about myself.

“It wasn’t about any change in my outward appearance; it was about seeing and feeling myself get better and stronger. It carried over into other areas of my life, and now I truly feel that exercise – however you like to work out – is good for the soul.”

Goulding added: “It took time, but I’ve accepted that everyone feels nervous before they perform – it’s not just me. And now that I believe in myself more, that confidence comes through, whether I’m working out, singing onstage, or just hanging out by myself at home.”

For more information and advice on dealing with anxiety, visit MIND here.

Last year, Goulding also accepted Katie Hopkins’ challenge of a charity boxing match.

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