By Lynsey Eidell. Photos: Getty Images.
Ellie Goulding burst onto the music scene back in 2010 with Lights—but the singer is now sharing that, at the same time, she was in a dark place personally.
"I was thrilled, of course—sharing my music with the world was a dream I'd been working toward for years—but it was a lot all at once," she writes. "Suddenly, I was living alone in London and everything was happening so fast."
The life-altering experience brought on panic attacks for the singer. "The scariest part was it could be triggered by anything," Goulding writes. "My new life as a pop star certainly wasn’t as glamorous as all my friends from home thought. Secretly, I was really struggling physically and emotionally."
Goulding shares that the combination of a lack of self-confidence and the intense pressures of her career led to her mental health battles. "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," she writes. "And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down."
Even performing was a struggle, she revealed, citing her performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Eventually, though, Goulding realized that she had to find confidence within herself in order to move forward. "I was annoyed for being paralyzed 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," Goulding writes.
In addition to those positive affirmations, Goulding began a fitness regimen—specifically boxing and kickboxing—to help with her "inner confidence" and her anxiety. "It wasn't about any change in my outward appearance; it was about seeing and feeling myself get better and stronger," she writes. "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."
This isn't the first time Goulding has spoken about her battles with anxiety and panic attacks: In 2013, she revealed that she thought she was "having a heart attack" and "dying" the first time she had a panic attack. "It was the weirdest time in my life," she said at the time.
And Goulding isn't alone in her mental health struggles: Several celebrities—including Kendall Jenner, Sarah Silverman, and Emma Stone—have opened up about their own issues with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Most recently, Lo Bosworth wrote an essay on her website about her own battle with "crippling anxiety and depression," and Chrissy Teigen penned an essay for Glamour about her struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety.
In Goulding's case, the singer says she now finds herself in a much better place. "I still feel nervous before performing, or have pangs of anxiety from time to time, but it's not crippling like it used to be," she says. "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."
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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