British singer Ellie Goulding, 34, has opened up about “debilitating” panic attacks, addiction to exercise and feelings of not being good enough at the height of her fame.
Reflecting on that time, Goulding said her ‘lowest days were ridiculously low’ and she often felt “complete euphoria and utter terror” within the same week.
In an extract from her book, ‘Fitter. Calmer. Stronger’ reported by The Sun, she wrote: “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.
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“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.”
Ellie rose to fame in her early twenties after leaving university and pursuing a music career.
She likened fame to being “strapped to a space shuttle” with TV appearances, awards ceremonies and travelling to “three different countries in one day’”- which was a ‘dream come true’ but left her suffering panic attacks that “began to build slowly.”
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In the book Goulding recalls how she ended up in hospital after one panic attack after a close friend’s father passed away. Goulding also recalled a live TV show which she admits she has never watched back, convinced she would be able to see the “terror in her eyes”.
Goulding decided to seek therapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) after delaying speaking to a professional due to “shame and confusion”. She said the help was “life changing” and as she began to recover from her panic attacks, fitness became her “sanctuary”.
In therapy Ellie learned that factors from her childhood – including her parents divorce and her mum struggling for money while living in a council house – may have contributed to her struggles later in life.
She also revealed that she “clashed massively with her stepfather” and that “there was a lot of tension, stress and anxiety” in the home. In the book she admitted she’s now faced her demons, dealt with her anxiety through exercise and in a much happier place.