“No one really talks about their feelings where I come from.”
CONTENT WARNING: The following article discusses mental health concerns and may distress some readers. If you need assistance, please contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue at 1300 22 4636.
Ed Sheeran has gotten candid in a Rolling Stone cover artist story, revealing that he “didn’t want to live anymore” following the death of his best friend, Jamal Edwards; Shane Warne’s passing, and his wife, Cherry Seaborn, receiving a cancer diagnosis while pregnant with their second child.
Sheeran is preparing to release his new album, Subtract, this May, and told the publication about the mental health discussions throughout the album, “I have had that throughout my life. You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”
Like many people who have suffered from depression, the Bad Habits singer recalled his concern about being “selfish” as a father. “I feel really embarrassed about it,” he said.
Seaborn suggested he see a counsellor, going against the stoic expectations of the British man and actually ask for help. “No one really talks about their feelings where I come from,” Sheeran explained.
“People think it’s weird getting a therapist in England. I think it’s very helpful to be able to speak with someone and just vent and not feel guilty about venting. Obviously, like, I’ve lived a very privileged life. So my friends would always look at me like: ‘Oh, it’s not that bad.’”
Elsewhere in the interview, Sheeran shared his experiences with his “eating problem”. He remembered reading Elton John’s autobiography, Me, and the stories he entailed about bulimia.
Sheeran related and said, “So I found myself doing what Elton talks about in his book - gorging, and then it would come up again... There's certain things that, as a man talking about them, I feel mad uncomfortable. I know people are going to see it a type of way, but it's good to be honest about them. Because so many people do the same thing and hide it as well.”
The singer shared that his behaviours with food continue today and added, “I have a real eating problem. I'm a real binge eater. I'm a binge-everything. But I'm now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”
Sheeran felt the pressure of existing in the same space as One Direction and Shawn Mendes, feeling “fat” as he became a male pop star alongside his peers.
“I'm self-conscious anyway, but you get into an industry where you're getting compared to every other pop star," he continued.
"I was in the One Direction wave, and I'm like, 'Well, why don't I have a six-pack?' And I was like, 'Oh, because you love kebabs and drink beer.' Then you do songs with Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. All these people have fantastic figures. And I was always like, 'Well, why am I so... fat?'"
You can read the full interview here.