Ed Sheeran has revealed how his “highly addictive personality” led him to binge on food and alcohol early in his success.
Speaking at an online anxiety and wellness summit, the star said he suffered from panic attacks and hated the way he behaved after he became famous.
He had a particularly difficult time during his 2014-15 world tour.
“I felt, ‘What was the point?’ In a dark way, like, “Why am I here? What’s the point? ” ” , He said.
The star said she thanked his wife, Cherry, and a healthier lifestyle for helping him change his life.
“She does a lot of sports, so I started running with her. She eats pretty healthy so I started to eat pretty healthy. She doesn’t drink a lot so I didn’t drink, ”he says. “I think everything changed things. “
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In an extensive interview with documentary director James Sebastiano, Jr, Sheeran also explained his current hiatus from music and why he took to painting.
How touring affected his health
Sheeran said the 180 date world tour to promote his 2014 X album was his lowest point.
“I would stay awake and drink all night, then sleep on the bus,” he said. “The buses parked under the arena and I slept on the bus all day, then I would wake up and go out, do the show, drink, get back on the bus and I didn’t see the sunlight for a while. -be four months.
“Everything is fun and games at the start. Everything is rock and roll, and then it starts to get sad. It was probably like the lowest I have been and I kind of pumped up in weight. “
On his addictive personality
“I’m covered in tattoos and I don’t do things by halves,” the star admitted, “so if I’m going to drink… I don’t see the point in having a glass of wine. two bottles “.
“Having a glass of wine is consuming something in moderation and it probably won’t affect your day the next day. But two bottles of wine could probably make you pretty sad.
But alcohol was not the only problem.
“They called me Teddy for two dinners because I used to order two meals and eat that,” he said. “Then you start to gain a lot of weight and hate the way you look.
“I think things like sugar, sweets, junk food, cocaine, alcohol, it feels good the more you do, but it’s the worst thing for you. “
How Elton John Delivered Some Home Truths
Sheeran was signed to Elton John’s management firm early in his career – and he said reading his mentor’s autobiography sparked some awareness about his own lifestyle.
“He’s done so many things that I do,” the star explained.
“He would have said, ‘I’ll just binge on ice cream and eat four desserts until I throw up,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve done this before.’
“Or his martini frenzy, where he sees how many martinis he can drink.” And I say to myself: “I’ve done this before”.
“With addiction it’s very hard to moderate, but moderation is key. “
Take a break from the music
Sheeran had a No.1 album last year, with his No.6 collaboration project, but he has indicated he will be retiring from music for the remainder of 2020.
“You can feel when the audience is like ‘We’ve had enough now’,” he said of receiving the album. “One of the important things in the industry is knowing when to not only give yourself a break, but also when to give the audience a break. ”
In the meantime, he got into art.
“I was like, ‘I should probably try to find something else to make myself happy,’” he explained. “There’s only a limited number of movies you can watch and packs of Monster Munch you can eat.
“So I bought 30 canvases in bulk and painted one canvas a day for 30 days and it was really fun. ”
He said his designs were in the style of abstract impressionist Jackson Pollock – “I just bought some home paint and then I would layer it just by flipping through it” – but the public could never see them. .
“I don’t sell my art. I love to do it. No one else needs to judge. “
On the dangers of celebrity – and how people ‘stole’ your money
One of the star’s most startling admissions was that he felt very little sense of accomplishment after his record-breaking series of shows at Wembley Stadium in 2015.
“It sounds weird to say it but you really don’t feel anything,” he says. “You’d think it would be like, ‘A-ha! That’s it. I did it. Oh my God!’ [but] you finish it and you’re like… ‘Well, what am I doing now?’ ”
The star says he cherished the early days of his career, playing open mic parties and sleeping on friends’ couches, more than the large-scale shows and festivals he was used to.
“I started from the bottom and loved every part,” he said. “I learned more by playing in a one-person play in Exeter when no one came to my concert in 2009 than I played at Wembley Stadium for four nights. It’s strange. ”
He added that fame came at a cost.
“When you’re successful and you find the money… you make people get weird with you. I’ve had family members who got weird and friends argued with me and people stole. This is not the key to happiness.
“Fame is an enhancer [of] Everyone’s insecurities, ”he added wearily. The number of people I’m not talking to anymore just because it just got weird. ”
His success also triggered panic attacks, he said, often when surrounded by large groups of people.
“I would take it on the subway and on planes, in supermarkets… It’s a strange paranoia in me to assume that everyone is going to be horrible, when people are generally nice.” “
Why he no longer needs social media
Although he’s taken a sabbatical to get out of music, Sheeran says he’s working on new music – treating his studio sessions like a “nine to five” job, in an effort to maintain a healthy balance. between professional and private life and spending more time with his wife.
He also quit social media, as he did in 2016 while working on the follow-up to album X which has sold millions of times.
“I was on the phone probably 19 hours a day in 2015 and before that I was just leafing through, posting, leafing and posting. And it wasn’t until the tour ended in 2015 that I was like, ‘Oh, I’m I’m just going to try and live without my phone for a while’.
“I had 1,500 contacts on my phone and people were texting me all the time and it felt very responsible to answer or meet them.
“During the first month, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. ”
After returning to social media to promote his third album, Divide, he found himself falling back into bad habits, so he announced that he would “take a break” again on Christmas Eve 2019.
He now says that he “from an age where I am beyond” must be on social media.
“I don’t think I’m going to be young [audience] back – because I’m in my thirties, ”he explained. It’s not like 16 year olds are going to tell me the next time I release an album. So it’s not like I have to be on it anymore. I can just ask someone to post it [for me]. «
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