Ed Sheeran Opens Up About His Eating Disorder And Mental Health

Sheeran hopes that other men will feel comfortable seeking help for their struggles now that he opened up about his.


Maren Angus-Coombs


Posted on April 10, 2023

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Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of Dan Martensen

Ed Sheeran sings about his “Bad Habits” but now, the singer is opening up about struggles with an eating disorder and is hoping that other men will feel comfortable seeking help for their struggles.

“There’s certain things that, as a man talking about them, I feel mad uncomfortable,” Sheeran said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. “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.”

Ed Sheeran Opened Up About His Struggles

Sheeran, 32, revealed in the interview that he has dealt with binge-eating and although he didn’t say it in the interview, the act of binge-eating followed by purging is known as bulimia nervosa.

He admitted in the March 21 cover story that reading Elton John’s book helped him relate to someone else with a similar experience.

“So I found myself doing what Elton [John] talks about in his book,” Sheeran said, explaining that his tendencies to be self-conscious and outside pressure from the industry eventually led him to develop an unhealthy relationship with food and self-image.

Compared To Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes And One Direction

The path to stardom for Sheeran came during the era of Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and One Direction and he felt himself being compared to them. Ultimately, the comparisons made him very self-conscious of his body.

“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?’”

Sheeran has also dealt with bouts of depression after he lost one of his best friends, Jamal Edwards, who died of cardiac arrhythmia instigated by cocaine use.  On top of that, his wife Cherry Seaborn, discovered a tumor while pregnant with their second child. All the events compounded and he told the magazine he began seeing a therapist for the first time in his life.

His new single, “Eyes Closed” is a tribute to Edwards. 

“I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” he told Rolling Stone. “You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”

New Album On The Way

Sheeran’s new album “Subtract” is set for a May 5 release date and after the traumatic events, he pulled three songs and quickly wrote another to reflect on his current life. He felt like the others were “too joyous.”

With the help of therapy, Sheeran has learned how to manage his binging and depression.

“The help isn’t a button that is pressed, where you’re automatically OK,” he says. “It is something that will always be there and just has to be managed.”

Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of Dan Martensen
Ed Sheeran; Photo Courtesy of Dan Martensen

Binging is something that will forever be a part of Sheeran but nowadays, he claims to be more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”

Work also includes his current “Mathematics Tour” which arrives in the U.S. for 24 dates on May 6 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas and ends Sept. 23 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

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