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Ellie Goulding Reveals Her Battle With Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding attends The BRIT Awards 2017 at The O2 Arena on February 22, 2017 in London, England.Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/

Knocking out her nerves. Ellie Goulding opened up about how she overcame her anxiety and panic attacks in an essay for Well + Good, published on Monday, March 13. 

The pop singer, 30, recalled feeling overwhelmed when she shot to stardom in 2010 and started performing in front of huge crowds. “I started having panic attacks, and the scariest part was it could be triggered by anything. I used to cover my face with a pillow whenever I had to walk outside from the car to the studio,” she wrote. “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.”

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The “Lights” songstress said she believed that her panic attacks were sparked by a lack of confidence. “I was scared I wasn’t as good of a singer as everyone I thought I was. And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down,” she continued. “I was scared I wasn’t as good of a singer as everyone thought I was. And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down.”

Goulding was “paralyzed with nerves” every time she would perform on live 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,” she wrote. “But there was another way I found inner confidence: boxing and kickboxing. I love that extra kick of adrenaline. Keeping fit doesn’t mean spending hours at a gym; the key is to find a workout you really love.”

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The Grammy nominee coped by pushing herself in fitness classes like Barry’s Bootcamp or Equilibrium TRX and by working out with her trainer, Faisal Abdalla. “It wasn’t about any change in my outward appearance; it was about seeing and feeling myself get better and stronger. 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,” she wrote. 

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Goulding said that her workouts don’t solve the problem entirely, but it certainly makes a difference. “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. It took time, but I’ve accepted that everyone feels nervous before they perform — it’s not just me,” she concluded. “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.”

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