Ed Sheeran details struggles with depression, drugs, bulimia: 'I didn't want to live anymore'
Ed Sheeran has alerted fans that his upcoming album, “Subtract,” will overflow with feelings.
In his April cover story interview with Rolling Stone, the British hitmaker details the incidents that contributed to his heightened emotional state last year – the sudden death of his best friend and his wife’s tumor diagnosis among them – and how, at 32, he’s become a domesticated family man.
Sheeran admits to plunging into depression following the February 2022 loss of his closest pal, Jamal Edwards, a music entrepreneur who died of cardiac arrhythmia instigated by cocaine use.
Coupled with the discovery that his then-pregnant wife Cherry Seaborn had developed a tumor that couldn’t be removed until giving birth (she underwent successful surgery after delivering second daughter Jupiter last May) and the death of another friend, Australian cricket star Shane Warne, Sheeran felt himself spiraling.
Ed Sheeran's plunge into depression: 'You're under the waves drowning'
“I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore,” he tells Rolling Stone. “You’re under the waves drowning. You’re just sort of in this thing. And you can’t get out of it.”
He began seeing a therapist for the first time in his life, acknowledging that “people think it’s weird getting a therapist in England,” and while the experience has helped him, he’s realistic about its purpose.
“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.”
Why did Ed Sheeran rewrite his 'Subtract' album?
Sheeran’s “Subtract” album arrives May 5 and he confirms that he had a different version ready to go early last year. But the traumas that emerged shifted his plans.
He quickly wrote a cycle of songs to reflect his current life and pulled three songs from the album because they felt “too joyous.”
Ed Sheeran admits past drug use 'became bad vibes'
Sheeran also explains how life is different now with two young children and his wife joining him on tour. The days of partying until 7 a.m., waking up at 4 p.m. and playing the next gig have been replaced by late-afternoon family dinners at their rented home for the Australian leg of his tour.
He’s honest about his past drug use, saying that he did get into “a few” substances beyond marijuana in his mid-20s, but realized his dabbling was turning into a habit. While he still loves wine, Sheeran understands that harder substances “just became bad vibes.”
Ed Sheeran's body image issues led to bulimia
The singer and songwriter also acknowledges that he suffered from body image issues, especially working with lean pop stars such as Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. His eating habits led to bulimia.
“I found myself doing what Elton (John) talks about in his book ("Me") – gorging, and then it would come up again,” Sheeran says. “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, whose four-part Disney+ docuseries “The Sum of It All” start May 3, is sanguine as he reflects on his life, telling Rolling Stone that he and Seaborn are “so grateful to be alive.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ed Sheeran reveals depression, bulimia struggles, talks wife's tumor