Whether you’re an avid football fan or a cheer-when-the-rest-of-the-pub-cheers kind of person, you’ll be sure to recognise Raheem Sterling.
The attacking midfielder was instrumental in helping Manchester City take home the Premier League title in the 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons. At the end of such a successful run, Sterling was then named PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
The London-raised star became a houeshold name for even the most football averse during the UEFA European Championships in 2020 when England reached the finals and narrowly lost out on victory to Italy. Having scored the second most goals for his country during the competition, his sterling performance (see what we did there?) further solidified his superstar status.
Off the pitch, Sterling has been vocal on his struggles with mental health which has prompted his partnership with meditation app Headspace. As the company’s ambassador Sterling has created a new seven-day collection on the app designed to empower young people and address mental health stigma.
We caught up with him to discuss why this new collection is so important to him and find out what he can’t live without.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’ve been continuing my global partnership with Headspace, the mindfulness and meditation app, and I’m so excited to be releasing my first ever in-app content collection. I started meditating because I wanted to take my game to the next level, try something new, and connect mind and body. Power of Mind with Raheem is a seven-day collection focused on mental resilience. Many people know that I am a huge advocate for meditation, and I’m hoping this collection can really speak to young people and encourage them to prioritise their mental health.
What are your favourite sportswear brands?
What are your training essentials?
My STATSport vest which captures my data during training helps me improve my game and track my progress. Hydration is huge for recovery particularly, so lots of liquids too. Recovery product so that my body can bounce back as quickly as possible. And music, of course - I need music wherever I am!
What one item can you not live without?
My phone is important in order for me to stay connected with my family whilst we travel, which is quite often, so I’d have to go with that as my item I can’t live without. The Headspace app plays a big role in my life, and it’s always good to have it on hand, so that I can meditate at any time of the day.
With such a busy schedule, how do you find time to rewind and relax?
Outside of getting in some family time, I try to take a minute or two to process my thoughts and relax. My new collection with Headspace focuses on how we find space and time to be kind to our minds and offers tools to relax.
How do you treat yourself?
Honestly, I just enjoy spending time with my family. That’s one of the most valuable things for me. It’s a treat given we travel so much for the game and are likely to miss some key moments in family life. Taking my son to football training or spending time with my daughter - those are moments I really cherish.
What advice do you have to budding young footballers?
That there is more to success on a field than just physical performance. As an athlete we are always looking for that extra one per cent to improve our game and our mentality plays a massive role. We need our mind to pull us through obstacles and to find the energy to reach the ultimate goal. When you’re committed to something, that’s when you start to see real results; don’t just do something because you have to, do it because you genuinely love what you do and care about the outcome. Staying true to a commitment is so important to helping you achieve your goals.
Why did you decide to continue your partnership with Headspace?
We are completely aligned with what we want to achieve with Headspace, in regards to supporting young people with their mental health. We are always working on creative ways to speak to, and deliver meditation to people just like me who, initially, were unsure about the practice. This new collection with Dora is one example of that.