Looking back on his "addictive personality" and life on the road, Ed Sheeran has lessons to share
In an interview for the Hay House Chasing the Present Summit, the Grammy-winning "Shape of You" singer reflected the unhealthy lifestyle that resulted in what he called the "lowest I've ever been."
That time was in 2015, the year he spent on the road as part of his x World Tour. "For me, it was down to like bad diet, drinking and then not seeing sunlight at all, so I was touring...Oh, and I wasn't exercising," the performer recalled. "I would stay up and drink all night...The buses would park underneath arenas and I'd sleep on the bus all day and then wake up and then come out, do the show, drink, get back on the bus and I didn't see sunlight for like maybe like four months."
Sheeran continued, "It's all fun and games at the start and it's all rock and roll and it's fun and then it starts getting like just sad...so, I think that was probably the lowest that I've been."
He noted he also "ballooned in weight" and "just wasn't healthy."
When asked how he felt at the time, the star said, "I guess I kind of felt, 'Was it all...What was the point?'...Actually, I guess in a dark way, you're kind of like, 'Why am I around? Like what is the point?'"
Part of Sheeran's struggle came from what he called "a very, very addictive personality."
"I'm reading Elton John's book at the moment and there are so many things that he did that I do," the star explained. "He would be like, 'I would just go on an ice cream binge and eat four f--king desserts until I threw it up,' and I was like, 'Oh, I've done that before.'"
"Or his martini binges, where he sees how many he can drink," Sheeran continued. "And I'm like, 'I've done that before, too.'"
Sheeran took note of the effects such behavior had on the music icon. "He ends up getting really f--king sad and depressed and all of these things can add to that," Sheeran explained.
Sheeran pointed out the struggle vices tend to cause. "I think things like sugar, sweet stuff, junk food, cocaine, alcohol—it's all things that, like, it feels good the more you do, but it's the worst thing for you, I think."
Reflecting on his own behavior, the singer acknowledged he was not one to behave moderately, including when it came to food and alcohol. "I'm covered in tattoos and I kind of don't do things by halves, so if I'm gonna drink, I kind of see no point in having a glass of wine. I'd rather have two bottles of wine."
"I think like having a glass of wine is having something in moderation," he continued, "and probably isn't going to affect your day the next day. But, two bottles of wine probably might make you quite sad the next day or like having a burger…They used to call me Two Dinner Teddy because I used to order two meals…and then you start putting on loads of weight and then you start hating the way you look and then you start getting sad about that."
"Basically, everything in moderation," he advised. "Exercise can really help…You feel better, but also you start looking better and when you look better, you're looking in the mirror and being like, 'Oh, maybe I don't hate myself today.'"
Sheeran also found a good influence in his now-wife Cherry Seaborn.
"She exercises a lot, so I went and started going on runs with her," he said. "She eats quite healthily, so I started eating quite healthily with her. She doesn't drink that much, so I wasn't drinking...I think that all changed things."