Ellie Goulding Reveals How She Deals With Anxiety, Panic Attacks

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding has long suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, but has figured out her key to keeping them under control: exercise

The singer penned an essay for Well + Good and said that her anxiety became debilitating at the height of her fame. Goulding cited a lack of self-confidence and insecurity about her singing ability, noting that “as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down.”

Goulding added that “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. My new life as a pop star certainly wasn’t as glamorous as all my friends from home thought.”

But eventually, she discovered boxing and kickboxing. Goulding began taking group classes and also worked with a personal training, quickly seeing the benefits on her mental health. Research suggests that exercise can help alleviate depression and anxiety by increasing inhibitory mechanisms in the hippocampus of the brain, which then dampen the excitatory neurons that respond to stress.

“I love that extra kick of adrendaline. It was about seeing and feeling myself get better and stronger,” she wrote. “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.”

“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,” she added. “It took time, but I’ve accepted that everyone feels nervous before they perform—it’s not just me.”