Cheryl confesses to 'dying inside' at height of fame due to anxiety

Joanna Whitehead

Former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl has spoken about her battle with anxiety and how she often felt like she was “dying inside” at the height of her fame.

In an interview with BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks on Sunday, Cheryl also discussed her concerns about social media and the impact of online trolls on her wellbeing.

“I would walk out to a wall of paparazzi and put on a smile but inside I was dying,” the singer told hosts Kate Thistleton and Cel Spellman.

The 36-year-old criticised the ‘facade’ of a perfect life that many people present through social media, stating that it was a problem and something she is guilty of having done in previous years.

“I think what happens then is everyone is looking around like, ‘why does everyone seem so good and having a good time in a happy place and I feel rubbish?’ And that’s not helpful,” said the former X-Factor judge.

”So if people would just be a bit more open and honest with how they’re feeling, I think we could all help each other.”

Cheryl went on to lambast online trolls, stating: “They’re not OK.

“If someone has the time and the mental capacity to want to go on an article and write a sentence about somebody, you’ve got to be quite an angry sad person.

“You can’t believe people think those things about you, you can’t believe people feel those things about you.”

The singer added that she now believes negative comments are more “a reflection than it is a truth” and that they reveal more about the person writing it than the person who it’s directed towards.

“These people don’t know you. They have no idea about you as a person or what’s really going on.”

The ‘Love Made Me Do It’ singer admitted that she found the online criticism hardest in her teens and early twenties. “You can’t believe people think those things about you, you can’t believe people feel those things about you,” she said.

In April this year, Cheryl admitted that she had been undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) following years of self-loathing.

Before giving birth to her son, Bear, in 2017, the pop singer admitted that she didn’t feel content with her life and so decided to turn to a therapist for help.

Her experience helped her to “actively undo” all the negative thought patterns and self-talk she had become familiar with.

“I would talk to myself so nastily: ‘You silly cow. You stupid b***h.’ No one could make me feel worse about myself than I did, and that was a massive problem,” she said.

During the interview, the Newcastle-born star spoke about her experiences of therapy.

“I struggled for so many years with anxiety and in my own head,” she said.

”I didn’t want that to be happening when I was trying to focus on raising a child.

“It felt like my responsibilities shifted and my priorities changed and I needed to be settled in my own head to be able to give him the best that I could possibly give him.”