Ed Sheeran says intense touring led to binge eating and alcohol addiction

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Ed Sheeran performs with Eminem, Cardi B and Stormzy on his new record: Rex
Ed Sheeran performs with Eminem, Cardi B and Stormzy on his new record: Rex

Ed Sheeran has revealed that he struggled with binge eating and excessive drinking at the height of his fame.

The singer, 29, spoke at a Hay House summit about anxiety and wellbeing where he opened up about how his hectic 180-date touring schedule for the album X from 2014 to 2015 caused him to develop unhealthy habits.

“I would stay up and drink all night and then sleep on the bus ... It’s all fun and games at the start, but then it starts getting sad,” Sheeran said. “That was probably the lowest that I’ve been and I ballooned in weight. They used to call me ‘two-dinner Teddy’ because I used to order two meals and eat that.”

Admitting to hating how he looked, Sheeran also revealed that he struggled with excessive drinking during this period, saying: “I see no point in having a glass of wine. I’d rather have two bottles. Having a glass of wine is having something in moderation and probably isn’t going to affect your day the next day. But two bottles of wine probably might make you quite sad.

“I felt, ‘What was the point?’ In a dark way, like, ‘Why am I around? What is the point?’ I think things like sugar, sweet stuff, junk food, cocaine, alcohol, it feels good the more you do, but it’s the worst thing for you.”

It was reading Elton John’s autobiography that inspired Sheeran to change after recognising “so many” addictive behaviours that he also exhibited.

“He would be like, ‘I would just go on an ice cream binge and eat four desserts until I threw up’, and I was like, ‘I’ve done that before,’” Sheeran said. “Or his martini binges, where he sees how many martinis he can drink. And I’m like, ‘I’ve done that before too.’”

Last August, Sheeran announced that he was taking an 18-month break from touring after performing 280 shows in just over two years.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by the issues raised in this article, Beat’s Helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. If you or someone you know is worried about alcohol consumption, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or talk to a trained advisor anonymously online via Drinkchat.

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