Harry Styles says having therapy for his mental health has made him feel more 'alive'

Harry Styles. (Getty Images for Harry Styles)
Harry Styles says therapy and changing his behaviours during lockdown has massively helped his mental health. (Getty Images for Harry Styles)

Harry Styles has shared how going to therapy has made him feel "more alive" and helped him to open up.

The singer, 28, admitted that when he began therapy about five years ago, he was originally reluctant due to his own misconceptions.

"I thought it meant that you were broken," he told Better Homes & Gardens. "I wanted to be the one who could say I didn't need it."

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But the star, who rose to fame at just 16 through the X-Factor's One Direction, said addressing his tendency to "emotionally coast" allowed him to feel things more honestly and "open up rooms in himself" he didn't know existed.

"I think that accepting living, being happy, hurting in the extremes, that is the most alive you can be. Losing it crying, losing it laughing-there's no way, I don't think, to feel more alive than that," he explained to the magazine.

Styles also opened up about how lockdown helped him to realise that his packed schedule had been helping him to avoid any problems. It was "the first time I'd stopped since I left my mum's," he said.

"Whether it was with friends or people I was dating, I was always gone before it got to the point of having to have any difficult conversations," he explained.

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Harry Styles has discussed his experience of therapy with Better Homes and Gardens magazine (Tim Walker/PA)
'We should accept everybody and be more open,' says Harry Styles. (Tim Walker/Better Homes and Gardens/PA)

Committing to improving his relationships with people and having more honest conversations, he added, "I realised that that home feeling isn't something that you get from a house; it's more an internal thing. You realise that when you stop for a minute."

In Styles' therapy sessions, they worked on why he cares about being likeable, one of the things he thought about during the pandemic.

"In lockdown, I started processing a lot of stuff that happened when I was in the band," he said, acknowledging how much he would have to give away of himself "to get people to engage with you, to like you".

Going from always being scared he'd say or do the 'wrong' thing, he recalled the moment he signed his solo contract and learned he could make music independently of his personal life, bursting into tears as he "felt free".

One Direction split in 2016, six years on from the X-factor.

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Simon Cowell with One Direction (from left) Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan attending a press conference for X Factor, at The Connaught Hotel in central London.   (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Simon Cowell with One Direction's Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan. (PA Images via Getty Images)

He also reflected on how much celebrities were being hounded when he first stepped into the spotlight. "I think we're in a moment of reflect," he said.

"You look back, especially now there's all the documentaries, like the Britney documentary, and you watch how people were abused in that way, by that system, especially women."

He compared this to the scrutiny and assumptions he faced over his sexuality and dress sense.

"The whole point of where we should be heading, which is toward accepting everybody and being more open, is that it doesn't matter, and it's about not having to label everything, not having to clarify what boxes you're checking."

Watch: How can I improve my mental health?