"I kind of don't do things by halves. So if I'm gonna drink, I kinda see no point in having a glass of wine, I'd rather have two bottles of wine."
Ed Sheeran is reflecting on a dark time amid the peak of his career.
In a recent interview for the Hay House Chasing the Present Summit, the singer opened up about the "lowest" point in his life, which came during his world tour in 2015. Sheeran, 29, recalled the struggles with his mental and physical health, including anxiety, panic attacks, and binge eating, and drinking.
"I've had bouts of like everything. I think the lowest I've ever been was 2015," the Grammy winner began. "It was down to bad diet, drinking and then not seeing sunlight at all ... and I wasn't exercising. Exercise, I think, is a really f--king important thing to keep people happy. I was touring and I would stay up and drink all night and then ... the buses would park underneath the 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. I didn't see sunlight for, like, maybe like four months."
"It's all fun and games at the start, it's all rock 'n' roll and it's fun, and then it starts getting just sad," he continued. "So I think that's probably the lowest that I've been and I kind of ballooned in weight and I just wasn't healthy."
When asked to describe what was going through his mind at the time, Sheeran explained, "I guess I kind of felt like, 'What was the point? Why am I around? What is the point?'"
While promoting his second album, the "Shape of You" singer said he began to experience panic attacks, revealing he suffered his first one while on a plane. Sheeran said "ever since then," he had panic attacks in public places like "the tube, planes, supermarkets, anywhere where there's lots of people."
He added, "It's a weird paranoia in me that's assuming that everyone's gonna be horrible, when usually people are nice."
The "Perfect" crooner went on to explain how his "very, very addictive personality" contributed to the decline of his health.
"I'm reading Elton John's book at the moment and there are so many things that he did that I do. He would be like, 'I would just go on an ice cream binge and eat four f--king desserts until I threw up,' and I was like, 'I've done that before.' Or his martini binges, where he sees how many he can drink. And I'm like, 'I've done that before too,'" Sheeran said. "He ends up getting really f--king sad and depressed and all of these things can add to that."
"I think with addiction it's very hard to moderate, but moderation is the key, I think," he continued. "I think things like sugar, sweet stuff, junk food, cocaine, alcohol, is all things that, it feels good the more you do, but it’s the worst thing for you, I think," he continued.
"I'm covered in tattoos and I kind of don't do things by halves," Sheeran added. "So if I'm gonna drink, I kinda see no point in having a glass of wine, I'd rather have two bottles of wine. I think 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 the next day."
"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."
Fortunately, with the help of his wife Cherry Seaborn, Sheeran was able to change his lifestyle.
"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."
"There's loads of health benefits anyway, but also just loads of cosmetic benefits, as in you just feel better, but also you start looking better," Sheeran added of exercising. "When you look better, you're looking in the mirror like, 'Oh, maybe I don't hate myself today.'"