Emeli Sande 'doubted' music career during anxiety battle

The 32-year-old star didn't think she was depressed at the time of her divorce but she has now realised that she was struggling and had lost her confidence.

FILE: British singer-songwriter Emeli Sande performs during the BRIT Awards 2017 ceremony and live show in London on 22 February 2017. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Emeli Sande has opened up about suffering from anxiety following her split from husband Adam Gouraguine in 2013, within 12 months of marriage, and admitted she doubted whether she could continue as a musician.

The 32-year-old star didn't think she was depressed at the time but she has now realised after looking back on that time in her life that she was struggling and had lost her confidence.

She said: "I doubted whether I wanted to continue being a musician. I questioned whether people wanted to hear me because people were saying I was on TV too much. People said I was overexposed, and then I thought, 'Maybe I don't have a place in this music industry, and if people don't want to hear it, what shall I do?' I was going through my separation, and really trying to get my head around the industry and where I sat in it.

"It was everything all at once, and I lost my confidence. Even though I was shy as a kid, I was very confident about what I wanted to do, and I worked to try to make it happen. The saddest part, when someone's suffering like that, is you lose your natural personality and the confidence goes. People who really knew me, they could have seen but, me? I was thinking: 'I'm just tired and stressed.' At the time, I was like, 'I'm not depressed,' but looking back this year, and knowing how I am now as a person, I've realised. I never had therapy, and that would have fast-tracked [things]. It's scary because it's like quicksand if you don't recognise it."

Sande has now turned to meditation and yoga to help her deal with her anxiety, which she believed she has been afflicted with most of her life.

She added to _Happiful _magazine: "My anxiety came from over-thinking, but learning how to breathe has helped me to relax and release endorphins. It sounds silly because we all need to breathe to stay alive, but sometimes you're doing shallow breathing all day, and that affects your mentality."

The Next To Me hitmaker recently admitted she felt as though she was having a breakdown following her split from Gouraguine.

She said: "I just felt I had to wake up. I don't know, it was just a real ... I don't want to call it a breakdown, but it felt like that."