Brett Eldredge Reveals Struggle With Anxiety: ‘I’m Very Good at Hiding It’
Brett Eldredge has been struggling with anxiety for his whole life, he tells Dan Harris in the ABC News podcast "10% Happier." The "Love Someone" singer says his panic attacks started when he was a young boy and have carried into adulthood.
“As a kid, I would have a panic attack ... but I didn’t even know what that was,” Eldredge, 32, confesses. “[In] college, I remember times where I would go to a party and I would be breaking into sweats and, like, just drenched, and I’d just [think], ‘Is something wrong with me?'"
His panic attacks put him in the emergency room several times and made him worry constantly if something was really wrong. Eldredge has since found meditation — he also eats healthy and exercises to help his anxiety — but admits that feelings of self doubt often fester before live shows. Thankfully, as soon as he gets on stage these thoughts disappear.
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“I would build myself up to thinking something was going to happen to me when I was on the stage, or that I was going to have a panic attack on stage, or I was like, ‘They're going to see me as a fool,’” Eldredge shares.
“This crazy music's going on and you build energy before you run out there on stage and [the announcer says], 'Hey, the star is here to sing songs for you.' And I remember I was like, 'I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm freaked out and I'm short of breath and I'm seeing stars,’ and I had to sit down on the side of the stage," he says, "Then I get out there, and eventually it's OK."
Eldredge has worked to move past his panic attacks with a therapist, and he's open about how meditation has helped him. He also keeps a gratitude journal. His dog, Edgar, helps to ease his anxiety, too.
"I might play in front of 30,000 people and then I walk off — and this is really hard to explain to people because it's such a weird experience — but walking off stage and going onto your bus, and you're by yourself after having the most insane adrenaline rush ever," Eldredge admits. "Everybody's going crazy ... people give you high-fives, and then [you climb onto] your bus and it's just you and the walls of a tour bus. I'd be there by myself. Now I've got Edgar to be there with me. It just made me more happy."
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