6 Brilliant Musicians Who Have Opened Up About Their Struggles With Anxiety

26 May 2016, 12:22 | Updated: 30 December 2019, 11:19

matty healy
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

"Being a teenager is f*cking horrible for a lot of people"

When we think about celebrities and musicians, we don't usually think "anxiety". It takes a lot of guts to stand in front of the world and perform, talk about, and present your art. Funnily enough, fame and success can put you in an even more emotionally fragile place for a lot of different reasons. Thankfully, there are some big name stars who have openly shared their own experiences with anxiety. 


One show in Amsterdam I was so nervous, I escaped out the fire exit. I’ve thrown up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile vomited on someone. I just gotta bear it. But I don’t like touring. I have anxiety attacks a lot. Adele

When she later found herself on a balcony, crying hysterically, Adele asked herself, ” ’What would [Beyoncé’s alter ego] Sasha Fierce do?’ That’s when Sasha Carter was born.” The composite of Sasha Fierce and late country icon June Carter is pulled out whenever Adele needs to give herself a shot of confidence.

MTV news on Adele

Lana Del Rey

It’s hard for me sometimes to think about going on when I know we’re going to die. Something happened in the last three years, with my panic [attacks]…It got worse. I’ve always been prone to it. [...] I saw a therapist – three times. But I’m really most comfortable sitting in that chair in the studio, writing or singing.

Lana Del Rey

Matty Healy

I feel like there's a genuine hole in me. The little death, almost. I need stimulation. I used to need physical stimulation constantly, whether that be from listening to the sound of my own voice, or flirting with guys or girls. I'm not bisexual, but that moment when you realise someone likes you – it's the best feeling in the world. If you could bottle it …

Matty Healy, The 1975

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Pete Wentz

I would kinda only navigate between being so anxious, with like this generalized anxiety where I couldn’t get on airplanes and I didn’t even wanna leave the house, and this depression where I felt like…nothing I did mattered. And felt…It felt paralyzing I think at that time. Like it was to the point where I felt like, immobilized by it.

Pete Wentz

Miley Cyrus

I would have anxiety attacks. I'd get hot flashes, feel like I was about to pass up or throw up. It would happen a lot before shows, and I'd have to cancel. [...] You get in this hole that seems like you're never going to be able to get out of.

Miley Cyrus

Olly Alexander

Being a teenager is f***ing horrible for a lot of people, anyway… depression and anxiety on top of that becomes a very layered, complicated thing. I got to a point where I wouldn’t go to school, and wouldn’t get out of bed. I would have panic attacks. I was really bad. [...] shaking, crying and hyperventilating. [...] I’m on medication now, but for anxiety more than anything, and still see a therapist.

Olly Alexander, Years & Years