World Mental Health Day: From Prince Harry and David Beckham to Adele and Beyoncé, discover how these royals and celebrities cope with OCD, anxiety, insomnia, body image and post-natal depression.
World Mental Health Day offers an invaluable opportunity to encourage people to open up and most importantly, to raise awareness and break down taboos surrounding issues like depression, anxiety and body image struggles.
Mental health problems will affect one in four people in the UK every year – education is key and by rounding up some brave confessions and powerful messages of hope from royals such as Prince Harry, and high-profile celebrities including David Beckham and Beyoncé we hope that it serves as a reminder that’s alright not to feel okay some of the time, and to talk to someone.
WATCH: Prince William and Kate interrupt radio stations for important announcement
Prince Harry has become an advocate for speaking up
Prince Harry has opened up about his own mental health issues in recent years and revealed that he initially suffered from panic attacks in the aftermath of his mother Princess Diana’s death. “In my case, suit and tie, every time I was in any room with loads of people, which is quite often, I was just pouring with sweat, like heart beating – boom, boom, boom, boom – and literally like a washing machine,” the Prince told Forces TV. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, get me out of here now.’ Oh hang on, I can’t get out of here, I have got just to hide it.”
In July the father-of-two featured in a short film for BetterUP, the coaching and mental health company of which he is the chief impact officer. Harry offered some encouraging words: “We all have greatness within us,” Prince Harry said at the start of the clip. “Mental fitness helps us unlock it. It’s an ongoing practice, one where you approach your mind as something to flex, not fix.”
Adele found that speaking to friends was a revelation
Adele is one of the few international stars who has opened up about dealing with post-natal depression, and her cover interview with Vanity Fair in 2016 was candid and reassuring: “I can slip in and out of [depression] quite easily,” Adele explained. “I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant…Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it.”
Then in 2021, Adele opened up to Rollins Stone magazine about her mental health struggles, detailing how anxiety and depression left her bed-bound following the breakdown of her marriage. The multi-Grammy Award-winning singer spoke of how she felt “devastated and embarrassed” when news about her divorce from Simon Konecki emerged in 2019.
Adele then harnessed the “tsunami of emotions” she felt during that time and turned them into her smash hit album titled 30 which is full of raw honesty and resonated with millions of fans worldwide.
Beyoncé broke the cycle of over-exercising
When the former Destiny’s Child star was featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and discussed her past struggles with both her physical and mental health, fans took notice. The mother of three shared how her gruelling schedule caused her to develop insomnia, and under the added pressure of sleep deprivation, the Ivy Park creator struggled with her diet and body positivity. “I think, like many women, I have felt the pressure of being the backbone of my family and my company and didn’t realise how much that takes a toll on my mental and physical well-being,” Beyoncé told the magazine.
The extent of Beyoncé‘s insomnia was previously unknown but she shared that she has “personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life.”The 41-year-old talked fans through her newfound approach by starting with how she shifted her focus away from “diets” and “the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body” and instead focus on caring for her mental health has helped her learn to “break the cycle of poor health and neglect”.
David and Victoria have completely opened up
David Beckham previously opened up about having suffered from anxiety, which stems from his battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD. His wife, former Spice Girls singer Victoria Beckham once described outlined the extent of David’s OCD, explaining: “We’ve got three fridges – food in one, salad in another and drinks in the third. In the drinks one, everything is symmetrical. If there are three cans, he’ll throw one away because it has to be an even number.
David who is the father of Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Beckham shared with the Sunday Times Magazine back in 2014 that one of his favoured coping mechanisms was to play with his children once then returned from school each day: “When they get home we’ll often play one of their favourite games, like Connect 4.” The former footballer found that playing with his children really soothed the related anxiety.
“[The kids] love Lego. So do I. The last big thing I made was Tower Bridge. It was amazing. I think Lego sometimes helps to calm me down”, David enthused, before describing his new-found hobby, cooking as “therapeutic”.
Cara says you can come out of depression on the other side
Victoria’s Secret model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne has previously shared her suicidal thoughts as a teenager as a result of putting too much pressure on herself. “I think I pushed myself so far, I got to the point where I had a bit of a mental breakdown,” Cara said in 2015. “I have very bad learning disabilities so I got to the point where I went a bit mad. I was completely suicidal, didn’t want to live anymore, I thought that I was completely alone.”
In 2017 Cara appeared on This Morning where she opened up to Holly Willoughby and Philp Schofield to discuss her past teenage experiences and how she overcame her dark days. ‘I’m not in hell now,’ she said. ‘The things that stick with us the most are the darker times, the more traumatic times.’
Cara shared these thoughts to, “not necessarily be a role model, but someone who has been through it and come out the other side.”
Chrissy found that going teetotal to be transformative
Chrissy Teigen wrote an essay for US Glamour magazine in 2017 explaining how she had struggled following the birth of her daughter Luna. “What basically everyone around me – but me – knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression,” she wrote.
During a visit to the Today show, Chrissy said: “Since it happened with Luna, it happened with my first one, I just didn’t know that there was any other way to feel. I thought it was very natural to be in this low, low point and I just assumed that was motherhood and there was no other way around it.”
This year the mum of two made the radical decision to completely cut out all alcohol. After six months of no drinking, she took to Instagram to say: “I now have endless energy, way less anxiety and I am happier and more present than ever!”
Katy sought therapy in writing music
Katy Perry has spoken candidly about reaching rock bottom following her brief breakup with her now-husband Orlando Bloom in 2017. Katy revealed on CBS This Morning that she was at a crossroads in her career and “fantasising about not being around”. She explained: “I was clinically depressed, I wasn’t even having bouts of depression, it was like I could not get out of bed. In 2017, my career didn’t really meet my own personal expectations.”
However, Katy sought therapy and began writing new music, which she found liberating. Fast forward five years and the Grammy-award-winning has already welcomed daughter Daisy Dove into the world with another baby on its way.
Ryan credits his wife Blake for her support
Ryan Reynolds credited his wife Blake Lively for helping to “keep me sane” when he suffered from intense anxiety while filming Deadpool. “I never ever slept. Or I was sleeping at a perfect right angle – just sitting straight, constantly working at the same time. By the time we were in post [production], we’d been to Comic-Con, and people went crazy for it. The expectations were eating me alive.”
He added: “Blake helped me through that. I’m lucky to have her around just to keep me sane.”
Scarlett hopes people see that you can come full circle
Former Gogglebox star and ‘Queen of the Jungle’ on Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Scarlett Moffat has spoken exclusively to HELLO! about her mental health journey and the incredible body image breakthrough moment that she had not so long ago.
“I suddenly felt as if there was a magnifying glass on me and everyone in the UK had an opinion of me,” Scarlett told HELLO! as she appeared on our Mental Health Digital Cover as guest editor during Mental Health Awareness Week. “Everything I did, I felt like it was criticised, and I didn’t quite feel like I was getting anything right.” The TV presenter even revealed that she simply wanted to “disappear for a while.”
Today, Scarlett, 31, is a Samaritans ambassador and wants people to know that: “Before, I would have more down days whereas now that down days are very, very far and few between and when I did the [HELLO!] shoot and I spoke about being an ambassador for the Samaritans, that to date is the thing I’m most proud of. I hope that people can see that it can come full circle.“
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