Fans know Brett Eldredge as a bubbly, energetic and seemingly confident country singer. But what they may not realize is the silent battle the Illinois native has fought behind-the-scenes with his debilitating anxiety.
The singer opened up about his mental health with ABC News’ Dan Harris for the ABC news podcast, 10% Happier, where he talked about how he manages his anxiety and put his past manifestations behind him.
“As a kid, I would kind of have like a panic attack … but I didn’t even know what that was,” Eldredge reflected. “[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?’”
“I can’t tell you how many times I went to the doctor thinking, ‘There’s something really wrong,’” he continued. “I’m always looking for somebody else that’s experiencing the same thing as me. It’s because you feel like you’re all alone.”
Eldredge’s anxiety would attack in a physical way, sending “The Long Way” singer to the emergency room “several times.” Because of his stress, he began to dread performing and being in large groups. That’s when he decided to make a change.
The singer began to focus on his physical and mental health with exercise, outside time, a healthy diet, sleep and limiting his social media time. Additionally, Eldredge took up meditation and gratitude journaling as a source of positivity.
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“The affirmations things are a great thing to think of [for] kind of giving yourself [the] confidence of, ‘Hey I really can do this and I don’t have to be so hard on myself,’” Eldredge shared. “I was looking for that next thing, and ‘what’s the next hit’ … and then you’re never really living in that moment at all. And I was very guilty of that.”
Though his anxiety is still part of his life, Eldredge admits he’s in a much healthier and happier headspace, and is thankful for his tools to manage it.
“I still have trouble… it’s not like I’m not happy. I just get so into trying to be the best at what I do. We’re all trying to strive for these jank[y] goals. You sacrifice a lot of what you love to do that,” he said. “If I can continue to grow, and [grow] with mindfulness, I think that it can become a thing where it helps everything that I do — and it already does.”
Check out Eldredge’s full chat with Dan Harris on the 10% Happier podcast below.