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Cheryl on anxiety: 'I'd put on a smile but inside I was dying'

Katie Thistleton, Cheryl and Cel Spellman

Cheryl has spoken about her struggle with anxiety and how she feels about people who post unpleasant messages about her online.

"They're not OK," she tells Katie Thistleton and Cel Spellman on Radio 1's Life Hacks this week.

"You can't believe people think those things about you, you can't believe people feel those things about you," she says.

Cheryl, now 36, says she took criticism hardest in her teens and early 20s.

'Inside I was dying'

But now she believes negative comments are more "a reflection than it is a truth" and that they say more about the person writing it than her.

"If someone has the time and the mental capacity to want to go on an article and write a sentence about somebody, you've got to be quite an angry sad person," she says.

"These people don't know you. They have no idea about you as a person or what's really going on."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cheryl says the criticism was harder to deal with when she was younger

And it's not just the comments people post online that causes concern for the singer - she's also worried about how people put on a "facade" of how their life really is on social media.

She says this is a problem because it's something she used to do herself.

"I would walk out to a wall of paparazzi and put on a smile but inside I was dying," she says.

"I think what happens then is everyone is looking around like, 'why does everyone seem so good and having a good time in a happy place and I feel rubbish?' And that's not helpful.

"So if people would just be a bit more open and honest with how they're feeling, I think we could all help each other."

Children and therapy

During the interview, Cheryl also revealed how she had a year of therapy due to her struggle with anxiety after giving birth to her son in 2017.

"I struggled for so many years with anxiety and in my own head," she says.

"I didn't want that to be happening when I was trying to focus on raising a child.

"It felt like my responsibilities shifted and my priorities changed and I needed to be settled in my own head to be able to give him the best that I could possibly give him."

Listen to the full interview on Life Hacks on Sunday, 7 July 2019, on BBC Radio 1.

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