Tom Odell felt “unshackled” when he started writing songs about his anxiety.
The 30-year-old singer had previously kept quiet about his mental health struggles but he’s delighted to have poured his “very destructive” way of thinking into his fourth album Monsters to do “something good” with his feelings.
“As soon as I started writing about my anxiety, I felt unshackled and all the fear came out of me,” he told Britain’s The Sun newspaper. “I’d been suffering from panic attacks and anxiety for many years, before I finally told anyone about it. And it was beginning to run faster and faster and become very destructive.
“Then I just decided to write about it. And it was amazing. The album came from a time which was a struggle for me and I’m pleased that I’ve managed to chip away some of that anxiety into something good.”
Tom was excited to “tear up the rule book” and do something new with his latest album.
“I feel really proud of the production actually,” he smiled. “It works with these delicate stories that I was telling. I’ve been writing songs since I was 13. You know, and so you start developing these habits. I needed to tear up the rule book and try something different.”
The Another Love singer – who was diagnosed with chronic anxiety in 2018 after being hospitalised with a severe panic attack – has been having therapy and enjoying transcendental meditation, and he hopes that being open about his struggles in his music will help others.
“It’s been a very transformative time for me and I felt very liberated addressing the thing that was so disruptive. I’ve learned that I tended to be stoic,” he explained. “Now I’m on a mission, because I didn’t know it was a panic attack when I first had them and I just accepted the way I was feeling. If I had spoken to people about it, I think it wouldn’t have been so intense.
“And so now if just one person reads this and decides to speak up, rather than keeping it secret, it’s a win.”