Ed Sheeran opens up about eating and body image struggles: ‘I’m a binge-everything’

A red-haired man in a blue suit plays an acoustic guitar and sings into a microphone
Ed Sheeran performs at the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London.
(Hannah McKay / Associated Press)

Ed Sheeran recently opened up about his relationships with food, alcohol, drugs and his body.

In an interview with Rolling Stone published Tuesday, the “Bad Habits” hitmaker got candid about cutting back on hard liquor, feeling insecure about his appearance and developing “a real eating problem.”

“There’s certain things that, as a man talking about them, I feel mad uncomfortable,” Sheeran told the outlet.


“I know people are going to see it a type of way, but it’s good to be honest about them. Because so many people do the same thing and hide it as well.”

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Discussing his experiences with alcohol first, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter divulged that he “used to be a party boy” in his 20s and “was always a drinker.” Initially, he was just “sort of dabbling,” but eventually he found himself imbibing more and more frequently.

“And then it just turns into a habit that you do once a week and then once a day and then, like, twice a day and then, like, without booze. It just became bad vibes,” he said.

Two months before the birth of his eldest daughter, Lyra, Sheeran received a wakeup call from his wife, Cherry Seaborn, who asked him, “If my waters break, do you really want someone else to drive me to the hospital?” because he was “drinking a lot.”

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“That’s when it clicked,” the “Shivers” artist continued. “I was like, ‘No, actually, I really don’t.’ And I don’t ever want to be pissed holding my kid. Ever, ever.

“Having a couple of beers is one thing. But having a bottle of vodka is another thing. It’s just a realization of, ‘I’m getting into my thirties. Grow up! You’ve partied, you’ve had this experience. Be happy with that and just be done.’ I love red wine, and I love beer. I don’t know any old rockers that aren’t alcoholics or sober, and I didn’t want to be either.”


Sheeran swore off hard drugs after losing his best friend and collaborator, Jamal Edwards — a British music entrepreneur who died at age 31 of cardiac arrhythmia caused by cocaine use.

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“I would never, ever, ever touch anything again, because that’s how Jamal died,” he said. “And that’s just disrespectful to his memory to even, like, go near.”

The Grammy winner also shared that he has struggled with his body image while working in “an industry where you’re getting compared to every other pop star.” Collaborating with heartthrobs like Justin Bieber, One Direction and Shawn Mendes stoked his insecurities.

“All these people have fantastic figures,” he explained. “And I was always like, ‘Well, why am I so … fat?’”

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His anxiety about his looks manifested in his eating habits, he said, and led to him “doing what Elton [John] talks about in his book — gorging, and then it would come up again.”

To this day, Sheeran considers himself “a real binge eater.”

“I’m a binge-everything,” he said. “But I’m now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”


Sheeran is currently touring Europe and is scheduled to travel to North America in May. His final shows will take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clarita (Sept. 16) and SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (Sept. 23). Additionally, the musician has a new single, “Eyes Closed,” out Friday and a studio album, “-” (pronounced “Subtract”), arriving May 5.

If you or someone you know is experiencing disordered eating, seek help from a professional and call the National Eating Disorders Assn. Helpline at (800) 931-2237.