Male musicians and mental health: James Arthur

James Arthur is very open and honest about his battle with his demons in his music, and when he is asked on record about his mental health. He also wrote a book called ‘Back to the Boy’ which addresses many of these issues he has dealt with in his life. 

He joined Phillip and Holly on This Morning in 2017 to discuss what he has been through and how he has coped. 

When asked about his coping mechanisms for anxiety, this is what James had to say:  

“First of all I think breathing is paramount, to breath, and think that tends to be the catalyst for an anxiety attack as we’re not breathing properly, we’re shallow breathing. 

“And just trying to remember where you are and quite often I think anxiety is brought on by trying to control things in the future trying to look an anticipate things, because that will only even bring on anxiety. 

“Or looking back at your past and trying to change things that have already happened, you can’t do it, so you’re just going to be riddled with anxiety, if you try and do either of those things. 

“So stay in the moment, own up to what is going on, own up to your mistakes and speak about it, say look I’m having anxiety because I’ve messed up here and I’ve made these mistakes and I want to change them, and you have to really want to change your lifestyle I think.” 

“You’ve got to like yourself, you’ve got to love yourself, I didn’t have much self love. I was beating myself up, I didn’t have much self worth, so yeah I think that was the main issue and that’s a good start.” 

Phillip then asked James: “Do you like yourself now?” He replied: “Yeah I do, I think I’m at the right level to keep my feet on the ground. I don’t have a massive ego, I like to stay humble and I like to relate to the average person with my music and who I am and I like to be accessible, I don’t want to be a big mega-star or anything like that.” 

James Arthur is an ambassador for the mental health charity SANE, find out more about the charity here.

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