The singer shares how she got help when she felt at her lowest
The Spice Girls were one of the most iconic girl bands of the 90’s, but this week, Mel C, otherwise known as Sporty Spice, has opened up about how fame, for her, wasn’t all it was made out to be.
Speaking candidly on her BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs episode, the singer shared that during the height of fame for the pop group, she struggled with mental health issues, including depression and an eating disorder.
She’s not the only pop star to open up about their mental health struggles—just recently, The Saturday’s Frankie Bridge shared how ignoring her feelings led to her ending up in hospital.
Mel told listeners and host Lauren Laverne that her lowest point came after a ‘scuffle’ with fellow bandmate and now fashion designer Victoria Beckham. According to the star, they disagreed on the way to the 1996 BRIT Awards party, around about the same time the band were beginning to be recognised globally for their music.
‘We’d all had a few bevvies and on the way out there was a little scuffle between myself and Victoria. I was told if that behaviour ever happened again, then I would be out [of the band],’ Mel said.
‘I began to be really, really hard on myself. I think that’s where the start of some of my problems came, because I had to be very, very strict with myself. I couldn’t allow myself to relax because if I did, I might mess it all up.’
On her struggles with her body and her ‘sporty’ namesake, Mel shared that the pressure for perfection often got to her and led, ultimately, to more serious health issues. ‘I was described as the plain one at the back. So I tried to make myself perfect. I ended up making myself really ill. I was anorexic for a few years. I was exercising obsessively and I ended up being incredibly depressed. I was in denial’, she said.
When her doctor did diagnose her as depressed, Mel said she felt ‘as if a weight had lifted off my shoulders’, but also shared that her recovery took many years of help and therapy, and was a journey that she couldn’t have completed on her own.
If you fear you may be struggling with disordered eating patterns or know someone who might be, Beat is the UK’s leading charity providing round the clock support for individuals with eating disorders. If you want to seek help, for yourself or someone you know, it’s as simple as calling their helpline on 0808 801 0677 or visiting their website for more details. Or, Marie Claire’s guide to how to talk about your mental health may help.
Similarly, if you find yourself feeling depression or down and need to reach out to somebody, Samaritans are contactable 24 hours a day on 116 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, well done to Mel for opening up about her struggles.