S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens opens up about mental health

S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens opened up for the first time on Tuesday’s Loose Women about her mental health struggles and internalising her emotions while at the height of the band’s fame. 

“In a band like S Club we were marketed at a very young audience and it was very shiny and happy and everyone saw the sort of finished polished product and we were very packaged. Underneath all of that, I had a lot of my stuff going on and my emotions and my things that were going on. As soon as the camera’s on and [you’re] going on and singing Reach, putting a smile on and putting a show on… but there’s a lot obviously going on behind the scenes.”

Asked about having family therapy when she was younger, Rachel explained how it had been a ‘one time that we had a family therapy session when my parents separated and it was all the family together.’ The performer went on to tell the show how she had ‘quite blurry memories of it’ and then observed that when she was around 19 she also had personal therapy, noting ‘That’s when … I really needed to talk about all of my stuff that was going on. [All the things] that I really needed to just make sense of.’

“I spent a lot of years pushing a lot of feelings and a lot of emotions away and not feeling them, which came from my childhood. I grew up in a family where we didn’t talk much about our feelings. I got used to internalising a lot of stuff. It’s so important to talk. To get those feelings out. The more they’re inside, they manifest and you internalise them and they become much bigger.”

Speaking of the therapy she has now, Rachel discussed her weekly sessions. ‘I need it as that kind of outlet’ she said, adding that she believes she needs it as she’s ‘someone who has always been a worrier, someone who thinks a lot, someone who internalises a lot and is incredibly emotional and sensitive’. She told the ITV panel that she ‘needs’ the independent person to listen to her.

“I speak to my closest friends obviously, my husband, but other than that, having that person who is not so close just gives me that outlet to be acknowledged and make sense of it all when there’s not that emotional connection, which I think is really important.”

“I look at Instagram, look at these women who I think look amazing but actually behind the camera, they’re all real people, with all the same struggles, all the same feelings and all trying to make sense of our own stuff and it takes daily work to become the best person you can be and that’s what I’m trying to do every day.”

Loose Women, ITV, STV and UTV at 12:30pm weekdays and catch up on the ITV Hub

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