Jesy Nelson has reflected on her mental health struggles while in Little Mix, sharing her schedule was so packed she had a music video shoot scheduled for the week she tried to take her own life.
The singer – who is preparing to release her debut solo single, Boyz – left the girl group last year, saying she felt ‘trapped and miserable’ and felt the effects of being constantly compared to bandmates Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall.
Speaking to Fearne Cotton on the Happy Place podcast, Jesy opened up about her mental health and revealed the toll vile trolling took on her, which saw her attempt suicide while in the band, revealing her mum Janice White begged her to leave the group.
She said: ‘Yeah. Well, I just remember obviously the first time, so obviously I’d taken an overdose. I went into hospital and then I had a music video like a week after…
‘And obviously my mum found out and she was distraught and she was like: “This is it, you’re not doing this anymore”. Because my mum’s the kind of mum that’s like, ‘”I couldn’t give a s**t what you do as long as you’re happy…
‘”That’s all I care about”, So she was like, “No. This isn’t happening anymore….” And obviously I didn’t know what to do at the time because it was very early stages of Little Mix as well.’
The singer, who won a National Television Award for Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, previously spoke about her suicide attempt in the documentary, saying she was almost obsessed with reading critical social media posts about herself.
She revealed she was at her lowest point after a performance with her bandmates on X Factor, in 2013, when she felt she ‘couldn’t take it any longer’.
In a candid chat, she said: ‘I felt that I physically couldn’t tolerate the pain any more’.
She told her family, her management and her bandmates about what happened, but ‘once it was spoken about, it wasn’t ever spoken about again.’
Jesy also revealed she would often ‘starve’ herself before events and photoshoots, hoping to see positive comments, before ‘binge-eating and hating herself’.
Announcing her departure from the group in November, Jesy wrote on Instagram: ‘To all my Mixers, the past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life…
‘The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard.
‘There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process.’
While she admits she still has her insecurity and struggles, Jesy insisted her self-worth has been boosted since leaving the group.
She told Fearne: ‘I feel pretty good within myself, especially mentally definitely. I couldn’t say that, from October I was in a really bad place.
‘Having time to myself, being around my friends and my family – I never got to do that.
‘If this was all taken away from me I know that I could still be just as happy going back to being a barmaid, as long as I have my friends and family around me, that’s all I need.’
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