Adele Opens Up About Mental Health And Her Experience With Postpartum Depression - Women's Health

Adele Opens Up About Mental Health And Her Experience With Postpartum Depression

“There are definitely a few elements of myself that I don’t think I’ll ever get back.”

If, like the rest of the world, you spent the weekend in an igloo of emotion thanks to the release of Adele’s new album 30, you likely would have come away with a greater insight into the singer’s personal life. While the trick of all music is that we assume it to be autobiographical, in this case it’s clear that Adele is drawing on her own tumultuous past and the growth she’s experienced in herself as an individual and single mum moving forward from her divorce. Adele expressed that she finds it easier to put such words into her music and sing them, rather than talk about it directly. But in a new interview with The Face, the singer has presented herself as vulnerable once again, opening up about her experience with postpartum depression which was “really quite bad” when she first became a mum nine years ago. 

During the interview, Adele elaborated on what she had previously brought up during her Grammys acceptance speech in 2017 when she said that she “lost a lot” of herself in pregnancy and new motherhood. “There are definitely a few elements of myself that I don’t think I’ll ever get back,” she explained. “More than anything, it’s the freedom of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Going somewhere and not having to prioritise someone else.”

Adele gave birth to her son Angelo in 2012, and while Adele admits he’s “obviously” been her “number one priority,” she says such demands of caring for a newborn baby coupled with the emotional burden of becoming a parent can be incredibly challenging to navigate. As a result, Adele’s mental health suffered considerably. “Giving, giving, giving, to a baby or a toddler, when they can’t even f*cking talk to you, your brain goes a bit mushy. You’re not stimulated very much,” she said. “In that, I also got really quite bad postpartum depression, or postnatal as we call it [in the UK].”

Adele struggled to visualise the parent she wanted to be, having had her own struggles growing up as a child in a broken home. “No one wants to be like their own parents, no matter how great parents they were or not. You learn how to be a parent on the go,” said the singer. “Or you start reading books, and that’s not right either, because it’s someone else’s experience of it and they’re all completely different.” 

With limited time to take care of herself, Adele felt she lost her identity. “Having no time to even brush my teeth, let alone write a record or hang out with my friends,” she expressed. “My friends, my hobbies, the things I like doing without a baby, are things that make me who I am. And I didn’t really have access to that for a while.”

In the years since, Adele worked hard on herself with the understanding that reclaiming happiness wasn’t a selfish task, but rather one that is a gift to her son Angelo – that he might see his mum happy and be proud of her and the work she’s had to do to get there. It’s clear in conversation that Angelo is still the centre of Adele’s world, but the singer can now balance the selflessness of parenting with her identity outside of motherhood. “

“It definitely gets easier as they get older,” she said. “I don’t think I was ever completely selfless before I had Angelo. I still have that thing where every decision I make, I think of him first. It still makes me mourn myself a bit every now and then. Maybe I’m not mourning anymore, maybe I’m more yearning. A little bit like: ooh, what would I do and where would I go?”

As for motherhood now with a nine year old, Adele says it’s a blast. “He’s brilliant. He’s a f*cking comedian, like an actual comedian,” the singer described. “As they get older, you can take them everywhere with you and they can tell you if they’re not enjoying something, what they want, if they’re hungry or if they have a tummy ache, whatever. It’s way easier to navigate once you can really communicate with them.”

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