Ed Sheeran reveals ‘spiral through fear, depression and anxiety’ as he announces new album

Poor Ed has had a really rough time.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 1st March 2023

Ed Sheeran has shared a gut-wrenching statement accompanying his new album announcement this morning.

The global sensation said that he was ‘spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety’ after a really difficult month in his personal life.

His statement was shared on his Instagram this morning, detailing how his wife Cherry was diagnosed with a tumour while she was pregnant with their second child – and wasn’t able to receive treatment until after giving birth.

In the same month, his best friend Jamal Edwards suddenly died at the age of 31 of cardiac arrest, and he was embroiled in a court battle.

Ed wrote that he ‘felt like he was drowning’ at the time, and turned to songwriting as ‘therapy’.


He said that he had been working on his next album Subtract, an acoustic album for a decade, but in the space of a week had replaced it all with songs written from his ‘deepest darkest thoughts’.

His statement said that this new album is ‘opening the trapdoor into his soul’. writing: “For the first time, I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life.”


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Subtract is scheduled for release on 5 May 2023, he then shared, with a video of him walking along a windswept beach.

Ed sold out a whopping four-night run at the Etihad Stadium here in Manchester last summer, as part of his Mathematics tour.

He has so far released five studio albums, each one dominating the top of the UK albums chart and spawning massive singles like Shape of You, Bad Habits, and You Need Me I Don’t Need You.


He’s also collaborated with the likes of Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Stormzy, Travis Scott, and even a Christmas song with Elton John.

Ed Sheeran’s full statement is below

I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be. Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art.

Writing songs is my therapy. It helps me make sense of my feelings. I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out. And in just over a week I replaced a decade’s worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts.

Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth. My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly, and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter. I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air.

As an artist I didn’t feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn’t accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life. This album is purely that. It’s opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time, I’m not trying to craft an album people will like, I’m merely putting something out that’s honest and true to where I am in my adult life.


This is last February’s diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract.

Featured image: Instagram, @teddysphotos