Shawn Mendes Reveals Anxiety Left Him Unable To Sing

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Shawn Mendes has reflected on “a really dark time” he went through prior to the pandemic.

“I had so much anxiety that I actually couldn’t sing anymore,” the 23-year-old Canadian singer told GQ. "It was all in my throat, which a lot of men experience. We often experience those emotions as tension in our back, neck, and as pain in our bodies. I couldn’t sing anymore, and I always had a thing about quitting. I didn’t want to quit.”

Mendes added: “I was in this dark place, and I had to do something. And I was taking it out on other people, like in my relationships. I didn’t want to be that person.”

Mendes said he started reading, meditating, journaling and working with Jay Shetty, a former Hindu monk and life coach. The “In My Blood” singer said he also stays away from social media until at least 11 a.m. and surrounds himself with positive people.

In last year’s single “Wonder,” Mendes sings “When I cry into my hands / I’m conditioned to feel like it makes me less of a man” – a lyric that resonated with his male friends.

“Every single man in my life said something to me about that line, but in private,” he said. “Not publicly, which shows how uncomfortable men can be about expressing how they feel.”

As he has said before, Mendes believes guys should be able to cry. “I can only cry every four months, and it’s like a huge physical release when it happens,” he admitted.

“We’re fighting against thousands of years of conditioning. It’s important to give men a real safe space to feel like they’re allowed to express their emotions.

“And that takes time and patience, because it’s not just a matter of whether they want to cry or not.”

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