Ed Sheeran turned to music as a form of therapy after learning that his wife, Cherry Seaborn, had been diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with their second child.
The 32-year-old singer wrote seven songs in just four hours as a means of coping with the news.
In his new Disney+ four-part documentary series, Ed Sheeran: The Sum Of It All, the couple talks about how they dealt with the diagnosis.
Seaborn disclosed, “Long story short, I got diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year, which was a massive s**tter, but it made me massively reflect on our mortality.” She added, “It genuinely wasn’t until this year when I was just like, ‘I might die’.”
Reflecting on his musical process, Sheeran said, “Music’s always been like therapy to me. It was a way to get my thoughts and feelings down as a kid, and it works. It really works.”
According to Seaborn, Sheeran’s mental health was also affected by the tragic death of his friend Jamal Edwards in 2022.
She said, “We’ve barely had a conversation this year about his mental health. I can see it, and there are massive alarm bells for me.”
In the wake of Edwards’ death, Sheeran sought comfort from his friend Stormzy. “He drove over to my house and came and comforted me,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of really close industry friends, but he’s one of my closest. He comes to me for advice, I go to him for advice and he’s invaluable in terms of sanity.”
The Sum Of It All, airing on Disney+ on 3 May, showcases how Sheeran dealt with these emotional struggles and the support he received from his loved ones.
The documentary portrays Sheeran’s music as a way of processing and dealing with emotional difficulties. As he said himself, “Music’s always been like therapy to me,” and his recent struggles highlight the therapeutic value of music as an emotional outlet.