My Wellness Wins: singer Frankie Bridge

Former The Saturdays singer and mum of two, Frankie Bridge, on dealing with depression, her calmness strategies and the key to the perfect roast potato!
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My morning ritual… I can’t function until I’ve had a peppermint tea! Then I sort the boys [Parker, 6 and Carter, 4] out – with breakfast and school before rushing out the door. I’ve worked since I was 12 so I’m used to a hectic life, and that’s when I’m at my calmest, mentally. It’s on days when I don’t have much to do that my mind wanders.

My bedtime routine… I always take a glass of water to bed because I get really thirsty at night. I wash my face clean off the day, whether I’ve had make-up on or not, and check on the boys. Every night I give them a kiss on the head and say: ‘Mummy loves you more than the world’.

I always tell my loved ones to… Do what they want to do. We all spend so much of our time trying to keep other people happy but sometimes you do need to be the focus of your own happiness. I’m such a people pleaser and when my husband Wayne [Bridge, a former footballer] is always telling me I need to say ‘no’ more. It’s been a big learning curve, but I have got a little bit better.

My favourite mantra is… Be nice. When I was younger, [my manager] Simon Fuller said to me, ‘you’ll always have work because you’re nice to people’. When we’re stressed, tired and busy it’s easy to be rude to people and dismissive. You just have to remind yourself to be kind.

I love to cook… Roast dinner. The best part of my roast is the potato. You have to over-boil them so when you shake them in the colander they go a bit fluffy – then when they roast, they’re a mixture of crunchy and fluffy.

My favourite way of relaxing is… A deep tissue sports massage. Although it hurts, it’s nice feeling all that tension going away!

Exercise to me involves… Phases. I’ll go through a stage where I go to the gym every day. But with the boys and work, I fit in exercise where I can. It’s important for me because of my mental health [she was hospitalised in May 2012 with depression]. I have a personal trainer because I need someone to push me. Or I’ll do classes with friends – I also love Pilates.

The bad habit I’m glad I’ve kicked… I’ve learned to enjoy food more now. When I was younger I saw it as an inconvenience. I was a really fussy eater and would never try anything – I’ve only started to eat sushi – but I’m getting better as I get older.

I inject positivity into my life by… Surrounding myself by people I trust. I love hanging out with people that have known me forever and understand me. It took time [for me to speak openly about my struggles] because it wasn’t until I went to hospital that I understood I had an illness and felt able to explain it to other people. That was a big thing.

No.1 on my gratitude list is… My boys. There’s something amazing about children. They see the world for what it is. They don’t know any of the bad stuff yet, so they’re amazing to be around and they teach me a lot. Mentally, I do have days where I don’t want to get up but I have to for them. They keep me going and love me unconditionally, so they’re my purpose in life.

Read about Frankie’s mental health journey in her book Open (Octopus, £18.99) out now and her podcast Open Mind is available on Apple, Spotify and all major podcast apps.