The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge talked candidly to Elizabeth Day about her mental health on the How To Fail podcast.
We’ve got some bad news for How To Fail fans: the latest episode is the last of the current season. Over the last couple of months, we’ve been gripped by Elizabeth Day’s conversations on failure with novelist Marian Keyes, Fleabag’s Andrew Scott and Brit Awards-winner Mabel. And the season finale was just as fascinating, as singer Frankie Bridge talked candidly about her mental breakdown.
Bridge, who was a member of The Saturdays, has opened up before about her mental health issues, which led to a hospitalised breakdown. She touched on some seriously relatable issues, such as the “guilt” of complaining about a supposedly perfect life, the feeling of constant disappointment and the inability to be content.
Frankie Bridge on constantly feeling like a “disappointment”
Bridge has opened up before about feeling like a disappointment in front of her psychiatrist. Asked by Day if she still feels like this, Bridge replied: “Yes. I think that’s just part of my DNA almost. I think I’ll just always feel like I can do better. And I think that is just as much for other people, I feel like I let other people down in certain ways.
“And also myself. I’m such a perfectionist and that comes with so many great things. And I think that’s a big part of how I’ve managed to stay in my career for as long as I have… But also it means you’re just constantly bashing yourself and telling yourself you could have done better.”
Frankie Bridge on feeling guilty about her “perfect” life
Bridge talked about how she feels the lowest at the times when she felt she “should have been happy, like at Christmas and on her 30th birthday.
She said: “I also felt guilty because I was in a pop group that was successful. I was living a really lovely life, and I had basically everything I’d always wanted. And yet I was completely miserable. You feel an immense amount of guilt with depression and anxiety anyway. So then I think when you do have a life, that you know you should be thankful for – which I was – the guilt is even worse.
“How do you complain to people about a life that is supposedly perfect?”
Frankie Bridge on waiting for the next thing to happen to make her “happier”
Talking about her failure to live in the moment, Bridge said: “I’m always worrying about the past. So I still feel guilt for every bad thing I’ve ever done in my life – no matter how much therapy I’ve had. I still feel guilty about any past relationship in my love life, or friendships.
“And then in the future I’m still worrying about what my next job is going to be, what is going to happen with the kids, or have I made the right decision with the school? Should we live in another country? So many things, it can go so varied. And I just think ‘god what if you just enjoyed all the things that you’ve managed to do and that you have now – wouldn’t that be lovely.”
She added: “A thing with my illness is that I keep waiting for the next thing that will make me happier. And I know that that’s not how it works, but it doesn’t stop me from still thinking that way.
Explaining how she deals with this, she gave a very honest answer about “not really” using a strategy and just “getting on with it”.
Listen to How To Fail with Frankie Bridge
If you need to speak to someone about mental health, you can contact Mind’s helpline on 0300 123 3393 or visit their website here.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…