Brett Eldredge on Overcoming Anxiety: 'It's the Most Human Thing'

Brett Eldredge is opening up about his ongoing battle to overcome anxiety, a challenge he has faced most of his life. The 32-year-old, who went public with his struggle earlier this year, is determined to keep speaking out about it, if only to let others know they aren't alone.

"I realized that if I'm going to be the best version of me, I've got to take care of me," Eldredge told PEOPLE. "That's translated into practicing meditation, keeping a gratitude journal and making time for physical recreation with his road crew."

"If I can be more relaxed and more comfortable with who I am," he continued, "then I'm going to go up there onstage, and I'm going to give that person who I am to everyone and truly be the best version of me onstage as I am offstage."

Realizing he wasn't alone in his struggle was also a big help in his decision to share with others what he had kept private for so long.

"You know, everybody goes through this stuff," Eldredge explained. "There's just such a stigma that we shouldn't talk about having anxiety … but it's the most human thing. We're bred as worriers."

"I've had to learn that, okay, everybody in the crowd's not looking for me to be the most perfect," he continued. "They're looking for that connection."

As Eldredge's fame and popularity increased, he knew he had a platform to encourage others to find ways to deal with anxiety, including one of his favorite methods: gratitude journaling.

"It became a very important thing for me," Eldredge told at a media event. "Especially when you do have anxiety and issues like that, you feel like you're completely alone but you realize quickly that it's one of the most human thing. Everybody deals with worries and all that stuff and so, I was like, I want to make it a passion of mine to show that, I've dealt with that. It's not like I have it all the time, but we all have waves of it and different things.

"Everybody has all sorts of stuff going on in their world," continued the Illinois native. "It's how we deal with it and I've tried to figure it out for a long time. You take two steps forward and a step back every once in a while and you keep pushing yourself and trying to better yourself and wellness and so, mindfulness, became a big thing for me and mediation and journaling and seeing that thoughts are just thoughts, and everything's all right."

Not many celebrities choose to be as open as Eldredge has with their private struggles, but for Eldredge, it was a necessary choice.

"I'm not really nervous about talking about it at all," maintained the singer. "I think it's, like I said, a very human thing. It's kind of always had a weird stigma about the mental health world, and it's so dumb to me. It's so ridiculous. So I can kind of bring that, bring that into the light and say, 'We're all just human, trying to get through this,' and can really help each other out. It's a really, a really powerful thing to be able to try to help people and they also help me in return."


Eldredge just released a deluxe version of his holiday Glow album, which is available for purchase on his website.

Photo Credit: Getty images / John Shearer