Paul McCartney admits The Beatles struggled with mental health: 'It turned out to be a cry for help'

Macca discusses how The Beatles coped during a time when mental health conversations weren't commonplace
Paul McCartney
Photo credit Getty Images

These days, it’s not uncommon for artists to use their music as a source to discuss their mental health. Back when The Beatles ruled the world, it was a topic that wasn’t talked about.

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Paul McCartney was interviewed by The Sunday Times and spoke about how he, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr would shy away from the problems they were facing by joking about them.

Even with matter of fact songs like “Help!,” McCartney admits all members of The Beatles went through rough periods. “All of us went through periods when we weren’t as happy as we ought to be,” he said.

McCartney says that he and Lennon would turn to songwriting to help express their feelings and address their mental health. “‘Help! I need somebody,’ he wrote. And I thought, ‘Well, it’s just a song,’ but it turned out to be a cry for help,” McCartney said.

“Same kind of thing happened with me, mainly after the break-up of the band.”

Drummer Ringo Starr dealt with his problems by turning to alcohol. “Ringo had a major drinking problem,” McCartney said before adding “now he’s Mr Sober of the Year!”

He admitted “there were a lot of things we had to work through.” The Beatles also had to face these problems during a time when “you didn’t talk about mental health.”

For all the challenges McCartney and his bandmates faced, the singer thinks they ended up alright. “Having said all that, we were reasonably well adjusted, I think.”

RADIO.COM’s I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

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