In the first podcast episode from Extra, host and entrepreneur Simon Cowell discussed his journey into therapy and taking care of his mental health.
Extra: The Podcast follows the stories from Extra that perhaps didn’t make it to the show. This week’s episode featured a particularly honest conversation with Simon Cowell, the TV personality and longtime competition host, on how he first began taking care of his mental health through therapy. “I did it, actually because I saw the benefits myself,” he began. “And, it’s almost a bit of a taboo subject. You can’t admit that you get stressed or you need help. So I thought, ‘Well, it’s helped me, so why not talk about it.’”
For Cowell, he believes that discussing how he sought out help will motivate others to do the same, especially for those who might admire his "strong man" attitude. He said, “particularly with men, they have an issue either talking about things like that, discussing it, even thinking about therapy. And I think, actually, everyone needs it.”
And while he now proclaims the advantages of looking after ones’ self, Cowell admitted in the podcast that he too, was weary of therapy at first. “I was a bit embarrassed to begin with because, where do you start you know?” he chuckled, and cited COVID as his final nudge. “I was so scared about COVID, you know, we all were.” While the pandemic generated a lot of fear for Cowell, who said he took a “minimum” of a thousand tests, it was the pandemic ending that convinced him to try out therapy. Cowell said that he couldn’t return back to normal after being in, what he called, “a science fiction movie.” “The idea that we just all go to our happy, normalized lives after that is, it just doesn’t work that way.”
“I used to hear about, you know, people in America seeing therapists. And I never took it seriously,” he admitted. “And actually, once I did it… it was like having just a conversation. And then I went a second time, third time, and then it became a regular thing every week. I should’ve done it years ago if I’m being honest with you.”
And he continued, saying that therapy has nothing to do about himself or being a celebrity. “It’s not just me or because of my job. It’s everyone,” Cowell added. “If you’ve got a family, you’re working, everyone does get stressed. And the idea that you bottle everything up and you don’t have an outlet? And off the back of what we went through with COVID? You really gotta look after your mind.”
In addition to this reflective interview with Simon Cowell, the pop news podcast also features discussions with Jessica Simpson and the D’Amelio sisters Charlie and Dixie. Don’t miss out on this jam-packed podcast above and on the free Audacy app.
It’s okay to not be OK. We know the power of talk can save lives. Audacy's I’m Listening aims to share valuable resources for those who need to connect, heal and share their own stories. Audacy'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 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 988. Find a full list of additional resources here.