Simon Cowell says that after discovering therapy at the age of 63, he feels as though “a weight has lifted off my shoulders” and no longer wants to know about his TV ratings.
The music mogul, behind popular competition shows including The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, said he wished he had seen a therapist “10 or 20 years ago” and has stopped using his mobile phone.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Cowell discussed how the deaths of his parents and the coronavirus pandemic had affected his mental health.
Cowell’s mother Julie died in 2015, 24 hours before he was due to appear on The X Factor panel for the opening audition rounds.
“It was really difficult. I’m in pieces but then I’m on TV,” he told the Mirror.
“There were moments afterwards where it was really, really hard. And of all the times in my life, that was the hardest because it was just total finality.
“My mum and dad had gone, that was it.”
He added: “There were certain years I could feel it where I felt really burnt out and I thought, ‘Gosh, I’m not even enjoying this any more’.
Cowell’s father died of a heart attack on the same day he celebrated his first number one with Irish boyband Westlife.
Cowell said engaging in therapy had made a “super positive effect” on his life and encouraged others to do the same.
“I wish I had done this 10 or 20 years ago… it’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders,” he said.
Cowell is to be the first guest on the Mirror’s new Men in Mind podcast, which will see some of the country’s biggest male stars open up about their mental health.
The music industry heavyweight said that while he had suffered from depression for years, the coronavirus pandemic had been a “catalyst” and he had become “petrified” of catching the virus.
After starting therapy, Cowell said he had unravelled his obsession with his show ratings, emailing his team to say that he no longer wanted to see them.
He stopped watching the news and got rid of his phone.
“It’s quite incredible because it now doesn’t feel like you’re chasing something,” he told the Mirror.
“You’re just making something you like in the hope that other people like it as well. If they don’t, they don’t.”