Adele Shared New Insight Into Her Fitness Philosophy

The singer found that working out, along with other practices, has helped ease her anxiety and "gave [her] purpose."

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Ahead of the release of her highly-anticipated new album, 30, Adele has reentered the spotlight, opening up about some of the things she's experienced in recent years. Most recently, on November 14, Adele sat down with Oprah for the CBS special Adele One Night Only, and the singer held nothing back, addressing topics such as her recent divorce and struggles with anxiety — and the one outlet that's helped her through these challenges. (ICYMI: 30 Includes a Voicemail She Left While Having an Anxiety Attack)

While the 33-year-old has, in her words, "always worked out a bit" to help with back issues that she's had since she was a teenager, she developed a new relationship with exercise following her split from Simon Konecki in 2019. "I had the most terrifying anxiety attacks after I left my marriage," she shared, going on to explain that such mental health struggles were the reason why she decided to begin working out and lifting weights every day with a trainer.

"I started to notice how much I trusted my trainer and his presence when I was feeling so lost, but also that I didn't have any anxiety when I was with him at the gym," Adele told Oprah. Not only did the physical act of breaking a sweat help ease her mind, but organizing these workouts and having these "pins in [her] day" also provided a sense of routine and discipline during an uneasy time when didn't have any plans.

And so, Adele continued to work out every day — a practice that "gave [her] real purpose" and ultimately resulted in a 100-pound weight loss over the course of two years. It also led the "Hello" singer to develop a love for deadlifts. So much so, in fact, that when she was at her "peak" last summer, she was able to deadlift 160-170 pounds. Impressed? So it seems was Oprah, whose eyes went wide when learning about Adele's impressive weight lifting chops and hearing the Grammy award winner call weight lifting "[her] favorite place to be."

"I could've been an athlete," said Adele. "If only at school I hadn't discovered boys and someone had told me to go and do a bit more PE [physical education]."

Just a few days before her sit-down with Oprah, Rolling Stone's December issue hit stands with Adele as the cover star. In the feature, Adele gave additional insight into the ways in which she's coped. She reveals that the anxiety left her bed-bound for weeks after she'd parted ways with Konecki. Though she maintains a close friendship with her ex, according to the article, an amicable split doesn't equal a painless one. Adele recounts a "tsunami of emotions," adding that the many highs and lows of such a transitional period felt like "really f—king up-and-down."

After the news of their split hit, the internet was filled with headlines about the breakup anthems fans were clamoring for, along with commentary about Adele's physical transformation, which she eventually clarified was never about weight loss at all. (Read more about why Adele was "disappointed" about public discussion over her body.) In her new Rolling Stone interview, Adele explains that she sought solace in 2019 by trying all kinds of new things — the gym being just one of them.

"If I can transform my strength and my body like this, surely I can do it to my emotions and to my brain and to my inner well-being," she shares. "That was what drove me. It just coincided with all of the emotional work that I was doing with myself as a visual for it, basically." In the process, the singer learned that she was "stronger than she thought."

There are plenty of science-backed physical and mental health benefits of working out regularly. Breaking a sweat in any capacity — whether by hitting the ring for a boxing class, as Adele has said she loves, going for a hike in the fresh air (another Adele-approved workout), or hitting the mat for yoga — counts.

At the same time, Adele doesn't suggest that incorporating more gym time was her only outlet for anxiety relief. She seemingly has plenty of tools in her arsenal to help cope with anxiety, telling Rolling Stone she had a "sound bath era," started getting into the ancient meditative practice in 2019, and gave up drinking for six months when she began experiencing "hangxiety." She also "threw [herself] in headfirst" into traveling in hopes of soothing her anxiety.

It seems like Adele did plenty of soul-searching over the past two years, and she reveals to Rolling Stone that she's found closure with the ending of her marriage and the loss of her father to cancer back in May, as well as a new sense of joy with her boyfriend, talent agent Rich Paul. 30, which is set to drop on November 19, is sure to be a deeply personal album.

Updated by Arielle Tschinkel
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