Cheryl has opened up about her battle with anxiety in a candid interview with BBC Radio 1, saying that she would "put on a smile" in public while inside she was "dying".

The 36-year-old singer and former X Factor judge said that she had therapy for a year because she didn't want to struggle with anxiety while raising her son Bear.

Speaking to Katie Thistleton and Cel Spellman on Radio 1's Life Hacks, she said: "I think I actually walked through the fire to be honest.

"I struggled for so long in silence, I wouldn't even open up to friends and family. I was very closed. 

"I actually had therapy for a year. I struggled for so many years with anxiety and in my own head, thinking things… I didn't want that to be happening when I was trying to focus on raising a child." 

She added: "It felt like my responsibilities shifted and my priorities changed and I needed to be settled in my own head to be able to give him the best that I could possibly give him."

The popstar went on to discuss how she always felt like she needed to put on a brave face in public even though she was struggling on the inside, and that social media can exacerbate the issue.

"One of the problems I think with social media is that people put on this face and this facade of how they are", she said.

"I would walk out to a wall of paparazzi and put on a smile but inside I was dying.

"I think what happens then is everyone is looking around like, 'why does everyone seem so good and having a good time in a happy place and I feel rubbish?' And that's not helpful. 

"So if people would just be a bit more open and honest with how they're feeling, I think we could all help each other."

Cheryl also spoke about how she feels about people who post unpleasant messages about her online.

"At one point during my teens and my 20s it was horrible", she said. "You can't believe people think those things about you, you can't believe people feel those things about you, you can't believe people believe the things they read about you.

"If someone has the time and the mental capacity to want to go on an article and write a sentence about somebody, you've got to be quite an angry sad person. 

"They're not okay. It's more a reflection than it is a truth - it's how they feel about themselves or how they perceive things to be."

The singer said she no longer lets unkind words get to her.

"These people don't know you", she said. "They have no idea about you as a person or what's really going on.

"They can say they don't like your shoes or they don't like your hair - who cares?"

The full interview can be heard on BBC Radio 1's Life Hacks on Sunday July 7 from 5.15pm.