Ellie Goulding was ''afraid of letting everyone down'' when she first became a singer.

The 'How Long Will I Love You' hitmaker admits she suffered from terrible anxiety and panic attacks because of low self-confidence.

She said: ''My life completely changed when my career started taking off in 2010. I was thrilled, of course - sharing my music with the world was a dream I'd been working toward for years -but it was a lot all at once. Suddenly, I was living alone in London and everything was happening so fast.

''I started having panic attacks, and the scariest part was it could be triggered by anything. I used to cover my face with a pillow whenever I had to walk outside from the car to the studio. My new life as a pop star certainly wasn't as glamorous as all my friends from home thought. Secretly, I was really struggling physically and emotionally.

''I think part of what sparked my panic attacks was not feeling confident enough to believe in myself - I was scared I wasn't as good of a singer as everyone thought I was. And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down.''

However, the 30-year-old singer has gained confidence through working out, which has helped manage her anxious feelings.

She added to Well+Good: ''But there was another way I found inner confidence: boxing and kickboxing. I love that extra kick of adrenaline. Keeping fit doesn't mean spending hours at a gym; the key is to find a workout you really love ...

''And it wasn't about any change in my outward appearance; it was about seeing and feeling myself get better and stronger. It carried over into other areas of my life, and now I truly feel that exercise - however you like to work out - is good for the soul.

''I still feel nervous before performing or have pangs of anxiety from time to time, but it's not crippling like it used to be. It took time, but I've accepted that everyone feels nervous before they perform - it's not just me. And now that I believe in myself more, that confidence comes through, whether I'm working out, singing onstage, or just hanging out by myself at home.''