Olly Alexander says songwriting has been a ''real healing process'' for him.

The Years & Years frontman has been penning tracks about his ''personal life and identity''.

He said: ''I've been writing a lot of songs about my personal life and identity. That can be a real healing process.

''If you're making something tangible, whether it's clothing, a song, a piece of art ... when you create something that's outside of yourself you take a bit of the pain and it's released, you let it out a little bit. That's my Oprah Winfrey moment.''

And the 26-year-old singer admits he struggled with anxiety and depression when he first started out in the music group.

He added: ''With anxiety and depression, what's been most helpful to me has been learning a toolbox - a set of skills I can use when I'm in periods of low mood or feel an anxiety attack coming on. When Years & Years took off it felt like I needed that toolbox really quickly.

''[I was lucky to] have a good support network and access to therapy and medication. That's how I coped. I'm sure anyone can imagine what being exposed in that way is like.''

And Olly is happy to open up about mental health as he sees a ''strength in being honest'' about his own struggles.

He told London's Evening Standard newspaper: ''It doesn't make me uncomfortable because these are all areas which I feel are very authentic. I think there's strength in being honest and open about yourself and your struggles.

''But it can also be a challenge. This is my life, I live with my own mental health, and that is happening to me every day. I can talk about it from a position of 'Oh, I've done this' but I'm still living that existence.''