The singer said on “The Collector’s Edition” video series Monday that he developed some bad habits with his mobile device and, to curb them, he stopped using it seven years ago.
“I don’t carry a phone, no. I haven’t had a phone since 2015,” Sheeran told host and series founder Ben Clymer, explaining that he “got really, really overwhelmed and sad with the phone.”
“I just spent my whole time in a very low place,” the musician said. “I got rid of it, and it was like a veil just lifted.”
“I didn’t so much cut contact with people, I just limit contact with people,” he said, adding that he stopped using his phone after his Multiply tour because of the stress of constantly answering text messages and feeling the need to instantly reply back.
These days, Sheeran prefers to communicate with people by email.
“Every few days I’ll sit down and I’ll open up my laptop and I’ll answer 10 emails at a time. And I’ll send ’em off and I’ll close my laptop,” he said. “And then I’ll go back to living life and I don’t feel overwhelmed by it.”
Sheeran said “the best thing about” not having a phone is uninterrupted moments with the people he loves. He also said the change has led him to a place of better mental health and generally “feeling better about everything.”
Sheeran previously told fans in 2015 that he was taking a break from his phone and email and quitting all social media after he felt like he was “seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes.”
“I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed,” he wrote in a post shared after his Multiply tour on his Instagram account, alongside the caption “please read.”
This policy applied to those closest to him, too.
“To my family and friends, if you love me, you will understand me buggering off for a bit,” he said.