Frankie Bridge says she was forced to confront her anxiety head-on during a nine-day charity trek in the Himalayas.
The former Saturdays star admitted the gruelling 50-mile hike in India’s Dharamsala region was a “shock to the system” – but described the journey as “amazing.”
Bridge, 30, has spoken openly about her “daily” struggle with her mental health and acknowledged medication “keeps me alive.”
Speaking of the charity trek, which she completed earlier this month with Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown, author Giovanna Fletcher and Love Island star Olivia Buckland, Bridge told Standard Online: “It was a real shock to the system.
“It was a lot for me to feel like I could manage it, it ticked all my anxiety boxes but I proved to myself I can do it.”
The trek was part of a fundraising drive for breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel.
The adventure involved the pop star sleeping on a cramped overnight train in India, before hiking 50 miles across the world’s highest mountain range, leading a team of 20 fundraisers.
“Because I was the team leader, I had 20 men and women to help up and down the mountain,” revealed the mother-of-two, who recently celebrated five years of marriage to former footballer Wayne Bridge.
“It was an eye-opening experience. I was hearing people’s cancer stories and there were a lot of tears, but a lot of laughter too. It was an amazing experience.”
Bridge added the trek had made her realise she is “more resilient to new scary situations than I thought”.
Returning home earlier this month, Bridge had an emotional reunion with her sons, Parker, 6 and Carter, 4, at Heathrow Airport.
But the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant admitted there was no time for a breather as she has recently launched a mental health podcast called Open Minds and completed her new book Open, which will be published in February.
“The book is about my journey with mental health, and I have been chatting to lots of people I have known for a long time for the podcast, which has been really nice,” she said.
“Attitudes to mental health have improved so much in recent years and people are able to talk more openly about it.
“But there is still a long way to go, and people are having to wait a long time for help.”
Bridge was speaking at a Steve Madden cocktail party held at Isabel, Mayfair, to celebrate the new London boutique opening.
Among celebrities rubbing shoulders at the star-studded event were X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, actresses Jaime Winstone and Immy Waterhouse, and models Munroe Bergdorf and Ikram Abdi Omar.