Anti-social lockdowns damaged me, says Jewish teen who battled anorexia

The 18-year-old has released a song to raise funds for a charity that supports those affected by eating disorders


A Jewish teenager who battled anorexia during lockdown has released a song to raise funds for charity.

 Hannah Sugars, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2020, has released the single ‘Song For You’ in aid of Beat, the UK's leading charity supporting those affected by eating disorders. 

 The 18-year-old co-wrote the piece, on which Ben Sage also performs vocals, with producer Perrie Young in the hope of raising awareness about anorexia. 

The Bushey-born performer said that the “social climate of lockdown” had contributed to her struggles. 

“I had anticipated sitting in exams and I was about to embark on the summer of a lifetime, but it all just came crashing down in one go and I felt out of control, so I sought to control an area of my life where I felt like I could. 

“Lockdown also felt characterised by an incessant need for productivity and media fostered an atmosphere in which toxic perfectionist traits were catered for. 

“For those of us predisposed to an illness indulging obsessive, compulsive tendencies, this was damaging.

“Lots of people misunderstand the condition. It's fundamentally a control mechanism and an emotional problem, more than an aesthetic problem.”

She explained that the upcoming single's lyrics are close to her heart, acting as "a subtle reminder that I must confront my self-inflicted tragedy, that I remain a slave to toxic expectation, that I continually succumb to the cruel influence of my alter-ego, that I often collapse beneath the weight of her unrelenting, unsustainable demands. 

“At the peak of my anorexia, I was part of a group project called Generation Z and we released a song called ‘Strong’. 

“The producer and songwriter [Young] got in touch with me again when I was healthy enough to pursue another project, and we got together and we wrote a song and I framed it around my story.

“I hope the song resonates with people undergoing something similar, as it did with me.”

Ms Sugars admitted that her mental recovery is a "work in progress" and said she recently dropped out of her first semester of university studies "as it was proving too difficult to work on my recovery and meet the demands of studying simultaneously.”

“I am hoping to resume my studies in September at a London university so I can commute. 

“Of course, nothing is set in stone but I do have a lot of faith in myself and I do feel like my future is bright. I am really eager to work in combining my passion for both writing and performance.”

“Song For You” is available to pre-order on iTunes. It will be released on 5 December and available to stream on both iTunes and Spotify.

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