Therapy helping Idris Elba handle work-life imbalance
Idris Elba has been in therapy for a year after he became a workaholic.
The Luther actor, 51, said he spiralled into “unhealthy habits” due to his many roles, which have ranged from acting in Hollywood and television hits to opening a bar and charitable work.
He told the Changes podcast about deciding to turn to a counsellor to help him tackle his work-life imbalance: “I’ve been in therapy for about a year now. It’s a lot.
“In my therapy, I’ve been thinking a lot about changing, almost to the point of neuropaths being changed and shifting.
“It’s not because I don’t like myself or anything like that, it’s just because I have some unhealthy habits that have really formed.
“And I work in an industry that I’m rewarded for those unhealthy habits, I’m rewarded for that.”
The actor added he once found himself working for 10 days straight on a film set and spent his downtime relaxing in his music studio instead of being with his family.
He added to Changes host Annie Macmanus: “Whether it’s to be selfish, or (because) I’m a workaholic. I’m an absolute workaholic, and that isn’t great for life generally.
“Nothing that’s too extreme is good – everything needs balance – but I’m rewarded massively to be a workaholic (compared) to someone that’s like, ‘Er, I’m not going to see my family for six months’, and I’m in there grinding and making a new family and leave them.
“Those are pathways that I had to be like, ‘I’ve got to adjust.’ So I’ve been thinking about this a lot and oddly enough a lot of our childhood is really at the root of it.”
Asked if he wants to work less by former Radio 1 DJ Annie, 45, the star responded: “Work less? Come on.
“The thing is, the things that make me relaxed end up being work. My studio in my house, I just love being in here.
“I’ll open that laptop and be like, ‘I don’t know what to make today’ and it’ll come out like this or that.
“And I’m exhilarated by that and also so relaxed by it.”
Elba married his third wife, Canadian model Sabrina Dhowre, 34, in 2019 and has daughter Isan and son Winston from previous relationships.