Andrea McLean said that despite her successful career in television, her confidence and self-confidence had been “tightened” over the years.
The former Loose Women presenter said it took her 50s to get her “spark” back.
In Women’s Health’s ‘Going For Goal’ podcast, the 52-year-old said, “I’ve always been a very brave person, I’ve always done brave things, and I’ve always pushed myself to do things that are uncomfortable and difficult, and I didn’t necessarily know what the outcome would be.
“I’ve been doing this since I was little, I’ve continued to do that all my life, what happened as I went through my life was that I realized that life’s bumps in the road had wiped my confidence, and my confidence was swept away.
“So while I was still very successful in my career, doing really well, and getting through every phase I had, I personally had lost that spark.
“And I’d say it took me until I was probably 50 before I managed to get that back.”
After having a breakdown, McLean retired from Loose Women in December 2020 after 13 years and was retrained to become a fully certified life coach along with her businessman, husband Nick Feeney.
Speaking about her mental wellbeing, she said: “I finally spoke and raised my hand.
“I’ve always been the oldest kid, the oldest girl, ‘I can work this out, it’s going to be okay, I’ll find a way through it,’ and it was pretty hard to raise my hand and say, ‘ Actually, I’m having a really hard time and I need help’.
“The best thing I’ve ever done, because if you don’t ask for help, you won’t get it – people aren’t mind readers.
“And so I had therapy and I had coaching, and it changed everything around me, and it changed my perspective.
“I realized that I’d always been brave enough to push myself towards things I wanted to do, and actually that’s a really easy kind of courage.
“I had been brave to get through circumstances that were imposed on me, because then you try to find a way to survive, whether it be for yourself or for your children, but the courage we need in the day-to-day – day is actually something completely different.”
Scottish-born McLean, who appeared in 1409 episodes of Loose Women, worked for GMTV as a weather reporter before joining the chat show.