Strictly Shirley Ballas says she needs therapy more than ever during lockdown

Strictly Come Dancing 's Shirley Balls has spoken frankly about using therapy to help her cope with some of the darkest moments of her life.

The TV starlet, who is the head judge on the hit BBC One programme, says she uses her sessions more than ever before.

Speaking on Loose Women about her new book Behind the Sequins, Shirley said: "For me I need it every week with lockdown, the book and other things going on in my life.

"I defiantly need it more than ever.

"When [my brother] David died people said to me 'it will pass' you are strong, but no I am not strong and no it will not be fine.

"I think that's what I am learning. It is ok to feel miserable and sad.

"Emotions change every day… it's ok."

Explaining why the book so to tough to pen, she continued: "It took me a long time to take the decision to write it and then it was 18 months for me to write.

"It was difficult to write and it was and even more difficult to read back.

"Writing about leaving my first husband had an impact on me and them my brother's suicide – drudging all that up.

"When you are reliving it all at once it becomes difficult as it's back to back."

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Speaking about the importance of speaking out if you feel down, the dance floor legend said: "When David died I didn't know anything about mental health.

"We spoke on the phone regularly but it as a very very difficult time .

"Now I know a lot about mental health and honestly, I really of believe if we had known more he would still be here today."

She added: "Education is key, talking is key.

"Now in lockdown so many people are suffering, including myself."

Shirley is back on the small screen this weekend when the second week of the Strictly Come Dancing live shows return.

Due to the new lockdown measures, the show will be filmed without any audience for the first time.

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