All the work Lily Allen has done on herself as she shares incredible transformation – weight loss, kicking her addictions and therapy

She's in the happiest, healthiest place she's ever been

Lily Allen has been quite the chameleon over the years, changing her hair colour almost as many times as we’ve had hot dinners.

Blue, pink, blonde, black – the Smile singer has done it all. But the star hasn’t just changed up her tresses over the years.

She’s also done a lot of work on herself in terms of her mental and physical health, and Lily has been open about how therapy has helped her to turn her life around. She’s also pretty candid when it comes to her struggles with her addiction to fame, drugs and alcohol.

Today, ahead of her 40th birthday next year, mum-of-two Lily looks happier and healthier than she’s ever been.

And, as she switches it up with yet another colour change, going a fiery shade of red, ED! looks at how she’s transformed both body and mind…

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New hair, don’t care!

Lily – married to second husband, Stranger Things actor David Harbour – debuted her new red ‘do in November.

Posting on Instagram, she shared a picture of herself on the New York Subway, with her fans quick to admit they were “obsessed with this colour”. This week, after a six-week social media absence, Lily was back.

She shared a picture of herself with her hair a little more of a muted red as she told followers: “Quite unlike me but I’m into the fit.”

Over the years Lily has been a brunette, a blonde and a redhead. She’s also experimented with other non-traditional hair colours – going Barbie pink before Margot made it a thing!

Lily Allen with blue hair
Blue hair, don’t care! Lily Allen has never been afraid to switch up her style (Credit: Splash News)

Lily on her sobriety

The singer has done a lot of work on her health during her time in the spotlight. And she’s been open about her addictions.

Lily wrote extensively about her use of drugs and alcohol in her 2018 autobiography My Thoughts Exactly. And, speaking to Glamour in April 2023, she admitted that getting sober has changed her life “immeasurably”.

I actually don’t even know if I’d be alive if I’m honest if I hadn’t got sober.

Lily said: “I actually don’t even know if I’d be alive if I’m honest if I hadn’t got sober. Sobriety has just changed my life immeasurably. I don’t think I’d be married to my husband.” Lily added: “I don’t think that my kids would be thriving in the way that they are. I don’t think that I’d have gone into finding acting and how much I enjoy that. I definitely wouldn’t be getting as much sleep.”

She added: “I go to the gym four times a week. Pretty much every aspect of my life has changed as a result of my sobriety. So that’s definitely at the top of my gratitude list when I go to bed every night is my sobriety.”

Her husband is sober, too, and has been a huge support to Lily. Speaking on DJ Fat Tony’s The Recovery podcast in 2021, she said: “I’m in a really happy and healthy relationship. He’s sober, has been sober for 20 years now.

“We’re thinking about what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives… I don’t have as much as I had then in terms of success and wealth, but I have success and health in my mind, which is more valuable I think.”

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Lily Allen’s transformation – kicking the drugs habit

Speaking to the New York Times last summer, Lily admitted: “From 18 to about four or five years ago just feels like a bit of a haze, because I was literally just off my face the whole time. I was using fame as well – that was an addiction in itself: the attention and the paparazzi and the chaos.”

She previously opened up about her struggles on The Recovery podcast in 2021, saying: “Taking responsibility for my own actions, you know, I definitely like buried my head in drugs and alcohol, but I was really sad.”

‘Maybe I should try heroin’

Lily also told the host about considering taking heroin as she toured with Miley Cyrus in 2014.

“I was like 14 stone and just did not feel like a pop star at all so I started taking this drug called adderall, which is like speed, to lose the weight, and I got addicted to this drug because it made me invincible and I could work really long hours and be all the people I was required to be.

“And then I ended up on tour in America supporting Miley Cyrus. It was when she was doing Wrecking Ball and the Bangerz tour and it was a highly sexualised tour. I had just spent the last three years pushing babies out. It couldn’t have been less what I felt like.

“I was supporting this girl who was much younger and more attractive than I felt and I just started acting out in all manner of ways. I started cheating on my husband and I had always really drunk alcohol to take the edge off of the drugs. Then I realised I was getting up in the morning and downing those mini bottles of vodka or whisky or whatever was left, without the drugs any more.

“I was thinking, I think I have got a drinking problem. I remember being in LA and thinking, none of this acting out is working any more. Maybe I should try heroin. But I had been in a scene where I had seen what happens to people who use heroin, and knew that when that thought popped into my head it was time to confront my demons. That was about five years ago. And I started recovery.”

Lily Allen with short blonde hair
Lily is now an actress with a health body and mind (Credit: Splash News)

On getting clean

Lily said she started using online addiction recovery tool The Rooms. However, she said she wasn’t committed to sobriety as a “lifelong thing”.

She told DJ Fat Tony: “At six months I started drinking again and almost instantly I lost everything. I lost my marriage, I lost my house that I had worked for 10 years to buy. My career started sinking and I lost all my friends, I didn’t have any of my friendships any more. I was so resentful and so angry all the time, I really felt that the world owed me stuff and I got the raw end of the deal. And that went on for another four years and then I ended up back in The Rooms again.”

March 2023 saw Lily – now an acclaimed actress – appear on This Morning. She told hosts Holly Willoughby and Joel Dommett: “It is weird. My life has changed so much. I’m four years clean and sober, I have a new husband, we’re sorting our lives out in America.”

Lily Allen smoking a cigarette
Lily Allen appeared to suggest she’s stopped smoking too (Credit: Splash News)

Lily Allen on her weight loss

Speaking about her attitude to food now, Lily recently admitted on the Off Menu podcast: “I’m actually really bad… I don’t really get hungry. It’s when I see food I’m like, oh yeah, I should eat.”

She added: “I think basically my stomach goes quite long distances without eating then it has a little bit and it goes yes. I love food and I love eating, but I’m just not very good at remembering to do things.” She added: “I get up in the morning and I’m looking after kids and I just forget.”

Lily also admitted she isn’t a fan of fast food, or aeroplane food. “I’m not really up for food mass production and consumption of food,” she explained. Room service is off the menu for her too when on tour: “I think it’s touring and dancing and probably, you know, the not wanting to eat room service thing. I don’t really like food being mass produced, you look at those kitchens and they’re huge, just I don’t like it.”

A fan of Pilates, Lily has lost a noticeable amount of weight since tipping the scales at 14 stone. And she has hit back at critics who’ve said she’s too thin: “You’ve never seen me two years completely sober, not smoking and exercising every day.”

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‘I have therapy when I need it’

Lily spoke about going to therapy for the first time in 2010. She also revealed that she had checked into The Priory after being diagnosed with depression aged 18. She also had therapy after tragically losing a baby in 2007.

Come 2014, Lily was even more open about having therapy, and what triggered it.

“I have therapy when I need it. I had a session last week for the first time in a year. My godfather had died, a friend had turned into the Wolf of Wall Street, and another friend is having a bad time, and I try and mother everyone. And trying to do that while relaunching a pop career and looking after children got a bit much for a minute,” she said.

She also admitted that she had therapy because she needs someone to tell her she’s “not a bad person”.

Two years later, in 2016, Lily admitted she was having anger management therapy. She tweeted: “I’ve got therapy in the AM It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t seen my shrink since before #brexit . #angermanagement3.”

Lily Allen with short black bob hair in a black coat
Lily is a mum of two and happily married (Credit: Splash News)

Working on herself

In 2018, Lily spoke about her mindset when it comes to helping herself.

She told Balance: “I think labels themselves don’t matter. Whether it’s bipolar, ADHD, depression, anxiety disorder, whatever, it’s the same solution; work on yourself, keep talking and maintain healthy relationships with people and things.”

She added of her therapist: “I’ve been seeing the same guy for about 10 years. It’s a good place to vent and process things you wouldn’t articulate to your family. He knows about my past relationships, my back story, so if I changed therapist every couple of years, I’d find it really difficult to have to re-cover old ground.”

Speaking to Cosmopolitan later that year, she added: “I love my therapist more than anything. I’m terrified of the day he’s going to die. I’ve actually asked him: ‘Do you have an apprentice? If you get hit by a car, does someone else just sit there? And are they up-to-date on what’s going on with me?'”

She added: “What I see as being happy is that fake level of happiness because that’s what I’ve had from the spike in endorphins. But I’m in a happy relationship, my kids are thriving and I’m creating great music. I couldn’t really ask for much more. I’m in a good place.”

Read more: 5 signs Phillip Schofield has made peace with his ‘lonely’ life

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor