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'final healing' Singer Laura Elizabeth Hughes reveals how music helped her recover from a toxic relationship

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Laura Elizabeth Hughes

Laura Elizabeth Hughes

Laura Elizabeth Hughes

RISING Irish star Laura Elizabeth Hughes has revealed how her passion for songwriting helped her cope with the trauma she suffered after a past relationship turned sour.

The critically acclaimed singer was in her early 20s when she found herself caught up in the personal drama.

"It was a toxic relationship and emotionally draining," Laura tells Shuffle.

"A stronger person maybe would have had a bit more self-worth and recognised that everything that was happening was wrong, and maybe have the strength to walk away a little earlier.

"But having said that, walking away from that relationship was the hardest thing I think I've ever done.

"It broke me. Today, I ask myself why was I attached to something that was bad for me?

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Laura Elizabeth Hughes

Laura Elizabeth Hughes

Laura Elizabeth Hughes

"My mind was trying to process why I stayed. I was thinking, 'I'm never going to be able to find anybody else.

"When we are together it's great.' It was basically a self-worth issue.

"I went for counselling for my mental health when it was over.

"If you have any form of difficulty in processing your own brain or processing situations I would recommend you seek counselling.

"Having completed that course I then wrote an EP called Ceremony, which was released in 2018.

"It was the first music I'd written in three years and that was my final healing.

"I feel very fortunate to be amongst the realm of people who can process emotions and process life through music. Trying to deal with your mind on its own without any mechanisms…I don't know how anybody does it. I use music a huge amount to process life."

Laura is now blissfully happy in her personal life after finding love again with a musician from Cork, despite the challenges that Covid-19 has created for the couple who live apart.

"Our relationship started in December 2019…and then Covid shut down everything around three months later," she tells me. "I live in Dublin and he's in Cork, so we are dealing with lockdowns and restrictions.

"I was anxious about losing my relationship because of it, and wondering would it be the same when we met up again, and whether or not he would have the same feelings.

"I was worried about him still fancying me, and that the care he had was still there.

"This was all in my head, and when we did get to meet up during the summer and at Christmas after the lockdowns were lifted it was great, it was lovely."

Covid-19 also threw a spanner in the works of Laura's music career last year. "It was going to be a big year," she says. "I had a lot of stuff planned, a lot of gigs, playing to new audiences with support slots, and broadening the people I can engage with.

"Then March came and the rug was pulled from under me. The music business today is all about playing live because you get a pittance from the streaming service.

"I live for getting up on a stage and singing about something that I've gone through, and hearing someone in the audience afterwards telling me, 'that really hit home with me.' It's in moments like that you realise that your own experience is not an isolated one.

"I miss standing on a stage and not feeling alone in a room full of strangers. I'm a bundle of nerves going out, and then I come off stage buzzing going, 'Oh God, let me do it again.'"

Laura, who has just released a new track, Days, got the opportunity to play an hour-long live stream from Dublin's Sound House venue before Christmas. "Even though it was just the crew there, it was glorious to be on a stage in a room," she adds.

Laura Elizabeth Hughes's latest track, Days, is out now. Her new EP, We, Myself and I, will be out on March 5.

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