Nicola Roberts has spoken of how going into therapy gave her the “most almighty amount of self-love”.

The Girls Aloud star, 34, spoke during an appearance on Laura Whitmore’s Castaway podcast.

Roberts, who was recently crowned champion of The Masked Singer’s first series, said her newfound self-love and self-respect came before “everything”.

Laura Whitmore
Roberts was a guest on Laura Whitmore’s Castaway podcast (Lia Toby/PA)

“You’ve got to be your own best friend,” she said.

“I had a year of therapy and I swear to God, I went in that with a certain level of self-love but not enough to keep me out of bad relationships, not enough to try and save people who were toxic for me, not enough to recognise when something was bad to walk away.

“But I left that year with the most almighty amount of self-love and self-respect and that comes before everything, every relationship, every friendship, everything and your relationship with yourself.”

Roberts rocketed to fame as a member of Girls Aloud alongside Cheryl, Sarah Harding, Nadine Coyle and Kimberley Walsh.

Girls Aloud perform on the Graham Norton Show
Girls Aloud perform on the Graham Norton Show (Ian West/PA)

They formed in 2002 on ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals, where Spice Girl Geri Horner was a judge alongside Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh.

Roberts praised Horner for supporting her during her rise to fame.

She said: “I just felt young, really young and I went up and I sang, and I did my thing and I remember Geri came running off and she was my favourite as well.

“So, I was just like: ‘I don’t know what is happening right now.’ My whole life has been like: ‘I don’t know what is happening right now.’

“She was like: ‘You have something so special and I’m rooting for you and you sound so good.’

“It’s funny, throughout my whole career, it’s always been women, from the very start.

“It’s always been a certain type of woman, like Geri was always the one who championed me through Popstar: The Rivals.”

– Laura Whitmore’s Castaway podcast is available on all major podcast platforms.