Adele felt like she had "no control over [her] body" when she began experiencing "terrifying" anxiety attacks.
The 33-year-old singer has shed around 100lbs (45kg) but she explained she didn't set out to lose weight, she had just begun working out to help her deal with how she was feeling in the wake of her split from Simon Konecki.
Speaking on her One Night Only special, she told host Oprah Winfrey: “[Working out] was about my anxiety, mainly. I had the most terrifying anxiety attacks after I left my marriage — it made me so confused and made me feel as if i had no control over my body.
“I noticed how much I trusted my trainer’s presence when I was feeling so lost, but also I didn’t have any anxiety when I was out at the gym. It became my time — me having a plan everyday when I had no plans.”
The Easy on Me hitmaker - who has nine-year-old son Angelo with Simon and is now dating sports agent Rich Paul - received criticism for her weight loss from some people, but she insisted she wasn't "shocked" by the comments as people have always had an opinion on her appearance.
She said: “I [wasn't] shocked or even phased by it — my body has been objectified my entire career. Am I too big or am I too small, am I hot or not or whatever — I never looked up to anyone because of their body.
“I was body positive then and I’m body positive now.
“It’s not my job to validate how people feel about their bodies. I feel bad that it’s made anyone feel horrible about themselves, but that’s not my job.”
Elsewhere during the show, Adele admitted she found adjusting to life after divorce "exhausting".
Discussing the lyrics to her new song Hold On, she said: “My friends always would say ‘hold on’ when I would feel like the lyrics in the verse. But it was just exhausting trying to like keep going with it.
“It’s a process. The process of a divorce. The process of being a single parent.
"The process of not seeing your child every single day—wasn’t really a plan I had when I became a mum. The process of arriving for yourself every single day and showing up for yourself every single day and still running a home, still running a business so many people know what I’m talking about.
“I feel like that as well. I juggled those things as well. And I felt like not doing it anymore and also trying to like move forward, but like with intention. Not just to get out of it for no reason. It made my feet hurt walking through all that concrete.”
Watch Adele One Night Only on Monday 22 November on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ OnDemand.
- Bang! Showbiz