Hayden Panettiere Recalls Weight Gain, Hair Falling Out Due to Alcoholism, Insomnia: ‘My Body Was Like Enough’

The actress said her addiction took a toll on her body once she turned 30

Hayden Panettiere is getting candid about the health affects of her addiction.

The former Nashville star, 33, appeared on the April cover of Women’s Health and revealed how her physical health was impacted when turning to alcohol in order to manage her anxiety while on a break from the entertainment industry.

“I struggled with sleep deprivation,” Panettiere told the outlet back in January. “Sleep is massive. It affects your motor skills, your ability to think, and your overall health.”

“My body was like, ‘enough,’” she continued. “I hit 30. My face was swollen. I had jaundice. My eyes were yellow. I had to go to a liver specialist. I was holding on to weight that wasn’t normally there. My hair was thin and coming out in clumps.”

Panettiere said she had to force her body to recover without substances. She ultimately checked into a treatment center for the second time in 2021, beginning a 12-step program and trauma therapy.

“I did a lot of work on myself,” she admitted. “After eight months of intensive therapy, I felt like I had this blank canvas to work with.”

Today, the actress said she’s addressed her insomnia by having a nightly routine that includes sipping chamomile tea with milk and honey and soaking in vanilla-scented bubble baths. She also keeps a Peloton in her bedroom and is working with trainer Eddie Pavese, who she met while in treatment, to create a manageable exercise routine.

Panettiere explained that while she was in therapy she kept wanting to “go back to the beginning of the period of time where I was really happy and healthy.”

She praised how far she’s come since she first started struggling with substance abuse at age 22 and told the outlet that she’s learned to give herself grace.

“A big part of my therapy has been living in forgiveness,” she said, noting that she had to view her own journey with compassion. “A step in the 12-step program is making amends. If somebody wants to be a good person and to be the best version of themselves, they can choose to do that.”

By doing so, not only has her physical health turned around, but Panettiere said she’s made strides in her mental health journey since getting help.

“My mental health has been, just like everybody out there, you’re not alone. It’s been a battle,” she said. “It’s an everyday battle and one that today I am happy to say I am winning. And I hope you are too.”