The Real Meaning Behind 'Bad Habits' By Ed Sheeran

After a lengthy hiatus  — which began in 2019 — pop crooner Ed Sheeran made a triumphant return to music with his single "Bad Habits" in June 2021. The track, which served as the lead single from Sheeran's chart-topping album "=," became an instant success, rising to the top of both of Billboard's Global Charts, per Billboard.

Longtime Sheerios will notice that "Bad Habits" shies away from the acoustic sound many have come to expect from Sheeran — but that's exactly the point. In fact, Sheeran hoped the song's upbeat vibe would "surprise people," per BBC

"People see me as the acoustic singer-songwriter who does ballads and there was just a lot of that," the singer told BBC. "So I wanted to go in the studio and make something that was totally different. I spent a month and just made lots of mad tunes — and this was one of the mad ones."

So, what exactly is this mad tune about?

Ed Sheeran changed his habits for daughter

In "Bad Habits," Ed Sheeran sings, "My bad habits lead to late nights, endin' alone/ Conversations with a stranger I barely know/ Swearin' this will be the last but it probably won't." The lyrics seemingly mimic the lifestyle Sheeran lived prior to the birth of his daughter in 2020.

"Basically, I was touring and I would stay up and drink all night. The buses would park underneath arenas and I'd sleep on the bus all day and then wake up and then come out, do the show, drink, get back on the bus," the Grammy winner said during a 2020 interview for the Hay House Chasing the Present Summit.

Sheeran continued, "It's all fun and games at the start. It's all rock and roll and it's fun, and then it starts getting, like, just sad." Describing that time as his "lowest," Sheeran did a 180 before welcoming his first child."As soon as Cherry told me she was pregnant, life shifted, in terms of work and health and what I was putting into my body, be it food or alcohol," he told BBC.

While "Bad Habits" seems to reflect on Sheeran's vice-filled career before his daughter was born, these days, he's singing a bit of a different tune. "I was so excited to become a dad that [song ideas] were just flowing out of me," Sheeran told The Breakfast Club. That being said, he's not a regular dad, he's a cool dad. "I didn't really want to have an album that was like, 'I'm a dad and here are the dad songs.' You know, I wanted to have one specific lullaby."