Zayn Malik needed 'time away' during One Direction

Zayn Malik needed "time away" when he was in One Direction.

The 23-year-old singer/ songwriter quit the boyband in 2015 and admitted he feels he has grown a great deal since he left.

He said: "I'm enjoying what I'm doing at the minute. When I was in the band, there were times where I needed time away to go see my family and recollect my thoughts. But right now, I feel like I have the time to process things, and I'm doing things in my own space, so it's a good place to be in.

"I feel myself growing every day as a person, as we all do, just getting older and wiser hopefully."

Zayn also opened up about his struggles with anxiety, saying he found writing his recently released book 'Zayn', therapeutic.

Speaking on 'The Elvis Duran Show', he said: "I feel like writing anything down is a little bit of a therapy process...It's a way of alleviating your mind and getting it out there. For me, it was a little bit of that. I kind of enjoyed it.

"It was fun to reminisce on things and think about what was good and what was bad and make sense of it all. I didn't have time to do that in the band."

Zayn, who is dating model Gigi Hadid, 21, went on to praise his parents and the people of his hometown in Bradford, Leeds, for keeping him grounded.

He said: "Where I'm from, people are very easily ready to pull you down to the earth when you get a bit big headed. I'm thankful for that because one of the things that I like to hold onto in my personality is the fact that I'm quite grounded.

"I think if you tell your parents at any age that you're going to go off and share some massive dream like becoming a music star or an actor or something that's not easily achieved, it's going to be questionable...but they've fully supported me in everything. I'm really grateful for my parents."

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