Alexandra Burke reveals how dance has helped her cope with mum's death

The Strictly Come Dancing finalist opened up to HELLO!

Alexandra Burke has credited dancing for helping her to come to terms with her mother's death and managing her anxiety. The 29-year-old, who was a finalist on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, opened up about her rollercoaster year in an interview with HELLO!.

"It absolutely helps with my feelings of anxiety. When I was younger, it always made me feel like the world was my oyster and I could accomplish anything – and that's how I felt with Strictly," Alexandra said about her passion for dance. "I like to keep fit and feel good, so I know dancing – and exercise – does that for me, plus it helps with my mental health. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, but if I know I am stressed I will go for a run."

Alexandra Burke opened up about her love of dance

Alexandra is now the face of SlimDance, a campaign by weight-loss brand SlimFast to use dance to motivate people to lose weight and have their own "victory moment". "SlimDance is about encouraging people to dance their way to feeling good," says Alexandra. "I've been dancing since I was a kid and it's always made me feel good."

MORE: Alexandra Burke tears up as she reveals the heartbreaking moment her mum passed away

The 29-year-old also opened up about her hectic schedule, admitting that she has been trying to keep busy following the loss of her mum, Melissa Bell, in August. "I am exhausted and the reality is that I am throwing myself into work because of my mum," says Alexandra. "I don't know if it's healthy or not. But if I am around people who are supportive and I know they care about me, then I am going to keep working and take each day at a time. I can't stop. If I stop my brain goes into overdrive. Night-times are the worst."

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Alexandra spoke about her wedding plans in an interview with HELLO! 

However, she has happier memories to look forward to, including her wedding to fiancé Josh Ginnelly, who proposed in Paris in December.  "We are so busy this year and I really want to be a part of making sure it's all done properly," she said of their wedding plans. "If Josh could get married tomorrow he would, but we want to work and we want to think about it and do it all properly. Next year I will definitely take the time to plan it. I say to Josh: 'Let's enjoy calling each other fiancé for as long as we can, then we will get married, because husband and wife is forever.'"

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Read the full interview in the new issue of HELLO!, out now.