Adele Says 'Hold On' Is About 'Trying to Move Forward': 'It's a Process'

Adele tells Oprah Winfrey during the Adele One Night Only special that she wrote her song "Hold On" when she was worn down by stress in her life, saying, "I just felt like not doing it anymore"

Adele Oprah interview
Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

Adele is opening up about the inspiration behind her new album, 30.

The Grammy award-winning singer, 33, sat down for a conversation with Oprah Winfrey as part of her Adele One Night Only special, which premieres Sunday. Ahead of the TV event, CBS Mornings shared an exclusive clip of Oprah, 67, breaking down the lyrics in Adele's song "Hold On."

The clip begins with Oprah reading a verse from the track aloud as she and Adele sit in her rose garden.

"Sounds like you were in the dark, dark, dark hours there," she tells the singer, before launching into the lyrics. "'I swear to god,' you say, 'I am such a mess. The harder that I try, I regress / I am my own worst enemy / Right now I truly hate being me / Everyday feels like the road I'm on might just open up and swallow me whole / How do I feel so mighty small when I'm struggling to feel at all.' "

After finishing the verse, Oprah compliments Adele, telling her, "Girl, you can write."

"Oh, thank you, thank you," Adele replies.

"What was going on there? What was happening?," Oprah asks. "How did you keep the faith when you were at your lowest point? What were you holding on to?"

Adele Oprah interview
Adele and Oprah Winfrey. Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

Adele explains in the clip that the song was inspired by advice she received from friends during some of her lowest points. Adele's 30 is partially inspired by the singer's divorce from her ex-husband, Simon Konecki, with whom she shares her nine-year-old son, Angelo.

"My friends always would say, 'Hold on' when I would feel like … the lyrics in the verse. But it was just exhausting trying to keep going with it," she tells Oprah. "It's a process. You know, 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 that I had when I became a mum. The process of arriving for yourself every day, turning up for yourself every single day and still running a home, running a business."

She continues: "So many people know what I'm talking about and I feel like that as well. I juggle those things as well. And I just felt like not doing it anymore. And also trying to ... move forward, but like with intention. Not just trying to get out of it for no reason. My feet hurt walking through all of that concrete."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Adele and Konecki, 47, were married for seven years before they split. News of their separation broke in 2019. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Adele said she was "devastated" by their divorce, telling the magazine, "It made me really sad. Then having so many people that I don't know know that I didn't make that work … it f---ing devastated me. I was embarrassed. No one made me feel embarrassed, but you feel like you didn't do a good job."

Since splitting from Konecki, Adele has struck up a romance with Rich Paul. The two have been linked since early 2021.

Adele One Night Only airs at 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 14 on CBS. Adele's latest album, 30, drops Nov. 19.

Related Articles