Of course, his 'comeback' with album number three has been insanely successful, but his career break was down to reasons other than fatigue, according to his latest comments.
Sheeran appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday night, and as well as talking about his recent bicycle accident, he revealed that his problems with 'substance abuse' were a factor in taking time out.
"I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust, because I was constantly working on tour," he said. "All the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse."
Although he didn't specify what substance he was abusing, he said that it was a new development and "I never [previously] touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off."
He added: “I didn’t really notice it was happening. It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, 'Calm yourself down.' It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off."
He said that the time off - as well as his relationship with girlfriend Cherry Seaborn - helped him to overcome the issues. "I focused on work, and I can’t work under the influence. I can’t write songs under the influence," he said. "I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am and you can’t lose that over something that you do in your spare time."