Taking care of yourself doesn't typically go hand in hand with the rock star fantasy of nonstop partying, but in 2017, that changed. In July, Justin Bieber canceled the remaining dates of his Purpose Tour in a move toward stability, taking to Instagram to explain his decision: “I want my mind, heart and soul to be sustainable... Me taking this time right now is me saying I want to be sustainable.”
It’s a sharp turn from the norm. Canceled tours are usually caused by “exhaustion,” but instead of invoking his privacy, Bieber and his team were forthcoming. He wasn't alone: This year saw artists like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and Logic candidly express their own issues with depression and anxiety. Lovato’s February documentary, Beyond Silence, laid bare her own mental health struggles and gave a platform to people suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar and other mental health disorders, while Gomez spoke openly about her own depression and anxiety in the media. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255,” named after the Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s phone number, kindled a relationship with the helpline organization, and the track, which features Khalid and Alessia Cara, went to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and secured a Grammy Award nomination for song of the year.
Why did it take so long for musicians to become vocal about mental health? “It’s everywhere, but people don’t want to talk about it,” says Chris Zarou, Logic’s manager. “Being forced to talk about it by having this song that’s so in your face and open, it has opened my eyes, and it’s great to see that people are talking about it. It’s healthy to have a conversation.”