Justin Bieber’s five-week, ten-episode docuseries concluded this week after offering fans a behind-the-scenes look at his life during his time out of the spotlight and filling in some of the gaps fans were left speculating about after he stepped back two years ago.
The series consisted of interviews with Bieber, his family, his team and his wife, Hailey Bieber. Its primary focus was on his time in the studio during the creation of his new album Changes, his seventh number one on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The album-making process overall was the “hardest, roughest season” of Bieber’s life, he said. The pressure to produce an album that he felt was perfect weighed on him, and he describes dealing with massive anxiety as a result.
His process of creation is woven within the series as other topics, like his health issues, marriage and recovery from addiction, are addressed. The series gave him a chance to address some of his most well-known, highly discussed bad-boy mistakes and gave fans a look into how he’s come out on the other side of this break a better man.
“Seasons” gave fans a look at what Bieber’s mental state was like during the time period of his most prominent headline-making mistakes. The severity of his issues during that time was something he said he never thought he’d addressed publicly.
“I was dying,” Bieber said. “My security and stuff were coming into the room at night to check my pulse.”
Bieber recalls his usual morning routine for a period as popping pills and then smoking a blunt. He relied heavily on weed, among other drugs, but has since stopped smoking.
It was during this period of time that Beiber made headlines and developed the bad-boy, screw-up reputation many people still associate with his name. It was a time defined by peeing in buckets, egging neighbor’s homes and a 2014 DUI charge that landed him in jail.
Since that time, Bieber has begun seeing a health coach, Dr. Buzz Mingin, a brain doctor, Dr. Daniel Amen, and a health specialist, Dr. Erica Lehman. Dr. Lehman diagnosed Bieber with Lyme disease and Epstein-Barr, an illness more commonly known as mono, in 2019, after years of feeling low-energy and sick nearly every day.
Many of Bieber’s health struggles are results of his years of drug abuse. That abuse coupled with the severe pressure he was under at all times since a young age has had serious consequences on his life. Dr. Mingin describes the impact of fame at the level Bieber experienced from such a young age as “devastating.” His cortisol levels, which correspond to the fight or flight response in the body, are “through the roof,” Mingin said.
As part of his recovery, Bieber regularly receives treatment to remove toxins from his body. He receives an IV called NAD that acts to repair the pleasure center of the brain. It is a common treatment among recovering drug abusers whose pleasure centers have since failed to produce the same kinds of dopamine as they did while on drugs.
In the midst of handling these health challenges, Bieber was also a newlywed. He first dated his now-wife Hailey on and off in late 2015 before separating in August of the next year. Two years later, they reconnected, with an engagement coming in July of 2018, only weeks after the rekindling. They were married in a courthouse in September that same year and hosted a wedding celebration in September of 2019.
The proposal came quickly after they rekindled, but Hailey recalls her parents telling her she and Justin were “meant to be.” Their choice to be married in a courthouse so quickly after the engagement was largely a result of their faith. Neither wanted to move in together before they were married, and they also saved intimacy until after marriage.
Bieber’s team— Scooter Braun, Allison Kaye and Ryan Good— all commented on how well the two fit together. They each describe her as extremely loyal and kind, and, above all, absolutely in love with Justin. Good calls her a “pillar” for Bieber.
Kaye said she sleeps much better now that Bieber is married and has Hailey around.
“I don’t worry about what call I’m gonna wake up to, which is what the case was five years ago,” Kaye said. “If something goes wrong, there’s this very competent, capable, smart adult that is there to help him with it. And I also know he’s much happier than the Justin Bieber five years ago.”
Hailey was present in the studio with Bieber throughout the album creation. For Bieber, Hailey’s constant presence made him nervous, as the album itself is mostly about her, and he felt pressure for her to like it. At one point, Bieber tells the story of a night where he pretended that he had a dinner planned for Hailey, and told her to go get dressed for it as a way to get her out of the studio and ease his nerves.
The pair’s love story was given even more attention later in the docuseries, with two of the final episodes centering around their preparation for their 2019 wedding and documenting the actual event. Footage from the day shows how small the ceremony was, something both Hailey and Bieber wanted, as well as the presence of many A-list celebrities. Celebrities appearing in the episode included Kris, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Usher and Jaden Smith.
The reception ended with Bieber serenading Hailey to “One Less Lonely Girl,” the song he used to perform at every show for one lucky fan on stage. Kaye suggested that Bieber serenade Hailey in front of the crowd, and Hailey said she was giddy during the whole song.
After tracing the process of his seventh album’s creation and delving into Bieber’s love life, the later half of the series showed Bieber promoting the album, creating music videos for songs like his first single “Yummy” and beginning to plan his upcoming Changes World Tour, which kicks off in Seattle in May.
The key to Bieber’s return to the spotlight, says his team, is routine. Creating a schedule that is balanced and manageable is the key to keeping him happy and healthy, according to Nick Demoura, Bieber’s choreographer and creative director of over ten years.
This time around, Bieber’s schedule needs to keep him focused without overwhelming him with “seventeen jobs in one day,” which his schedules during album promotion and tours used to look like, Demoura said.
The docuseries was created to give fans an inside look at what Bieber’s life has resembled for the past two years since he’s taken a step back from public life. In ten episodes, he’s been more vulnerable on camera than ever before, talking about his experiences tackling addiction and abuse, scrutiny by the media during his health challenges, making mistakes and learning from them all while being looked at under a microscope, and his personal journey toward self-acceptance.
In the end, he seems happier than ever before. He’s in control, he has matured and he knows himself better than ever before, and that is truly all his fans can ask for. (Well, that and the chance to see him on his first-ever stadium tour this summer, which Bieber seems more ready for now than ever.)
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