J Balvin Recalls His Past Depression and Anxiety Being So Severe That He Was 'Waiting to Die'

"It's okay not to be okay," J Balvin told fans, adding that doctors have helped him manage his mental health

J. Balvin
J Balvin. Photo: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty

J Balvin is continuing to speak candidly about his mental health.

On a new episode of the En La Sala with Becky G podcast, the singer, 35, recalled some of the most challenging times in his life dealing with depression and anxiety.

"I was just crying for no reason," said the artist, born José Balvin. "Didn't want to wake up, didn’t want to eat, didn't even want to live — and I didn't know why."

Now, since seeking help and learning more about anxiety and depression, he can look back at his youth and identify what he was going through, things he did not understand at the time.

"You lose hope and you feel strange at every place you go. You feel like you are outside of your body," he added, describing a period when he was in bed for five days "waiting to die" before consulting a doctor.

Balvin said it's "still hard for me to accept" that mental health struggles can be "more powerful than you."

"It's okay not to be okay," he told fans on the podcast. "I understand you, I feel what you feel, you know? You might be having your 'best moment in life' and you're feeling like s---. I feel you, I've been there — I'm going there now. But I still have this faith that everything is going to be back to normal. I'm disciplined ... I try to live a healthy life."

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On Instagram, Becky G, 23, shared a clip from the conversation, thanking Balvin for "being so open & honest" and explaining that "mental health is something that’s very important to me & something I’ve personally struggled with. I know many of us have."

Back in June, Balvin wrote a personal essay for PEOPLE about his mental health advocacy, writing that mental health is "universal" and "does not discriminate."

"Mental health doesn't care about your age, your race, your background; none of those things," he wrote. "It doesn't care what you look like, or who you're dating, or how much money you have in the bank. Of course it's different for each of us. But it affects all of us."

"The truth is, anyone in the world can struggle with their mental health," the artist added. "And yet not everyone is ready to accept this."

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"I know that firsthand because I have gone through it myself. For one, because I am an artist who has had success, no one thinks I could ever have anxiety. But I have struggled with anxiety," he continued in the essay. "And also, because I am Latino — I know there can be a certain stigma in my community when it comes to mental well-being. Many Latino men will not want to talk about depression, because they fear it is not a manly thing, or that they will then be known as loco. But I don't hesitate to say that I have been depressed."

The musician added that meditation played a large role in helping him learn to manage his mental health.

"There are many ways that I have dealt with my mental health. I have gone to see doctors. I have taken medication. These things are essential," he wrote. "But one other method that has meant everything to me — and is the reason I'm writing this — is meditation."

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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