Demi Lovato filled in as a guest host for Friday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she sat down with friend Justin Bieber for a wide-ranging chat

By Helen Murphy
March 06, 2020 09:00 AM

Justin Bieber was a source of inspiration for Demi Lovato as she recovered from her 2018 drug overdose and confronted her ongoing eating disorder, she says.

On Friday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, guest host Lovato sat down with Bieber for a candid conversation — with the two pop stars and longtime friends both comparing the similar struggles they went through after becoming famous at a young age.

Many of those challenges were something Bieber confronted in his recent docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons. He told Lovato on Ellen that he wanted to show those vulnerabilities in order to inspire others.

I think the more mature you become, the more you understand that there’s power in your weakness,” the 26-year-old “Love Yourself” singer said. “And when you’re able to show that, it gives other people the confidence to say, ‘You know what? I’m going through similar things myself, it might not be the exact same thing, but I’m going through something too and I’ve been hiding it.’ ”

Bieber continued: “Just having the confidence, and being able to instill that confidence in young people that it’s okay to have problems, you don’t have to hide that … I just feel like if we’re open and honest about that, it creates a dialogue.”

Lovato — who dropped her newest single, “I Love Me,” early Friday morning — said she appreciated Bieber’s strength, explaining that she was inspired by him during her own recent struggles.

“Just for me and my experience, when I struggled last year, I know I looked at you as an inspiration because you’ve been through this and you’ve come out of the other side,” she shared. “And I really just admire the man that you are today.”

Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Elsewhere during the interview, the pair reminisced on how they first met.

Turns out, the two first came face to face outside of a radio station, where a then-16-year-old Lovato was doing an interview.

“So I was on tour — I was about 16 I think, and I want to say you were 14 — and you were outside of a radio station,” Lovato, 27, said. “I was doing an interview that day. You came up to me and you just ran up and was like, ‘Can I have a picture?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, for sure.'”

She continued: “You were like, ‘My name’s Justin. I’m Justin Bieber, you’re gonna know my name one day.’ And I was like, ‘Wow okay cool, for sure,’ and then I definitely did!”

Demi Lovato
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros

Just a day before guest hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Lovato appeared as a guest on the syndicated talk show where she spoke out about feeling “controlled” by her former team during her eating disorder recovery.

The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer said that her eating disorder “got worse and worse,” and was one of the triggering factors in her relapse.

“[I] asked for help and I didn’t receive the help that I needed,” she said. “So I was stuck in this unhappy position and here I am sober and I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m six years sober but I’m miserable. I’m even more miserable than I was when I was drinking. Why am I sober?’ ”

“Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am today, it was my actions that put me in the position that I’m in,” Lovato concluded. “I think it’s important that I sit here on this stage and tell you at home, or you in the audience, or you right here that if you do go through this, you yourself can get through it, you can get to the other side … As long as you take the responsibility, you can move past it and learn to love yourself the way you deserve to be loved.”

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to