Justin Bieber Reveals Story Behind Crying Paparazzi Photos: 'I'm Just Emotional and That's Okay'
Justin Bieber is setting the record straight about those infamous paparazzi photos snapped of him while he cried on the streets of New York City back in 2018.
On Monday, the 25-year-old “Yummy” singer opened up about the pictures in the ninth installment of Justin Bieber: Seasons, his 10-part YouTube Originals docuseries.
The images had made headlines back in August 2018 when they were first published. They showed Bieber’s now-wife Hailey Baldwin comforting her then-fiancé as he held his face in his hands, tears streaming down his cheeks. Beside the duo were a pair of CitiBikes, which they had been riding around Manhattan.
At the time, fans spread rumors that Bieber was in the middle of a breakdown of sorts, and that he and Baldwin were having relationship troubles (she was seen crying in pictures shot later that day).
But looking back on it, Bieber wrote the tears off as nothing unusual.
“I’m just being a normal person and crying,” he said.
“When I’m in the media and I look at things on the internet and people are like, ‘Justin’s upset, why is he upset?’ It’s like, they don’t give me permission to be upset. I don’t have permission to be, you know, human and shed tears,” Bieber added. “There’s so many people every day who are in a conversation with their girl or their wife or their mom and they break down, you know? But they don’t have cameras capturing it. So people are like, ‘Is he okay, is he having a mental breakdown?’ And I’m just emotional…and that’s okay”
Those photos weren’t the only time Bieber was seen crying in public. In November of that same year, the Canadian pop star was also spotted crying again, this time during an emotional trip with Baldwin to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
That particular day in New York City, Bieber said, wasn’t about anything specific.
“I remember just struggling,” he said, recalling his day with Hailey while looking at print-outs of the tearful photos. “I remember feeling, like, emotionally, just overwhelmed and talking to her, not knowing how to communicate certain things and just feeling kind of, like, frustrated.”
“You know, there’s been a lot of things that have happened in my life and, um, I think this was a point in my life where I was just like, so overwhelmed,” he continued.
Added Baldwin: There’s always going to be good days and bad days, if you work a 9 to 5 job or if you’re Justin. It doesn’t really matter who you are, everybody’s going to have days where they feel crappy and they don’t feel like pushing through that day but it’s part of life.”
Bieber has been honest about his mental health journey and the changes he’s made in the past few years.
Back in March, he revealed in a candid Instagram post that he had been “struggling a lot” and was “feeling super disconnected and weird” but would “bounce back.”
Fans got to see just how Bieber had been working through some of that pain in Monday’s episode of Justin Bieber: Seasons.
Much of it involved stress management, something Bieber’s health coach, Dr. Buzz Mingin, helped him with by developing a series of coordinated prompts for Bieber. These allow Bieber “to know what it is he should be doing in the moment he’s feeling stressed,” Mingin explained, “and then he has a coordinated signal back to me that lets me know what’s wrong, how he feels, and what he needs.”
Bieber can also help himself by practicing “Havening,” a technique Mingin taught Bieber to help the singer when he’s feeling overwhelmed with stress.
“Havening is a psychosensory technique that actually raises the feel-good chemicals in your brain on demand,” Mingin said of routine, which in Bieber’s case involves him rubbing his head and face continuously while hunched over.
“It’s basically like a self-soothing thing,” added Baldwin, 23. Everybody kind of has their own version of Havening without knowing it. It’s like when you’re a little kid and you suck your thumb to soothe yourself. When you’re starting to feel really stressed out or just to keep yourself calm — it’s almost like when you’re a kid and your mom is rubbing your back to sleep and it’s the best feeling in the world? It’s kind of like that, except you’re doing it for yourself.”
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In episode 9 of Justin Bieber: Seasons, fans got to see Bieber practicing “Havening” while feeling overwhelmed on the set the music video for his new single, “Yummy.”
“It was just a lot, a lot of people, a lot of dynamic, a lot of stuff,” Bieber recalled. “I was in my head a lot and it’s hard for me to really enjoy it like that, but I know that some days are just gonna be like that. In any work space, there’s gonna be those off days where you just kind of feel like, ‘I got a good crew, I should be good but today, I just feel off.’ I think that day I was just a little off.”
Ultimately, Mingin said the key to Bieber’s mental health now is “to create a structured, organized, predictable environment around him” so that he doesn’t have those off days.
That’s included working with Bieber’s team to slow his schedule down so that Bieber can focus on one thing at a time and allow his brain to heal in sobriety.
“The changes that I’ve seen with Justin are monumental,” Mingin said. “He’s matured tremendously. He’s not living in survival mode anymore.”