Madison Beer Recalls Her Younger Brother Finding Her as She Contemplated Suicide on Balcony (Exclusive)

PEOPLE has an exclusive excerpt from Madison Beer's new memoir, The Half of It

Madison Beer Recalls Her Younger Brother Finding Her as She Contemplated Suicide on Balcony
Madison Beer. Photo: Matthew Priestley

Editor's Note: This story contains mentions of suicidal ideation and contemplation.

Madison Beer is looking back on a difficult period in her life.

The "Dangerous" singer-songwriter writes about standing on her balcony and contemplating suicide at age 16 after having nude photos leaked online and parting ways with her manager and record label in an excerpt from her upcoming memoir The Half of It, shared exclusively with PEOPLE.

Beer, now 24, announced the book in February and spoke to PEOPLE about its inspiration in an interview at the time. "I really wanted to write this book now because I thought sharing some of the ups and downs in my life might be able to help other people navigate and relate," she said.

The musician continued, "I hope by sharing my honest journey that perhaps someone that wanted to hide behind a keyboard to be mean or poke fun at someone else's expense thinks twice before they hit 'send.' I hope that we can find the strength to support each other and that we can work to treat others in the way we would want to be treated."

In the excerpt, which will be published by Harper Books on April 25, Beer takes readers back to a dark moment where she was overwhelmed by taking her career into her own hands and stood on her balcony as she considered jumping off.

Madison Beer
Madison Beer. Courtesy Harper Collins

While negotiating the details of going independent was rocky, the emotional turmoil of being dropped was harder to work through. It wasn't just a bump in my career—it was a hit to my personal life, too. Coupled with the trauma of having my nudes leaked, it completely shattered the image I had of Los Angeles and the industry. These two big, life-altering events happening back to back knocked me off my feet, tilted my world on its axis, and left me feeling like I had no idea who I was. I didn't know who I could trust anymore, and I didn't even know I needed to seek help for the way I was feeling.

It was a lot of conflicting emotions for a newly sixteen-year-old girl to try to shoulder on her own. I felt like I was my own worst enemy. I retreated more and more into myself, and it was the beginning of some of the darkest years of my life, starting at age sixteen and following me into my twenties. There were many times—just like the night my nudes were leaked—that I felt so backed into a corner I thought the only way out was to end my life.

Once, on a particularly heavy day, I climbed over the edge of my balcony in LA and stood there, a million thoughts running through my head as I stared down at the ground, my eyes going in and out of focus. I don't think I would have jumped. It was more about knowing that I could—that I had a way out if it became too much. Still, I lingered there for a long while, chilled by the fact that I wasn't all that scared of being up so high.

My little brother found me and screamed for my parents, and as I climbed back over, listening to them all freak out, I was only confused why they were making such a big deal out of it. The thought of killing myself was so normal to me at that point that I had forgotten it wasn't something everyone pondered on a daily basis.

As for my career, starting over again was terrifying.

Even though I was eager to try, rebuilding my confidence after being dropped was a long and difficult process. I was a starry-eyed, naive girl when I first came out to Los Angeles, and as my mom and I started facing the industry on our own, I realized just how much of my blind confidence I'd lost. I went from having the support of an entire professional team and photo shoots on huge, shiny sets to shooting the cover for my next single with a handheld camera in my living room.

Not only was I starting over, but it felt like I was buried six feet under—like I had to dig myself back up to the surface first, and only then would I have a shot at a dream. Before, I'd been so excited to offer up new ideas and collaborate, but now, even though I had so many things I wanted to try, I wrote myself off before I even got a chance to voice them. I was well into my teenage years and plagued with insecurity, shouldering years of negative comments that made me believe I wasn't good enough to be taken seriously.

In rebranding myself, I wanted to move as far away from my "old" image as possible. I wanted my entrance back into the music world to be jarring enough that people would have to take me seriously. It was a big deal to reintroduce myself after being dropped by my label. There were a lot of eyes on me.

Ironically enough, as I began to slip into some of my darkest years, I was in the midst of rebranding myself as a strong, bad-ass independent female. It felt like the biggest diversion from the sweet bubblegum pop image I had before. I wanted to be a solid, empowering role model for my audience, but in reality I felt anything but.

My EP As She Pleases was the first step in rebuilding some of my confidence. I still cherish those songs and all they taught me. The title speaks for itself. It was my first try at writing my own music, and all I wanted to do was make music that I liked—it was that simple. In the beginning, writing my own music and becoming more involved in the production process was scary. The reckless confidence I had when I initially started in this industry had been worn down. When I'd tried to give creative input before, I was always shot down, made to feel like it was something I should leave up to the experts. I was terrified of being rejected, of not being good enough.

It took years before I could proudly call myself a songwriter. But the most amazing part about gaining confidence as an artist was finally feeling like my music was resonating with my listeners. I was actually putting out music I was proud of. After bending myself to other people's wills for so many years, I was doing as I pleased, slowly discovering myself and my own sound independent of outside opinion. I had a long road ahead, but I was taking steps in the right direction. A direction that felt bright.

Excerpted from The Half of It by Madison Beer. Copyright © 2023 by Harper Books. Reprinted by permission of Harper Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to

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