"I think subconsciously, I was like, 'Oh I can't kill myself now,'" the Grammy Award-winning singer admitted on PEOPLE Every Day

By Abigail Adams
July 01, 2021 02:01 PM
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Mary J. Blige is getting candid about her mental health.

The 50-year-old artist tells PEOPLE Every Day that she credits her fans for helping rescue her from suicidal thoughts early in her professional career.

"I think subconsciously, I was like, 'Oh I can't kill myself now. All these people, somebody's going to come behind me,' because people were too diehard and strong and emotional about this album," Blige tells PEOPLE. "So I believe in my subconscious, I was like 'I can't [die] now. I've just got to thug this out. I've got to push through.' And so I just kept pushing and pushing, no matter how hard it got, no matter how ugly it got."

Many of them felt a special connection with her 1994 album My Life, a bond she believes helped her through the difficult time.

Mary j Blige
Credit: amazon studios

Blige admittedly increased her drug and alcohol consumption to "quiet down" the negative self-talk she struggled with for years. The Grammy Award-winning singer says her mental health has improved over the last 26 years, but says she still works on herself daily.

"It's not as bad as it was, I'm in a great place," Blige says. "But I have to fight for my freedom and my happiness every single day because that was some heavy imprisonment, you know?"

Blige also opens up about her mental health in Amazon Prime Video's new documentary Mary J. Blige's My Life, which details how the musician connected with her fans through the critically acclaimed album. 

"My Life is probably my darkest album, at one of the darkest times I've had. Most of the time I just was just depressed and didn't want to live," she says in the trailer. "I didn't know that so many people felt the same way."

In December, Blige opened up about the pain she dealt with in wake of her 2016 divorce from Kendu Isaacs on an episode of Peace of Mind with Taraji on Facebook Watch. It was the actress' first holiday season as a single woman after ending her 13-year marriage, leading her to feel "lonely" and "sad" at times.

Listen to more of PEOPLE's interview with Mary J. Blige below on our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"I just gotta thug this out until something excellent comes along," Blige told Henson. "I don't know when that's gonna happen. But, I'd rather be myself than to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I'm going to be patient and sift through this thing and love on me right now."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.