Shawn Mendes Says Canceling Tour Was 'Very Difficult' — but His Healing Process Has Been 'Eye-Opening'

The "Wonder" singer pulled the plug on his world tour in July in order to focus on his mental health

Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

Shawn Mendes is opening up about the "very difficult," but ultimately rewarding, process of canceling his tour dates in order to tend to his mental health struggles.

The "Wonder" singer, 24, told the WSJ. Magazine that pulling the plug on his Wonder: The World Tour in July was tricky, but was something spurred on by time spent in therapy trying to unpack all that he was dealing with.

"The process was very difficult. A lot of doing therapy, a lot of trying to understand how I was feeling and what was making me feel that way. And then doing the work to help myself and heal," he told the outlet. "And also leaning on people in my life to help a little bit."

Mendes said it's "been a lot of work" making efforts to untangle his feelings, but that he feels as though the process is working, and is appreciative of the support he's received.

"I think the last year and a half has been the most eye-opening and growing and beautiful and just healing process of my life," he said. "I'm also really grateful for all the people that were so accepting and loving and kind and understanding. And it just really made me see how culture is really starting to get to a place where mental health is really becoming a priority."

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The star first postponed his tour in July, then canceled the dates altogether weeks later. He'd kicked things off that June, and was slated to play more than 40 shows through October.

In a statement shared with fans at the time, Mendes said he was making his health his "first priority," and needed a longer break from the road after facing the difficult reality of extensive touring.

"It has become more clear that I need to take the time I've never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger. I unfortunately have to cancel the rest of the tour dates in North America, and the UK/Europe," he wrote. "We were hopeful that I might be able to pick up with the rest of the dates after some much-needed time off, but at this time I have to put my health as my first priority. This doesn't mean I won't be making new music, and I can't wait to see you on tour in the future."

The Grammy-nominated star continued: "I know you all have been waiting so long to see these shows, and it breaks my heart to tell you this but I promise I will be back as soon as I've taken the right time to heal. I love you all and thank you all so much for supporting me and sticking by me on this journey."

Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes. Backgrid

In the months since announcing his break, Mendes has shown off his acting chops (he played the titular reptile in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, which was released in October) as well as a brand new 'do; in January, he debuted a buzz cut.

"I think everyone should know what they look like with a shaved head," Mendes told the WSJ of bidding adieu to his signature long locks. "I also was just feeling this urge to just shake myself up a little bit."

The star was also recently named the new brand ambassador for jeweler David Yurman.

"I find that David Yurman jewelry has this super organic feel to it where you can feel dressed up and still feel authentic," he told PEOPLE. "That's why I've always worn these pieces on my neck because it's always been special but also subtle enough for me to feel comfortable in my own skin. It feels easy and effortless — you don't have to put on a character to wear this jewelry. You're elevating yourself in a comfortable way."

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.

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