The "Never Say Never" singer got real with Apple Music's Zane Lowe in a new interview released on Saturday, to celebrate Changes, his first album since 2015's Purpose.
"I was dealing with a lot of fear, a lot of just... was afraid of, at that point, just even the process," Bieber said of returning to music. "What am I going to talk about again? Is it going to be received? I'm starting to compare with other artists."
"I was running away. I think a lot of us need to take that when something's hard. It's almost like we need to run towards the pain and run towards the hurt rather than run away from it," he continued. "I think you get kind of healing when it comes to that.”
In a wide-ranging discussion, Bieber opened up about everything from his health to his marriage to Hailey, to feeling "protective" over Billie Eilish. See the five biggest revelations from the interview below.
"I was really tired emotionally, physically, and I was sick and I didn't realize I was sick. I had Epstein-Barr, which is like, it's called Mono. And then I have Lyme disease. So it was that, it was just the exhaustion of just being on tour, and then it was just everything compounded I think, to be honest," he shared.
"I was supposed to do a bunch of stadiums," Bieber said of reaching his breaking point. "I mean I pushed through the last month or two, and I couldn't believe I pushed through that. So when they were like, 'We got to still do stadiums,' I was like, 'This is not going to be good. I'm not going to be able to make it through that.' And it's just, no, it won't work. And I'm someone who pushes, pushes, pushes until it's the last straw, So I just couldn't do it."
Bieber didn't know "what the hell was going on" with his health -- but once he received a diagnosis, he made major changes to his lifestyle.
"I think just making sure that I am just doing the right treatments for it, doing the right IV's and all that sort of stuff. Taking the necessary precautions, necessary to not get any worse, I guess," he said of how he's changed. "Listen to Hailey when she says she feels that I'm run down, and it's good to have her as checks and balances. She can let me know when I'm like, 'All right, you're looking depleted right now.'"
Though Bieber didn't directly mention his ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, in his interview with Lowe, he seemed to allude to their relationship when discussing how he's grown as a partner.
"I'd let [Hailey] know prior to the tour when we were hanging a lot. I said, 'Listen, I'm still really hurt and still trying to figure out my way, and I'm not ready to make a commitment to you in a way that... I just don't want to say something and do the opposite,'" Bieber said. "Because I was at the point where I'd done that in the past. And I just was honest with her, I was like, 'I'm not in a place to be faithful,' and all this sort of stuff, that I wanted to be, but I just wasn't there yet."
Lowe asked what was hurting Bieber at the time, and the singer replied, "I think I was just hurt from my previous relationship."
"I think I still was dealing with a lot of unforgiveness and all that sort of stuff. To be honest, I don't think I even knew what I was really struggling with at the time," Bieber explained. "I don't think I knew I was dealing with unforgiveness. I was just in a place where I knew I didn't want to tell [Hailey] one thing and... I felt like she respected me at the time and I had a lot of respect for her, and so I just didn't want to say something and then she'd see me off doing some other thing."
"But either way, she loved me and seeing me with other people hurt her," he said. "And so with that being said, she went out and did things that hurt me. And so just this hurt, I've hurt her, she hurt me. And then before tour we just really stopped talking, I was really upset."
"Before that, in my previous relationship, I went off and just went crazy and went wild, just was being reckless," Bieber confessed. "This time I took the time to really build myself and focus on me, and try to make the right decisions and all that sort of stuff. And yeah, I got better."
He Knew Hailey Was the One Pretty Early:
Of deciding it was time to reconnect with Hailey following their past romance, Bieber said he felt "there was a lot of resolution in my life." "I'd seen her at an event. I'd seen her with a baby and something just clicked. It was like, 'Wow, she's the one,'" he recalled.
"I'd kind of decluttered some of my past and I was able to see really clearly. I just seen her across the room. She was holding a baby. I'd just seen the nurturing look in her eyes toward this baby. I was like, 'I want the mother of my children to look at a baby the way that she was,' and the way she was carrying it. I just seen something so special. I just was like, 'I want that.' I knew that she could offer that to me," Bieber said, noting he proposed a couple months after that.
The pop star was nervous to pop the question, but said his faith gave him the confidence to propose.
"I mean, that's a big commitment. My parents were never married, so I never had that. I never got to see what that really looked like," Bieber said. "I'm like, 'Can I even do this? Do I even know what it looks like to do this?' I just felt like God was saying, 'I'll show you. I'll show you how to do it. Just trust.' I just trusted Him, and just let Him lead the way, and committed to her."
He Has Plans to Start a Family:
Bieber said he wants to start a family with Hailey in "due time," after having time to "go on tour, be married, enjoy traveling with just us, build more of our relationship."
"I just want to be led by ... Like I said before, I'm a Jesus follower and I just want to be led by ... When you accept Jesus, he says that now you walk with the Holy Spirit," he said, when asked what kind of father he wants to be. "So, I think I just want to be led by the Holy Spirit."
He Feels Protective of Billie Eilish:
The "Yummy" singer got emotional when Lowe brought up Billie Eilish, sharing that he wants to "protect" the 18-year-old singer as her fame skyrockets.
"I definitely feel protective of her. It was hard for me being that young, and being in the industry, and not knowing where to turn, and everyone telling me they love me, and just turn their back on you in a second," he remembered. "It's hard because I want her to know that she can count on me, but at the end of the day, I don't want to... I'm never going to force myself to be in relationship with her. It has to be natural, right? I just kind of let her do her thing."
"If she ever needs me, I'm going to be here for her. Just protecting those moments because people take for granted, encounters," he continued, starting to cry. "I just want to protect her. I don't want her to lose it. I don't want her to go through anything I went through. I don't wish that upon anybody. If she ever needs me, I'm just a call away."