To the rapturous reception of fans (we’re looking at you, Beliebers), Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran dropped a new song, "I Don't Care" on Friday, May 10, after days of social media teasers. In “I Don’t Care,” Bieber and Sheeran croon about the ability to overcome anything, so long as they’ve got their babies (a likely nod to their respective wives, Hailey Baldwin and Cherry Seaborn) on their side. And Bieber also addresses his mental health in the pop anthem, singing specifically about being overwhelmed in social situations.
"I Don’t Care” marks Bieber’s first track release since his 2017 album, Purpose, but he’s been featured on various songs since — such as DJ Khaled’s “No Brainer” and David Guetta’s “2U.” "I Don't Care" also isn't the first time Bieber and Sheeran have joined musical forces: Sheeran co-wrote Bieber’s 2005 song “Love Yourself,” and both appeared as cartoon animals in Lil Dicky’s star-studded “Earth” music video. Still, this new song marks a notable return for the singer, and is the first time he's really opened up about mental health in his music.
In his first verse, the “What Do You Mean” singer references his anxiety. He sings,
“With all these people all around, I'm crippled with anxiety / But I'm told it's where we're s'posed to be / You know what? It's kinda crazy 'cause I really don't mind / And you make it better like that.”
Bieber has been vocal about his mental health in the past, speaking candidly about his struggles with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. In a February 2016 interview with GQ, Bieber opened up about his ADHD diagnosis. “I’m not getting restful sleep, so during the day I need Adderall. I’ve been on it for about a year now, but I think I’m about to get off of it because I feel like it’s giving me anxiety,” he told the publication.
In February of 2019, after quite some time away from the spotlight, Bieber sat down for a joint Vogue interview with wife Hailey — his first interview in over two years. In the article, the singer opened up about how his depression affected his Purpose world tour, which kicked off in March 2016 and concluded abruptly in July 2017, with the cancellation of his final 14 shows.
“I got really depressed on tour. I haven’t talked about this, and I’m still processing so much stuff that I haven’t talked about,” he told Vogue. “I was lonely. I needed some time.”
In that same month, People reported that the singer was seeking treatment for his depression. And on March 9, Bieber gave fans an update on his mental health on Instagram. He wrote, “Just wanted to keep you guys updated a little bit hopefully what I’m going through will resonate with you guys. Been struggling a lot. Just feeling super disconnected and weird..”
He added, “I always bounce back so I’m not worried just wanted to reach out and ask for your guys to pray for me. God is faithful and ur prayers really work thanks .. the most human season I’ve ever been in facing my stuff head on..”
It's good to see Bieber not only take care of his mental health, but also take ownership of it by reaching out to fans and putting it in his music. Now if you'll excuse us, we'll be listening to "I Don't Care" on repeat.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.