Justin Bieber [Photo: Courtesy]

Justin Bieber has bravely opened up about past suicidal thoughts - and how he feared he would "suffer forever." The 26-year-old hitmaker spoke candidly about mental health in his new YouTube Originals documentary Justin Bieber: Next Chapter. Encouraging others to speak out, Justin said that he could have "avoided a lot of pain" if he'd done so himself.

"There were times where I was really, really suicidal," he shared, "Like, man is this pain ever going to go away? It was so consistent, the pain was so consistent. I was just suffering, right? So, I'm just like, man, I would rather not feel this than feel this." Now that Justin is in a better place, he wants to help others struggling with their own mental health.

The Holy singer added: "I want to be the type of person and leader who can tell people, 'You don't have to put on a front. You don't have to act a certain way. Who you are is enough.' "I feel so just at peace for the first time in my life ... I just would encourage people, like, 'Hey, if you're feeling lonely, talk about it. Say it out loud.' There's a freedom in that. I could have avoided a lot of pain."

He's been very transparent with fans about his mental health struggles, last year snapping a selfie from his therapist's office and telling them: "It's cool to have a healthy mind and healthy emotions." And on what helps him through, Justin remarked: "Prayer and meditation. What's helped me is that I work out a lot, stay physical and stay active.

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"I pray and meditate, things like that. I write music, listen to music. Music is very powerful; it can really help you when you're feeling low." And in September last year he shared a lengthy Instagram post in which he revealed that childhood stardom had left him with suicidal thoughts. He claimed he had "made every bad decision" by the time he was 20, after fame had "gone to his head."

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Justin wrote: "It's taken me years to bounce back from all these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits. Luckily god blessed me with extraordinary people who love me for me."