YouTube Originals released the one-off documentary, Justin Bieber: Next Chapter, on October 30. The 25-minute special follows the success of Justin’s 10-episode docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons. It outlines the pop star’s life after the release of Changes, his fifth studio album. Justin Bieber: Next Chapter gives fans a glimpse into Justin’s everyday activities, showcasing meaningful conversations with friends, his marriage, and collaborations with other musicians.
Justin Bieber: Seasons Recap
Justin’s first docuseries is the biggest YouTube Originals debut to date with more than 32 million views in the first week. For those who have not seen it, Justin Bieber: Seasons consisted of interviews with the singer, his family, his team, and of course, his wife, Hailey Bieber. It’s primary focus was to highlight Justin’s album-making process, which he refers to as the “hardest, roughest season” of his life. Justin dealt with anxiety from the pressure to produce a perfect album.
The series dives deeper into Justin’s career, rewinding to the period of time that Justin was making headlines for peeing in buckets, egging neighbor’s homes, and even landing in jail with a DUI charge in 2014. Seasons gave Justin a chance to address his most well-known mistakes and give fans a look into his healing process. Beyond the singer’s ‘screw-up’ image, Justin found himself struggling with health issues as a result of years of immense stress and drug abuse. Dr. Buzz Mingin, Justin’s health coach, reported that the severe pressure he was under at all times since a young age has had serious consequences on his health, sending his cortisol levels (the body’s fight or flight) through the roof. He was additionally diagnosed with Lyme disease and Mono in 2019.
Justin and Hailey’s love story was given the most attention later in the docuseries, showing the preparation and documentation of their wedding. During Justin Bieber: Seasons, the singer was more vulnerable than ever before, talking about his darkest days and his personal journey toward self-acceptance.
Justin Bieber: Next Chapter
After watching Justin address his darkest moments in the Seasons, Justin Bieber: Next Chapter was heartening to watch. Where the previous series captures the hectic pace of his life, Next Chapter paints a more intimate picture of Justin’s relationship with both Hailey and himself. Despite continuing his journey to heal, Justin refers to this time as the “happy season”.
Justin Bieber: Next Chapter highlights key moments in Justin’s life that have helped him heal.
His Marriage to Hailey
Since the beginning of their marriage, Justin has been very open about his love and admiration for his wife. Of course, the pandemic has affected their relationship but Justin is thankful that quarantine allowed them to take a step back and focus on eachother.
The two sit down with their Pastor Judah Smith to talk about navigating a healthy marriage and address the added element of public opinion, “I always want to let people know we are on a journey. We’re so not perfect. We are working on our relationship and we want the best for one another. But we’re going to snap on one another, we’re gonna say the wrong thing and be hurtful sometimes.”
“We continue to show one another that you’re my priority”, Justin tells Hailey. “You continue to show me I’m your priority, and I think time, like you say, shows that. It allows us to continue to see each other’s heart and see, ok, this person has my best interest and we’re building a life and we have something to look forward to.”
Justin’s Relationship With God
While showcasing scenes of rehearsals and preparations for Saturday Night Live, Justin explained his connection to the song Holy. “I just have this hope in my relationship with God, I have this hope in my relationship with my wife. ‘The way you hold me feels so holy’”. Justin also expresses his hope that, with the help of Chance the Rapper (“Holy” collaborator), he can inspire people to find the beauty in unity, regardless of past experiences.
In perhaps one of the most heartening scenes of the special, Justin and Chance are filmed sitting on a patch of grass. They speak about the beauty of aging and finding fulfilment in life, “I was thinking the other day, I was really like, ‘I’m in the best place in my whole life, right now”. Bieber continued, “I’m the most fulfilled, I feel the most stable, I feel the most secure, I feel the most confident. I feel so at peace for the first time in my life. I don’t feel like I’m striving. I feel like I know who Gods called on me to be, where I am, where I’m supposed to be. I’m walking in the plans of God. The assurance of that is amazing.”
Admitting to Suicidal Thoughts and The Release of Lonely
Justin’s vulnerable track, “Lonely”, reflects on his hidden struggles behind fame and fortune. “I was so surrounded, millions of people in the audience, but I still felt lonely. I still felt lonely, I still felt misunderstood, I still felt hurt.” The song’s accompanying music video shows a young actor, Jacob Tremblay, acting as a young Justin and dressed in the singer’s iconic first tour look.
The video ends with ‘Young Justin’ on stage mouthing the words ‘I’m so lonely’ as he looks out to a nearly empty audience. The only person sitting to watch his performance is Justin himself. Justin stoically looks at his younger self, reflecting on how innocent he was, “I had no idea this life would take me by storm, I had no idea that I would just get sucked up by all of this stuff. I was just a kid.” He looks back at the negative things that people said about him, confessing that it affected how he treated people.
Justin rewatches the “Lonely” music video along with his inner circle Ryan Good, Scooter Braun, and Allison Kaye. Ryan weighs in on the importance of the song, “so, he was in the booth the other day for the acoustic. And he couldn’t get the words out and he broke down and cried.” The group, all of whom have been by Justin’s side since the beginning, continue to talk about the dark times the singer faced.
Justin later admitted to them, “there was times where I was really, really, suicidal. Like, man is this pain ever really going to go away? It was so consistent, the pain was so consistent. I was just suffering, right?” The conversation turns to Scooter, wishing he had put Justin in therapy or provided a better environment to talk about what was happening.
Reflection With Eddie Benjamin
Justin has made it clear that his focus at this moment is to help people struggling so nobody will have to go through what he went through. In February of this year Justin got emotional during an interview for Apple Music. He expressed his worry for younger celebrities and specifically addressed singer, Billie Eilish, “I don’t want her to go through anything I went through. If she ever needs me, I’m just a call away.”
Justin invites rising star, Eddie Benjamin, for similar reasons, telling him, “I wish I had a mentor”. Eddie questions Justin about the pressure he went through and how he learned to deal with the negativity. Justin admits that he didn’t handle it well for a very long time and let negativity control his life. He also offers Eddie the best advice he has about handling fame:
“There’s going to be people who come around who just want to take, take, take, take. You’ve got to listen to people who are feeding into your life and giving you – you know? I would just encourage you to listen to those people, because you have so much ahead of you, bro. I’m so excited to watch your journey.”
Justin continued on his new passion saying it was an honor and privilege to help people, “If I can use this gift to help people, that’s just what I want to do.”
Justin Bieber: Next Chapter Overview
While Justin spoke about his struggles growing up in both documentaries, the tone between Next Chapter and Seasons is very different. It is clear, as Justin said, he is in his ‘happy season’. Seasons gave Justin the redemption and space he needed to talk about the mistakes he made. Whereas, Next Chapter appeared as a reflection and celebration of everything he has overcome.
Justin Bieber: Next Chapter shows that Justin’s career is far from over. As he continues to grow and heal, his music will transform with him. Fans are excited to see what this happy season will bring next for Justin.