How Health Issues Made Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds a ‘Believer’ Again: ‘I’m Appreciative of the Pain in My Life’

Ask Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds where he was mentally, physically and emotionally the last few years and he’ll tell you the root of his frustrations: Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory arthritic disease. In fact, listen to the band’s “fairly dark” sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors, and you’ll hear Reynolds’ pain in the lyrics.

The singer opened up to PEOPLE exclusively in November 2016 about his “debilitating” aches and depression as well as being in a “bad place” prior to remission. But these days, Reynolds’ overall health has made a complete 180 — and it’s evident in the Las Vegas quartet’s latest single “Believer.”

“It really has been a very healthy year for me. But it didn’t come without work, a lot of physical and mental work,” the 29-year-old tells PEOPLE about his positive outlook as of late. “A.S. requires you to live a more disciplined life, and once I found the right balance of that I’ve really been great for a year.”

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