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.”