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

The artwork for ‘Believer’ really encompasses everything for me in a lot of ways. This picture of a man walking in a dark vast space and arriving at a place of color and vibrant brilliant color,” Reynolds teases. “That’s where I think I am right now and that’s where the album leans towards. Smoke + Mirrors was kind of a dark place for me. ‘Believer’ kind of indicates that. The art is an indicator for what’s to come in a lot of ways.”

But a new perspective is not nearly an antidote for the incurable A.S.

I have a month that would be great, like no pain for a month and then I might have a week where I start to feel a flare-up,” Reynolds reveals of his condition. “But for the most part this last year, I’ve had it under control via my diet and exercise. It’s different for everybody, I’ve found the balance within that the last year that’s worked for me, but next month I could have a really bad flare-up and go back to my rheumatologist and say ‘Hey what do I need to do to get back to a place of health?’ ”

A go-to place for A.S. resources is Reynolds’ initiative called This AS Life Live!, an online, interactive talk show for patients with A.S., hosted by patients with A.S. “For me when I was diagnosed, I was Googling everything and I couldn’t find a specific source that I could turn to for community, for knowledge, and not to feel so alone with this disease,” he describes of his reasons to partner with the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) and Novartis.

As for the advice he hopes will resonate with people who are or have been in the place he was one year ago: “Both physical and mental illness can be debilitating in a lot of ways and the most important thing is: 1.) you’re not alone in it, there’s millions of people who are facing the same thing, [and] 2.) there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

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