How Drake Bell Healed From Personal Challenges Through Music

How Drake Bell Healed From Personal Challenges Through Music

After experiencing many ups and downs in the public eye, Drake Bel is proud of how far he’s come — and music continues to play an important role in that.

“I really, really love what I do. Not many people can say they love going to work and they spend their whole life doing it,” Bell exclusively shared in the latest issue of We weekly. “I love producing, directing, acting and entertaining. That’s what I hope my future is for the rest of my life.”

Over the years, Bell has been drawn to music again and again.

“It’s my air. It’s my oxygen. That’s how I survive and live. That’s how I tell my story,” he noted. “I hope I can continue to tell my story and fortunately I have a job that allows me to do that. We tell stories and whether it’s our story or our stories, that’s my goal for the future.”

Drake Bell's Ups and Downs Over the Years

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Drake Bell has survived multiple arrests, abuse allegations, and more since he rose to prominence as a child star. Bell rose to stardom after landing several TV roles at a young age. He made a name for himself after his time at Nickelodeon, where he produced hit projects like All That, Drake & Josh, (…)

Bell found that writing songs is similar to journaling in many ways, adding, “It’s a very healthy way to get your inner self out there.”

Before making his mark through music, Bell rose to stardom as a child actor with roles in hit TV shows like All That, Drake & Josh and more. His success was initially overshadowed as Bell endured multiple arrests and substance abuse problems while growing up in the spotlight.

Drake Bell Credits Music for His Healing After Personal Challenges
Jaime Nogales/Medios y Media/Getty Images

Bell surprised fans earlier this year when he broke his silence about being a victim of sexual abuse in Investigation Discovery’s four-part docuseries Quiet on the setwho addressed the negative aspects of teenage stardom at Nickelodeon. Bell specifically confirmed that he was the previously unnamed child who spoke out about the dialogue coach in 2003 Brian Peck‘s abuse.

“Recovery is really hard, especially when you’ve had so many years of substance abuse. But when I started talking about my story soberly and clearly, it was a whole different perspective on everything,” Bell explained to Us. “The pain and the sadness starts to fade away (and) all of these things become a part of your past.”

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The conversation about Nickelodeon’s allegedly toxic work environment may be just beginning. Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which aired in March on Investigation Discovery, chronicled producer Dan Schneider’s time at the network, featuring former child stars and crew members who recalled their experiences on the sets of various shows (…)

Bell, who shares a 3-year-old son with his ex-wife Janet Von Schmelingwas suddenly brought back into the picture after being away for a while. He retreated after several personal challenges, including pleading guilty to two criminal charges of attempted child molestation and distributing material harmful to minors. (Bell has maintained that he cut off contact with one fan after he learned she was underage.)

The musician has since admitted that some of his behavior is due to the abuse he suffered, but has remained silent about it for years.

“You realize that the more you hold on to those emotions, the more they affect everything and everyone around you,” he told Us. “Now that my story is out there, it’s a lot easier to say, ‘Okay, I tripped and fell there. I could have done it differently, but if I had done it differently, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Bell doesn’t think he would have gotten this far if he hadn’t decided to go to therapy.

“It’s an incredible thing. You go through life thinking, ‘I’m alone in this, this is something I have to keep to myself. I’m going to be judged for it.’ And then you get in a group setting like that and you share your story and it feels so good to get it out,” he recalled, before discussing how the process allowed him to uncover memories he had previously blocked out.

Bell used his life to inspire his art with his new single “I Kind of Relate.” The music video focused on Bell’s challenges, including the abuse he endured. He has expanded his discography with “Hollywouldn’t” and “Te Desenamoraste,” which is a prelude to his sixth studio album titled Non-Stop Flight.

“I started writing the record before Quiet on the set“I didn’t really sit down and write a record. It just started coming out,” he said of the album, due out this fall. “It’s amazing and empowering to have something like that in me for so long and now it’s a weight off of me. It’s a really healthy way to get what’s inside out.”

Bell is grateful for how his career has helped him get back on track. “You can express emotions through the sounds and the melodies and the instruments that you use,” he explained. “There’s so much emotion in music. It’s healing to be in the studio and get the words out.”

He concluded, “What I have experienced is the realization that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is healing on the other side.”

For more on Bell’s journey, watch the video above and buy the new issue of We weeklynow on sale.

With reporting by Andrea Simpson