Justin Bieber 'Was Very Excited' About First Live Performance in Years: 'It Was a Big Deal' Says Source

Maria Pasquini
Justin Bieber 'Was Very Excited' About First Live Performance in Years: 'It Was a Big Deal' Says Source

Justin Bieber has taken a step back from music lately, but the pop star had a blast performing at Coachella.

“It was a big deal for Justin,” a friend of the singer’s tells PEOPLE. “He hasn’t performed in a long time. He was very excited though and felt even better after. He loved reconnecting with his fans.”

The Bieber pal went on tell PEOPLE that although the singer has been candid about his mental health struggles recently, he’s “slowly getting back to feeling normal.”

“He is feeling much better mentally and more like himself. It seems like he is slowly getting back to feeling normal,” the friend says. “He and [wife] Hailey had an amazing weekend in Palm Springs.”

Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG
Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG

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One week after Bieber was first spotted at the annual music festival, he took to the stage during the end of weekend two, joining Ariana Grande for a surprise performance.

“We thought it might be fun to do something for you guys,” Grande said before the pair, who are both on Lil Dicky’s new single “Earth,” performed his 2015 hit, “Sorry.”

“I haven’t been on stage in like two years. I came out here I had no idea I was going to be on stage tonight,” Bieber told the crowd. “So anyways this is my first time on stage in two years. I had to get my groove back, my swag back. By the way — album coming soon.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Following the performance, Bieber went on to share that returning to the stage “felt right,” as he thanked Grande, and his fans, for all their support.

“Thank you @ArianaGrande . Thank you @coachella. That felt right. Love you,” he tweeted.

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Naturally, the singer’s wife Hailey Baldwin was in the crowd, cheering her man on.

“Sorrychella,” she proudly captioned a clip of the performance on her Instagram Story.  That night the model, 22, also shared a sweet pair of photobooth shots of the pair cuddling up together, captioning them, “my only bubba.”

A little over a week before returning to the stage, Bieber revealed that while he’s facing some “challenging” times, he’s in the process of “bouncing back.”

“Getting better every day .. bouncing back .. I will never stop fighting,” the singer captioned a shirtless selfie, writing that this has been the “most challenging season of my life.”

Justin Bieber | Justin Bieber/Instagram

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Early this year, PEOPLE confirmed that Bieber has been getting counseling. And in March, the star shared multiple posts about therapy.

A source recently told PEOPLE that Bieber is “working on his health” and has been regularly “receiving treatments.”

“Sharing his struggles and thoughts with fans seems to have been very beneficial to him,” the source said. “He seems to feel less pressure and is able to focus on his health in peace.”

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In past interviews, he has also opened up his struggles. “I got really depressed on tour,” Bieber said in the March issue of Vogue. “I haven’t talked about this, and I’m still processing so much stuff that I haven’t talked about. I was lonely. I needed some time.”

In addition, Bieber recently wrote to his fans explaining that he would return to music after repairing some of his “deep-rooted issues” in treatment, adding that he’s prioritizing his mental health in order to “sustain” his marriage and live up to the expectations he had created for himself as a future father.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin | Hailey Bieber/Instagram

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Bieber and Baldwin — who married in a secret courthouse ceremony last fall — have put their wedding plans on an indefinite hold while they work through the pop star’s struggles.

“Justin has an incredible support system,” an insider previously told PEOPLE. “Hailey is his biggest supporter. She is there for him in a way that you wouldn’t expect from a newlywed. She understands him deeply, and is 100 percent ready to help him. He realizes how blessed he is to have her.”