Jesy Nelson quits Little Mix, reveals 'toll on mental health'

Jesy Nelson, one fourth of the UK girl band Little Mix, has announced she is quitting the group to focus on bettering her mental health. 

Having sent the rumour mill into overdrive with her extended break from the band, Nelson confirmed she wouldn't be returning in a statement shared to her Instagram. 

"The past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life," Nelson began. 

"We have achieved things I never thought possible. I can't thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world." 

"The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health," the 29-year-old singer revealed. 

"I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard.

"There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process.

"So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I'm announcing I'm leaving Little Mix."

Nelson said she would be spending time with her loved ones, "doing things that make her happy" and embarking on a new chapter in her life. 

"I'm not sure what it's going to look like right now, but I hope you'll still be there to support me," she wrote. 

Nelson went on to thank everyone involved in the band's success, including "every single fan" and the remaining three members of Little Mix - Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards. 

"I hope that you'll continue to fulfil all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love," she concluded. 

Little Mix responded with a statement supporting Nelson and reassuring fans the band would continue with Pinnock, Thirlwall and Edwards. 

"We love [Nelson] very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being," one tweet said. 

"We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the three of us are not ready for it to be over.

"We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us." 

Nelson opened up about her insecurities and the impact cyber bullies had on her mental health in BBC special Odd One Out, which aired last year.