The singer, who quit the girl band late last year (20), fought back tears during her recent chat with Josh Smith for his "Reign With Josh Smith" webseries as she opened up about attacks from fans, who felt she was "selfish" for leaving and embarking on a solo career.
"I don't think people really knew that I was really, truly unhappy for quite a long time...," the singer said. "There were moments when I really loved it but it felt like there were way more times that I was sad than I was happy."
"I don't think people realise know how hard it is to be in a girl band (sic)... I don't get to make my own decisions; three people have to agree... There would always be a lot of disagreements on certain things... There's a lot of compromise. Now I'm able to stand in my own truth. I can do whatever I want, make the music that I've always wanted to make. It just feels amazing."
Jesy revealed it was always "the little things" that depressed her the most, adding, "No one ever told me what I could wear but... if we had to do a video and everyone had to wear a bikini and I didn't want to wear a bikini, because I felt like s**t, I couldn't not, because if I was to wear... trousers and a top... I would get loads of s**t for it."
"It was the little things like that that would make me feel trapped... Unless you're in it you won't ever understand it."
She also hated the "constant comparisons" to her bandmates, adding, "That was hard and that eventually, after 10 years, takes a massive toll on your mental health and I think that's what people don't understand."
But it was the reactions she got from some mean fans after walking away from the group that really hurt.
"I feel like a lot of people think that it's selfish that I've left the group and it really affected me at the start," Nelson explained, brushing away tears. "I didn't wanna upset people... but I don't care anymore... I needed to, like, take myself out of that and genuinely do what's gonna make me happy... You only live once."
"I genuinely feel like I'm standing up for myself now and I feel like I didn't (before)."
Jesy's chat with Smith is available here: reignjesynelson.live-now.com.