“Believer” is about deriving love and goodness from pain and sadness. Pain has pushed the singer through good and bad times and made them stronger, healthier, and more motivated. Dan Reynolds says that while Smoke+Mirrors was written during a very dark time in his life, Believer and the rest of Album 3 represent his transition from that darkness to “a place of color and reflection and emotion." The song marked the end of Imagine Dragons' hiatus following the release of their 2015 sophomore album Smoke + Mirrors. .

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