Brian May is in ''a much better place'' after going through a ''bad period'' last year.

The Queen guitarist announced in October 2016 that he had to pull out of his remaining commitments for the year after battling with a ''persistent illness'' but has now revealed he is feeling much better after turning to exercise and meditation to help improve his body and mind.

He said: ''I went through a very bad period before Christmas and cancelled everything, not just the tour, everything. I just knew I couldn't handle it.

''Strangely enough I prefer not to call it depression now. I've recently got very much into the body and mind. All my life I've been pathetic at doing exercises. I now have a regime - every morning I do 40 minutes of exercise, then I finish with meditation. It's really enabled me to recentre. I feel like I'm in a much better place.''

And the 69-year-old musician - who is married to actress and singer Anita Dobson - is happy to open up about his mental health and is glad it has helped to raise awareness and encourage conversations of the ''taboo'' subject.

He told The Sunday Times magazine: ''I noticed Prince Harry opened up in a similar way. I've always thought it's nice to be open and I get reinforced in that because I get tons of mail saying the fact that you talked about it has helped me feel like I wasn't alone and wasn't a freak. I don't think all this taboo business is helpful at all.''

Meanwhile, Brian previously revealed the illness had been ''destroying his energy and his will''.

He wrote on his official website: ''I have been increasingly battling with a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will. I am now at the point where I don't feel confident to perform the scheduled shows to the standard we all expect.

''I've been strongly advised to rest and heal, rather than go out and risk 'falling down on the job' out there, which would be a real tragedy. I'm convinced it's much better taking the step to cancel the dates now, refunding the fans for the ticket sales, and giving all our team a chance to re-plan their time in December. Sincere apologies to all.''