Bruce Springsteen says music helped him battle his depression.

The 'Born To Run' icon has candidly opened up about his own mental health issues - which he says were caused in part by his relationship with his father, who was also suffering - and admitted he broke down aged 32 while he was working on his 'Nebraska' album in 1982.

Opening up on how music helped him as a youth Bruce, now 69, told Esquire: ''When I was a child, and into my teens...I felt like a very, very empty vessel.

''And it wasn't until I began to fill it up with music that I began to feel my own personal power and my impact on my friends and the small world that I was in. I began to get some sense of myself. But it came out of a place of real emptiness.''

The legendary musician and singer songwriter revealed he knows he isn't ''completely well'', but explained how he has learned to live with and overcome his struggles.

He added: ''I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself. I've had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I'm on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and...just...the wheels can come off a little bit.

''So we have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I've been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad.''