Singer Christina Perri struggled through her first Christmas as a mother after dealing with post-partum depression.

The A Thousand Years star and her husband, Paul Costabile, recently celebrated their daughter Carmella's first birthday on 17 January (19), and as she prepared for the age milestone, Christina took to Instagram to tell fans her first year as a mum has had its fair share of ups and downs.

"The past couple weeks weening off breastfeeding i found it extremely difficult to find joy...," she wrote on Instagram earlier this month (Jan19). "i'm struggling right now with BALANCE & self care."

Christina, who has previously been candid about her mental health struggles, didn't directly use the term post-partum depression, but now she's opening up further about the tough end to her 2018, admitting it was a "dark" time for her.

"That got me the hardest when I stopped breastfeeding around Christmas. I was so sad and so dark," the musician tells People magazine. "We're almost made to pretend it's not happening, like, 'It's fine. I've got this.'"

Sharing her trials and tribulations with fans online led to an outpouring of support from fellow mums, and Christina insists just speaking out allowed her to lift some of the burden she had been carrying.

"What really helped was talking about it," she says. "It was just overwhelming. It made me feel so much better. All the women said, 'Me too, me too, me too and really got me through it. I've got my mummy tribe that got bigger because of that."

Perri, 32, has since been able to pull herself out of the funk, and she's looking forward to a bright future.

"I got married , bought a house and had a baby (within) the same year. Talk about blessings! That's a dream," she smiles. "All I ever wanted was a family, and that's where I'm at now! It's like a f**king Disney movie."

Perri and Costabile tied the knot in December, 2017, on the fourth anniversary of the day they first met, and welcomed little Carmella weeks later.

The baby has already inspired Christina's latest work - her first release as a mum was Songs for Carmella: Lullabies & Sing-a-Longs, a collection of classic children's tunes, as well as a reworked version of her A Thousand Years smash, which dropped to coincide with her child's first birthday.