ONE Direction believe taking an extended break is "the healthiest way for the band to continue."
The British group, which includes Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, were reportedly on the verge of splitting up for good due to their exhausting schedule before their team suggested they take a temporary hiatus next year.
A source close to the 'Drag Me Down' hitmakers said: "It's the healthiest way for the band to continue. They needed to slow things down and have some freedom.
"Five years dealing with the kind of schedule they were on, there was a danger it was becoming too much. Literally as soon as one commitment finishes, there seems to be another. It's as if they always have to be somewhere. And while the boys love it, it's a lot.
"They need to grow creatively as artists to continue to be happy together. This is a natural progression for them."
The group still "really do get on well" and have no desire to go their separate ways permanently just yet, but insiders admit their upcoming break is "a gamble."
The source explained to E! News: "Right now, they have every intention of coming back together. But look, of course there is always a chance that by giving the boys some space, they might enjoy it too much and won't want to get back together. It's a gamble, but right now that scenario is far from their minds.
"The break will mean they can pursue their own endeavours.
"This is an exciting time for them creatively and as a group. They love working together and envision a future together but with the freedom to do other things as well."
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