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Mental Health Matters: Helping Someone Through Depression

When my dear friend had a really terrible season of depression, it was difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning, to function normally in her daily life. She missed days of work and spent most of her time in her room alone. As a person with naturally high serotonin levels my first reaction was to tell her to snap out of it. People with depression hear this type of advice all the time, but they, more than any of us want to be happy, and they…

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Mental Health Matters: Self-Loathing

I found music in a very typical way: I was searching for something, anything, to hold onto for dear life. A traumatic early childhood left me silenced by fear and unable to find any words to communicate what happened to me even if I had wanted to tell someone. I cried the first time I listened to Seether’s “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces” at 11 years old. Shaun Morgan’s lyrics hit me in a place that I had buried so deeply I didn’t expect anything ever to find it. I…

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Mental Health Matters: Stage Fright (and Facing Your Fears)

Six years ago I was huddled backstage with a prominent world musician at an iconic Sydney music venue, gripped by a familiar sense of dread. My stomach churned and a thought passed through my mind. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I was about to walk on stage and stand in front of a group of absolute strangers who would sit quietly, between the photographs of musical greats that lined the walls, staring at me while I sang. What a weird thing to do! I thought, I could…

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Mental Health Matters: ” I was dying, and I was still trying to keep up with everyone else.”

First, I want to say that I am so grateful that more and more people are becoming more open to sharing their own personal struggles with mental health. I have learned that, unfortunately, there is a negative stigma attached to talking about these issues- especially in the music industry. There is so much pressure to be constantly busy, productive, and always ‘on our game’. We are in a world where everything everyone does appears in our social media feed, and whether we are aware of it or not, we are…

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Mental Health Matters: Bullying

I have always been an over the top music fan, and as a result of that I’ve been severely bullied from the 7th to 12th grade. I found my solitude within music, however, the more I surrounded myself with it, the more it caused me to drown. If I learned anything over my four years of high school, it is that kids are mean, and will do anything to prevent themselves from being the next target. So, as a result, I was the forever target because of my commitment and…

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Mental Health Matters: “You Are Not Your Pain”

There’s a notion at open mics, DIY spaces, and the backstage areas of larger venues: that the only difference between eccentric and insane is your talent. That there’s a fine line between madness and genius. That great inspiration can only come from great pain. Whatever made Van Gogh cut his ear off is also what let him make beautiful paintings. Suffer for art. We romanticize it. The 27 Club is a higher honor than living to Leonard Cohen’s age. The true rockstar: desperate and angst-ridden, smashing TVs in hotel rooms,…

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Mental Health Matters: ADHD

Twirling my pencil around involuntarily, staring up at the ceiling daydreaming, my brain replaying a song I heard the night before, my grades going down by the day due to all of this happening while I was at school. I was lost. I was dwindling so deeply into “la la land” that I could not focus on the material. This wasn’t just a one-time occurrence; this was me almost every year in school from childhood to adolescence.  Something had to be done. After numerous doctor visits, I was officially diagnosed…

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Mental Health Matters: Stress, Anxiety, and the Fear of Rejection….

There are not many people these days who can say they don’t feel some degree of stress in their life, and many can also check off “anxiety” in that same questionnaire of life. I can count myself in this category, I have been suffering from anxiety for most of my adult life. I chose to tell my story as an owner of an online music magazine and how I face stress, anxiety, and depression head daily. First off, big thanks to Angela Mastrogiacomo and Infectious Magazine for publishing this series…

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Mental Health Matters: Using Your Given Voice To Battle That Pesky Inner Voice Of Doubt

It’s difficult enough to explain depression & anxiety to someone who doesn’t suffer from it. Add in the element of having an artist’s mind, and that explanation gets even blurrier. With the, seemingly unnatural, marriage of business & creativity, the triggers that can set off an episode can be odd & infinitely varied. However, the tools that an anxious songwriter, like me, have at their disposal are powerful & unique. For instance, in October of 2016, with the soundtrack of Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore’s voice in the background, I…

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Mental Health Matters: On Music, the Light, and the Darkness

  Maintaining the public semi-fictions we present to the world can be exhausting.  There is pressure to become the most digestible and uncomplicated versions of who we think we should be for others to see and acknowledge.  But this picture we present usually lacks what I would call ‘personal substance’ – that private world where our depth of feeling, tangible rawness and vulnerability resides.  This under-the-skin honesty is too heavy to be shared out loud in person, and something we are expected to tuck away deep within ourselves and not…

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