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The Power of Influence: How Those Around You Transform You

 You always hear about how our environment influences us. How we define ourselves by the people we keep in our company. But how can this be true? How can others’ words and actions really affect us? This is what I used to ask myself. Sure, I liked to party and make bad decisions every now and again, but that wasn’t the worst thing in the world, right? It turns out that putting myself in these situations was more detrimental to my well-being than I imagined. Yes, I was having fun…

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Mental Health Matters: Music is My Therapy

Mental Health is always something that I’ve struggled with, coming to the forefront in my late 20s. It’s easy when you’re a kid to feel like you don’t always fit in, but as you become an adult you assume that you’ll grow out of those insecurities. For some of us, that stigma sticks until we finally face it head on, no matter the age or level of success. It’s so easy these days, with technology, to get wrapped up in the Music Industry’s expectations via social media, YouTube, Online etc….

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Mental Health Matters: Why Don’t You Sing?

I’ve always been one of the more sensitive people in the room; I still think that people can relate to my experiences regardless of the intensity of my feelings. In an attempt to understand the confusion, mental health is often categorized into labels, as if “depression” means that one has to have a certain level of sadness to qualify. As if “anxiety” means that one has to have a certain number of panic attacks of a certain intensity to be considered anxious. As if one feels so misunderstood to the…

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Mental Health Matters: My Eyes are Up Here

Here is something every artist with mental illness needs to hear: “You are not your disease.” Here are some things every artist with mental illness actually hears: “ Your disease is a value-multiplier and a central part of your personal brand.”                 – The Industry  “Your disease is what makes you relatable and what makes your art beautiful/inspiring/authentic.” – The Marketplace Four years ago, while in the midst of a rather savage run of drug and alcohol abuse, I was witness to a “car vs. person” hit and run that involved…

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Mental Health Matters: Before It’s Too Late

I have to admit: I’ve been on the opposite side of the barricade. For many years, I mistakenly thought that depression and anxiety are not the real issues, that they’re made up by people who constantly whine and complain to attract some twisted form of attention, until I realized I was the one dealing with such issues on a daily basis. I would always get weird mood changes for as long as I can remember, it’s something I couldn’t explain, and something I got used to. Other people who are…

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Mental Health Matters: Loneliness

It’s 3am, it’s every night for the past month, maybe two; at this point I’m unsure.  I have a cold cup of coffee that I keep reheating before I let it chill again & a notebook full of scrawling scribbles of some nonsensical blabber. There’s an email from my booking agent I’ve been dreading that I can’t open right now.  “Write everything down” I was told, but where to begin?  Touring has been gruelling, I feel so strung out & exhausted by the constant travelling, performing & travelling again. Every…

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Mental Health Matters: My Work with Therapy

(photo credit: Danny DeRusso) I was born in love with my life. I was born in love with myself and I felt like that self-respect was connected to how much potential I had to squeeze every ounce of joy and success out of living that I could. I started self-harming when I was 11. I developed an eating disorder when I was 13. By 25, I was drinking to black out daily and had torpedoed most of my personal relationships. I assumed I had depression because I couldn’t shake this…

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Mental Health Matters: Change the Stigma

It’s junior year of college at NYU. My apartment had turned into the manifestation of my mind – instruments all over the floor, dishes in the sink that hadn’t been washed in weeks with fruit flies marking their territory, clothes in every corner and all the blinds shut tight. It was psychological rock bottom. I was sitting on my bed and a beam of light broke through the window shade and hit me on my chest. I knew in that moment that I had a choice, I could live or…

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Mental Health Matters: Overcoming Your Ocean

I believe every song has a story and every song is a story. Many of us have music playing throughout the entire day, but do we ever stop and listen to the lyrics, think about their meaning, or about what brought the artist or songwriter to share that story? As a songwriter and an artist, I am blessed to be able to use music as a way to touch people, and also use it as a way to heal myself. Back in January of 2017, I started writing for my…

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Mental Health Matters: When an answer isn’t “the” answer—but you keep moving forward anyway

It was coming up to New Year in the Czech Republic, where I had moved since breaking up with my long-term boyfriend. I was a tired cliché: a failing musician who’d reached her 30s and realised that the music career clock had all but stopped ticking and ended up clinically depressed. Yawn. The irony for me was that I had achieved some significant things that were steps capable of taking me closer to my goals. But I couldn’t see them as such, because that’s what depression does: it robs you…

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