- Singer-songwriter Andy Grammer talks about mental health.
- He shares how the pandemic has forced him to care about his mental health and why he is leading an event to fund mental health awareness.
- Grammer also shares how music has healed him and his fans.
Celebrity singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is known for his catchy and sweet songs. From “Keep Your Head Up” to “Honey, I’m Good” even his song titles send a positive message.
But Grammer wants the world to know that despite his outward personality, he sometimes struggles with mental health challenges. During the pandemic, he has turned to therapy and self-employment to manage his mental health.
“[When] It was completely quiet and I wasn’t allowed to leave my house and I wasn’t allowed to be around thousands of people and I wasn’t allowed, frankly, to be distracted, and I had to sit by myself, and it wasn’t very pleasant,” Grammer told Healthline.[I] I realized, oh, I’ve got a lot of work inside, unseen work to do here that I don’t think I would have done sooner had it not been for the pandemic. “
To raise awareness about mental health and well-being, headline the Beyond the Sidelines fundraiser Friday, September 23rd. Event proceeds will benefit Get rid of the stigmaan initiative led by the family of the Indianapolis Colts and Irsai, which aims to raise awareness of mental health disorders and remove the stigma associated with them.
“It was really great to get along with the different organizations that are doing a really good job of breaking down the stigma,” Grammer said. “[I] I want to be really open about this and say I’ve suffered a lot and it’s totally normal and OK to take care of yourself… We’re all pretty clear that if you break your leg you need to go to PT and get a cast and do everything, but it’s a lot more mysterious and subtle When it comes to mental health, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Below, Grammer shared more with Healthline about mental health, music, and what motivates and inspires him.
Healthline: While the pandemic has negatively affected your mental health, it appears to have forced you to take care of it. Is that correct?
Grammer: In hindsight, I’m grateful for that. I’m currently out of a building now. We’re filming a podcast called Man Enough, which is about masculinity, and we were entering, yesterday, an episode about what it’s about guys we feel like going to therapy is weak or something. It almost seems trite. It’s a point that has been brought up a lot; There is nothing new about it. The interesting thing is, for me, I had to be totally devastated to say, “Okay, okay, I’m going to therapy.” Why does it have to be this way? Why should I be unable to go on with my day to say, “Well, I guess I need some help.” Instead of just being like, “I don’t feel good,” which happens all the time, not all the time constantly, but all day long, you’re like, “I’m sad,” “I’m worried,” or “I’m these things.”
How did the treatment help you?
The treatment has helped me a lot. I would love to help do anything to help someone not slip that far before they can turn to it. In the end, it’s like you’re creating a space in your life to work through your stuff? And I know I wasn’t, and that’s what the pandemic has done for me. It kind of forced me, which I feel in hindsight, but it wasn’t very fun.
Was this the first time you went to therapy?
I went to therapy once in high school. My mom sent me because I thought I was supposed to start on the basketball team. I’ve been working on it since I was like 4The tenth Class, I did not start. I came off the bench as a sixth man and he really threw away my identity and my identity [self-worth] Then I went and spoke to a therapist about four times and it was very helpful.
I guess I was afraid of owning the darker sides of myself. Therefore, it is a little scary to admit that even to yourself that you are not perfect and that everyone has crap. But if you never want to look at those things or deal with the things within yourself, you are not a perfect copy of yourself, and there is a place where you are all right, perfectly adequate, utterly lovable, and sometimes filthy.
Your songs are very positive and uplifting, but they also speak to deep, serious emotions. Do you think people often think that happy, positive and optimistic people can’t have dark days?
I cannot speak for anyone else, only myself. I know for my own art, if you’re going to be someone who deals in the realm of optimism, joy, and uplifting yourself and others, even the word uplift means you’re weak.
I wrote my first song, “Keep Your Head Up,” after my mom passed away, so I was in pain. I think hope can be really rebellious in a dark time, but if it isn’t, it’s kind of optimistic and I hope I try to sing, I can really fall behind… I think joy or happiness in the face of darkness is more interesting, and that’s where I usually write from.
Is singing and writing healing for you?
yes. On the last run, I started my show with a poem, and that led to a song called “Damn it Feels Good to Me.” I think it takes a lot of courage to own all of your pieces. There is real freedom in that, but it is undeniable that it is an act of bravery in your art or in your life or with the people you trust, to share yourself all.
In your recent Instagram post, you mentioned that you originally wrote the songs for yourself, but realized how much of an impact they had on others. Is this rewarding?
It is very rewarding. When you do a deeper work on yourself…when you are brave and share the full version of yourself in your art or in your life, it gives permission to others to do this in their lives and that’s a beautiful thing to kind of heal yourself and then share what you’ve found, you create spaces for others to do the same . This is a wonderful and wonderful life. I want to do as much of that as possible.
When you need a mental boost, have you ever listened to your own songs?
I don’t play my own songs. I have my people to go to. That’s why it’s the biggest compliment in the world when someone tells me I was to them because I know how important that is. The music is incredible. I always say that music is like a spiritual chiropractor. If you’re feeling funky, it can get really into you and give you a little crack to get you back on the right track.
I had a day the other day where I woke up, didn’t sleep long and was getting ready to leave the hotel for a ride, not in my best place. I was like: Am I going to work? Shall I go eat something crepe? where am I? And someone had sent me a song while I was leaving, and the song was great, and it changed my day. It made me choose better versions of myself that day, which is really important and powerful.
What self-care or coping strategies do you use in difficult times?
It’s definitely very personal, and I want to make sure people don’t think there is one size fits all. I think it’s about knowing oneself and understanding what really works for you. For me, I’m not always the best at it, but I’m pretty clear that if I do exercise, it helps a lot with my mental health.
Then something spiritual like respecting my depths. Something that would go deeper and take me out of everyday life. If you’re doing that in addition to working out hard and getting a good sweat, it’s kind of like you have to trust – because you don’t want to do these things – you have to trust that by the end of it, you’ll be a better version of yourself. Over time, this cleared up for me.
Is it rewarding to use your music to draw attention to mental health?
The best thing I love about what I do, and if you’ve been to shows, is that you’re in a specific place where you’re open to hearing some things that might not always be. you know? Like, it creates a space for you to dig deeper into yourself when you’re surrounded by all these people, and music has that effect, so it can be a really special time to dig deeper with people.
Do you have a particular song that really does that with your audience?
It is very unique to people. When I start different songs, I can see different people have taken certain songs [to heart]. I now have a song called “Save My Life,” and it’s about people showing up to you, and every so often, I’ll start that song and see a mother and daughter hugging and crying. I have a song, “Don’t Give Up on Me,” which I think offers some of that. “Keep Your Head Up” is a song that people use almost like aspirin when they’re not feeling well.
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