mental health

Why Getting out of the House is Vital for Your Mental Health


Today we want to share 3 reasons why getting out of the house is vital for your mental health. Over the last year, many of us have been trapped inside under government guidance. To protect ourselves and our loved ones, we’ve all been making ourselves busy inside. From baking banana bread to home workouts – we’ve all found different things to keep ourselves entertained.

Now, as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many of us are starting to venture further from home. But did you know that not only does getting out of the house decrease boredom, it is also important for your mental health.  

If you needed more convincing to get out of the house and moving again, we’ve rounded up our top three reasons why getting out of the house is vital for your mental health.

  1. It improves your mood
mental health

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Spending time in green spaces or incorporating nature into everyday life benefits both your mental and physical wellbeing.

By taking the time to visit green spaces such as parks or woodland, you can benefit from an improved mood, decreased stress levels and a sense of relaxation. This is because spending time outdoors lowers blood pressure and reduces cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones.

So why not hop on the next train to somewhere green and enjoy the calming and enchanting effect of nature.

  1. Fights depression and anxiety

According to research, Covid-19 has been linked to depression and dementia. Therefore, it’s important to do all you can to keep depression and anxiety at bay.

Luckily, spending time in a green environment is said to improve self esteem and improve symptoms of depression. As well, by getting out and walking in nature you are also able to get more active, which also decreases depression and anxiety.

  1. Getting outside improves your focus
mental health

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As well as helping to de-stress, getting outside and visiting new places can help increase your focus. If you’ve ever been struggling to get through a task at work, you may have noticed that by taking a break and short walk, you have been able to concentrate much better afterwards.

Getting out and about increases your focus so much that in one study, children with ADHD were able to concentrate better on a task after a walk in the park.

The bottom line

As restrictions ease and we’re allowed to go out once more, it can be tempting to continue sitting inside with a cup of tea. However, where you can, you should really consider taking the time to visit new places. Seeing something new or traveling somewhere helps to bring a bit of perspective to anything you’ve been worried about and can really benefit your mental health. 

Where will you head next?

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How to Know if You Have Bipolar Disorder


How to know if you have bipolar disorder? Everybody experiences mood swings from time to time. The ebb and flow of our circumstances, hormones, and emotions can have us riding high one minute only to feel like we want to disappear a few minutes later. So, if your moods regularly oscillate between happy and sad, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you; that’s just part of being human! But if your mood swings are more severe and you feel gripped by overpowering lows and highs, you might want to take an online bipolar disorder test.

Although this test is not meant to serve as a professional diagnostic tool or as a substitute for speaking to a mental health professional, it may be a helpful tool for assessing your symptoms. If you feel like the questions in this test reflect your experience, this may bolster your confidence and provide you with a clear way to talk about your symptoms when you speak with your doctor.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

bipolar disorderBipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that is characterized by the presence of overwhelming mood swings. These mood swings may feel so powerful that they seem to be beyond your control and you might feel as though you are helpless, gripped by the whims of your own body and mind. People who battle bipolar disorder often experience bouts of mania followed by periods of intense depression. During these conflicting cycles of emotion, you might feel that anything is possible and that you want to do everything at once. In manic moments, you might experience the sensation that nothing is real or that nothing really matters and this can lead to risky, dangerous behavior such as:

  • Reckless spending sprees
  • Impulsive decisions
  • Substance abuse
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Inability to focus

During periods of depression, however, the reverse may be true. People experiencing bipolar depression may feel as though they have completely lost all hope or no longer want to live. Many people who struggle with bipolar disorder have reported that, during the depressive phase, even breathing feels like too much effort. The euphoria of the manic phase has vanished completely, leaving a total lack of energy in its place, and causing people to feel hopeless, worthless, and suicidal.

What Should I Do if I’m Experiencing These Symptoms?

bipolar disorderIf you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you already know that the symptoms of bipolar disorder are different from feeling a little bit sad. You also know firsthand that your experience is not a typical mood swing. So, if your symptoms are preventing you from getting through the day, managing your emotions, or finding a sense of peace in your life, it may be time to talk to a licensed mental health professional about the possibility of bipolar disorder.

Although many people are worried about the stigma attached to mental illness, it’s important for you to know that there is nothing wrong or bad about seeking help for your mental health. If you’re struggling with bipolar disorder, that doesn’t mean you’re crazy and you have nothing to be ashamed of! Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented mental illnesses because people regularly throw out the phrase, “She’s so bipolar!” to describe anyone who appears to be moody on occasion. But these comments are simply an unhelpful form of misrepresentation. And because widespread misinformation can keep people from seeking help or learning to identify their symptoms, it’s important to be mindful of the danger caused by inaccurate comments about mental health.

So, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms represented in this article or in this Bipolar Disorder Test, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or seek out a licensed therapist. Getting help for your mental health is every bit as important as seeking help for a physical illness, so don’t let outdated misinformation hold you back! Bipolar disorder can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to control your life. You can take back control by talking to a licensed mental health professional today.

More about the author Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Read more health and mental health articles at Cliché
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Psychological Aftershock: 5 Life Events That Can Hurt Your Mental Health


Today we want to share more info about 5 events that can hurt your mental health. While no one’s life is smooth sailing 24/7, certain events can have devastating psychological effects on those affected. That said, there are ways to cope and people to reach out to for every circumstance. Whether you’re bracing yourself for psychological impact or hoping to get to the bottom of emotional lethargy, review the life events below for helpful hints on the potential causes of your mental health complications. 

Sustaining a severe injury

events that can hurt your mental health

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No matter how someone sustains an injury, there’s no denying that it’s a painful experience both physically and mentally. Some injuries come from sports-related accidents, but others can happen in the workplace or due to car crashes and collisions. 

Severe injuries can lead to serious mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance use and abuse, and even disordered eating patterns.

Anyone who’s sustained an injury from the workplace or a car crash should consider reaching out to a personal injury attorney like this. Doing this will alleviate a lot of the stress that accompanies this process, minimizing the impact of the injury on one’s mental health. Not only will these legal professionals ensure you receive adequate and timely compensation, but they’ll also grant victims much-needed peace of mind. 

Death of a family member or close friend

Death isn’t easy for anyone to handle, no matter how nonchalant a grieving loved one may initially appear. Having a death in the family or a close group of friends can rattle the most resilient and make it difficult to cope in day-to-day life. 

Those grieving the loss of a family member or friend may experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, which can prolong the healing process as they scramble to repair the damages of substance use disorders and mental health crises. Remember, the grieving process is never linear. With emotional wounds to tend to and obligations to meet, grieving a departed loved one may be a lifetime pursuit. 

Reaching out to a mental health professional can help anyone sort through their emotions regarding loss and bereavement. While a bit cliche, the sentiment “time heals all wounds” holds truth.


Woman in white button up shirt holding her hair

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When most people think of marriage, people often overlook the mental strife involved. Though there is beauty in the prospect of two people joining their lives and starting a new journey together, one shouldn’t gloss over the negative mental health impacts at hand. While it’s typically a happy event, there are psychological stressors that come with this time.

Combining two lives can be incredibly difficult, especially if the partners weren’t living together previously. Also, planning a wedding takes a lot of work, which alone can take a toll on an individual’s mental health.


The process of adjusting to the highs and lows of single life can be an emotionally messy process for any recent divorcee. It can become even more stressful when in the throes of high-intensity custody battles. 

Divorce can be especially mentally taxing when it comes to splitting finances. The best way to handle the toll divorce has on mental health is to maintain a strong support system and remain civil with the former spouse, especially if kids are involved.

Moving to a new place

Moving can be full of promise and hope, but there’s no denying it’s one of the events that hurt mental health. Securing a new place to live can be incredibly stressful, not to mention the financial toll it can take to put a down payment on the space.

Sometimes, alleviating mental health strain means outsourcing responsibilities. For example, hiring movers can lift a heavy load of stress off an individual’s shoulders.  

Before you go

Despite popular misconceptions, mental health should be of equal importance to physical health. Though life tends to throw out the occasional curveball, no one has to endure these high-stress experiences alone. That said, it’s critical to reach out to professionals when navigating psychologically strenuous times. 

Read more mental health articles at Cliché
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How to Deal with Anxiety and Strengthen Mental Health


Today we want to talk to you about how to deal with anxiety and strengthen mental health. Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress. Anxious feelings are common and experienced by everyone. They can be uncomfortable, but there are effective tools to calm anxious feelings.

If you are experiencing anxiety that is excessive or distressing, please reach out for help and know that compassionate support and effective treatments are available. A licensed mental health professional from MyTherapist can help you address and manage anxiety.

How to Deal with Anxiety

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Symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Feeling nervous or restless.
  • Difficulty envisioning that things getting better.
  • A bleak outlook and uncertainty about the power to change it.
  • Physical symptoms, such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, and an upset stomach.
  • Feelings of impending doom or panic.
  • A lack of concentration on anything other than the present worry.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Finding it challenging to control worrying.

Short-term tips for calming anxiety in the present include:

  • Recognizing and labeling what is happening. Tell yourself, “This is anxiety,” and then work your way through steps to manage it.
  • Deep breathing. Try inhaling deeply through your nose, holding it in, exhaling fully, and repeating. Deep breathing can help calm your body’s reaction to anxiety. Focusing on your breathing can help distract you from your worries.
  • Staying in the present. Ask yourself, “Am I safe in this moment?”
  • Focusing on your senses. Try consciously noticing details of a scent, a site, or a sound that’s near you. Try picking three in a row.
  • Getting fresh air.
  • A quick walk or even just moving to a different place in the room can be calming.
  • Listening to music: songs can be soothing.
  • Watching or reading something funny. Humor can be the best medicine.

Long-term tools for managing anxiety include:

How to Deal with Anxiety

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  • Identifying and learning to address what triggers your anxiety.
  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Maintaining a nutritious diet.
  • Therapy with a licensed mental health professional.
  • Medication under the supervision of a physician.
  • Regular and enough sleep.
  • Challenging your self-talk—looking for alternatives to your negative thoughts and feelings. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Connecting with others.
  • Regular relaxation.
  • Practicing stress management techniques, such as managing your time and not overcommitting.
  • Actively addressing problems as they arise.
  • Practicing flexibility and adaptability so that you don’t feel anxious if things don’t go as planned.

Calming thoughts for managing anxiety:

When you experience anxious feelings, try being compassionate with yourself and consider using these calming thoughts:

  • It’s your body in overdrive trying to protect you. You can ride out the feelings. They’ll pass.
  • Worrying will not change the outcome.
  • You don’t need to have everything figured out right now.
  • Thoughts don’t always reflect reality.
  • The past and the future cannot hurt you in the present.
  • There may be things going wrong, but there are also probably things going right.
How to Deal with Anxiety

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Tips for strengthening your mental health include:

  • Valuing yourself. Treating yourself with kindness and avoiding self-criticism.
  • Taking care of your body with exercise, the right amount of sleep, and nutritious meals.
  • Connecting with positive people who boost your feelings.
  • Regularly relaxing.
  • Managing stress.
  • Trading negative thoughts for positive ones.
  • Helping others.
  • Practicing gratitude.
  • Setting realistic goals and then putting in the effort to meet them.
  • Accepting imperfection.
  • Being flexible and willing to adapt if something unexpected or unpleasant happens.
  • Being kind to others.

Treatment for Anxiety

  • Effective treatment is available for anxiety management.
  • Please seek the support of a licensed mental health professional if you are living with anxiety.
  • Common, researched-based treatments include therapy, medication, or a combination of both, as well as healthy lifestyle adjustments and learning stress management and coping skills.
  • Your healthcare providers can help you find the best treatment plan for you.
  • Taking proactive steps to manage anxiety can improve your quality of life and help you feel your best.

More about the author Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Read more health and mental health articles at Cliché
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

What Does Depression Feel Like?


What does depression feel like? Everyone feels down sometimes. Sadness and stress are normal reactions to life’s challenges, changes, or losses. But depression is more than a passing bad mood. It may feel more intense and last longer.

Depression is a mood disorder that can interfere with daily life. While depression can be triggered by a difficult life event, sometimes when it occurs, it is unrelated to a specific problem.

Depression is a very treatable condition, so if you’re experiencing depression—or if you’re worried that you or a loved one might be—please seek help from a licensed mental health professional who can offer you compassionate support.

Depression can affect different people in different ways, but there are feelings commonly associated with depression.

People living with depression may feel:

  • A sense of hopelessness. They may find it hard to envision things getting better. Their outlook may be bleak, and they may feel uncertain about their power to change it.
  • Low energy levels. Those living with depression may feel exhausted or too fatigued to do even simple tasks. Fatigue may also alternate with periods of restlessness or anxiety. A lack of energy can make it challenging to engage in activities, which can in turn increase feelings of depression.
  • A loss of interest or lack of pleasure or joy. People experiencing depression may find they no longer want to participate in activities they previously liked.
  • Low concentration or difficulty with focus. People living with depression may feel “brain fog,” which can cloud the capacity to remember things, to pay attention, and to make decisions.
  • A loss of appetite or increased appetite. A symptom of depression may be a lack of interest or decreased pleasure in eating, or a lack of energy to prepare healthy food. On the other hand, overeating can also be a symptom of depression. Eating for emotional relief is an example.
  • Physical symptoms and ailments. Headaches, body aches, digestive and stomach problems, fatigue, and a decreased tolerance for pain can be physical symptoms of depression.
  • Irregular sleep patterns. Sleeping too much and still feeling tired can be a symptom of depression, as can an inability to go to sleep or stay asleep.
  • A sense of guilt or worthlessness. People living with depression often feel a wide range of negative emotions. Sometimes they feel guilty about experiencing depression, or they have a sense of worthlessness or defeat because they can’t simply overcome it with sheer will. Other times negative feelings may arise that aren’t related to anything specific.
What Does Depression Feel Like

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Please seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing feelings of depression.

  • People living with depression may feel misunderstood or uncomfortable talking about their experience, but communicating and seeking help can lead to healing.
  • Depression is common, and treatment can help significantly. While some may find it difficult to open up about how they’re feeling, people can find relief when they do seek help.
  • Feeling connected and supported can counteract feelings of isolation and silent suffering, and effective support and treatment can change lives for the better.

Effective, compassionate treatment and tools are available.

  • Seeking the support of a licensed mental health professional can help with the management of depression. Click here for more information on seeking help.
  • Compassionate care is available.
  • Therapy, medication, or a combination of both can be very effective treatments. A healthcare provider can discuss options and work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Green typewriter on brown wooden table

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Lifestyle changes can also help those living with depression.

People often find they feel better when they take proactive steps for mental wellness such as:

  • Getting into a routine by setting a gentle daily schedule to regain structure in daily life. Routines can be helpful for regaining focus and resuming activities.
  • Setting goals, even small ones, to help with motivation. Starting with small, achievable goals can lead to good results. Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due: even if goals aren’t completely met, the act of setting them is a sign of effort and progress.
  • Exercising to boost endorphins (the feel-good chemicals responsible for a “runner’s high”). Research shows that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression.
  • Healthy eating. Good overall nutrition is important for both physical and mental health.
  • Getting regular sleep and the right amount of sleep.
  • Challenging negative thoughts by checking and evaluating your thoughts when you feel depressed. Sometimes things seem worse than they actually are when you look at them through the lens of depression. Looking at situations realistically and considering alternative perspectives can be helpful.

Effective, caring treatment options are available for those living with depression. Please seek support from a licensed mental health professional or speak to your primary healthcare provider to find out more about how you or loved one can feel better.

More about the author Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Read more mental health and wellness articles at Cliché
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Surviving COVID-19 and Its Lasting Physical and Mental Impact


Surviving COVID-19 wasn’t easy for anyone. Everyone could see how the virus would impact a person’s body, but most of us ignored how it was doing a lot more than just that. There was loss of friends and family members to cope with and, on top of that, anxiety and depression that weakened us from the inside. While we have somewhat survived for now, the psychological consequences to follow Coronavirus are also a big challenge for the world. 

Although there is yet no data to prove it, experts believe there are two major reasons behind the increase in depression during the lockdown.

  • Financial stress
  • Social isolation

Humans are social animals and isolation can affect their mental health. They need other people, especially at times of stress, but it’s crucial to maintain social distancing to keep Coronavirus from spreading.

Millions of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Even the ones with the job had to manage with reduced salaries.

This is a time when people are losing jobs and their loved ones while living in the constant fear of death. Not getting to make contact with other people to share their feelings further escalates depression and could potentially lead to suicidality.

Although these were difficult times, things have started going back to normal. Cabinet has approved a relief package of $2.8 billion to make the transition easy for its people. Another problem is starting old life again after going through so much trauma. The following are some briefly discussed practices that will help you adjust to life after the coronavirus lockdown.

Understand Your Problem:

If you are having trouble seeing yourself back in the free world again, you should highlight your fears first. Ask yourself whether:

  • You are anxious that you have to work again
  • You are afraid of getting infected
  • You don’t know how you will cover the loss from lockdown

You will be able to resolve the issues only after you have identified and accepted it. There is nothing wrong with being scared, especially after what the world just went through. However, the problem is letting those fears control your life. You won’t be able to do anything and spend the rest of your life trapped inside the house if you don’t face those fears.

Talk to a Therapist

Any problem is only as big as it is in your head. It’s only normal for people to overthink after spending so much time with social distancing.

The whole healthcare was so focused on Corona cases that they didn’t pay much attention to how it was affecting people mentally. Most clinics were closed, and no one was willing to go meet a therapist. There are now platforms that provide online therapy.

Create New Schedules

The routine before, during, and after the lockdown will be different. You adjusted to living and working from home without having to go out for social gatherings, exercise, and other activities. Now you have to go back in the world again and tend to all your needs and wants that you had put on hold for so long.

The best way to make this transition is easy by creating a timetable according to the new lifestyle and activities. If you have a written schedule before you get back to the old routine, you are more likely to get things done. Remember, you can’t make a routine overnight. It is going to take some time and sacrifices.

Learn to Live in Present

If you keep thinking about the lockdown and how it affected you, you won’t be able to progress forward. There is also the possibility that you might be scared of the future. Worrying about the coming future is anxiety, and it takes a toll on both mental and physical health.

According to a study by Harvard, we only spend half our lives in the present.  About 47% of the time, when we are awake, our mind is thinking about what is not going on. Instead of worrying about how your tomorrow will be, you should work to make your present better. Thinking about past bad events is no better than worrying about the future. It stresses you out and causes depression.

Stay Away from Bad News

While the Coronavirus pandemic was no minor issue, social media and many other news channels created so much hype that people were more afraid than they should be. There were too many pieces of news about the virus and death toll that put many people in depression.

Many experts believe that we will now spend all our lives with the Coronavirus. If we don’t make mental peace with the situation, we will spend our whole lives in anxiety. It’s crucial that we stop following all social media channels that spread fear and news without any strong source.

Read more mental health articles at Cliché
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ToBy Releases Introspective New EP, “The Outside” 

The linguistic complexity of hip hop resonated deeply with ToBy’s soul growing up. This reverence would soon blossom into a calling as he found himself effortlessly channeling words and experiences into music. The rapper reconnects with his musical roots – and himself – in his new EP, The Outside, which becomes an avenue of exploration for everything from relationships to the stresses of fame to the uncertainty of mortality. Through it all, he recognizes the importance of staying true to himself and his art.

Cliché: What was it about producers and DJs like Nujabes that cultivated your love for hip-hop?

ToBy: I think there was like a serenity and like clear mindedness about music like that I really gravitated to. Like I could read and study to it, but I could also like zone out and be really emotionally moved but it as well. I remember when I heard “Aruarian Dance” for the first time I was like crying it’s such a simple beautiful piece of music. The MC’s that would rap on these beats too were technically skilled so I admired that about the form. Wordy, lyrical, smart songwriting that prioritized getting messages across was like a guilt-free reason I could use to justify listening for hours. It felt like I was actively learning about something new when I’d play those records.

In what ways would you say that hip-hop speaks your soul as an artist?

 Hip Hop’s focus on language and lingual arts definitely speaks to my soul as an artist. My first creative outlet was writing poems and short stories in pre-school so I’ve always been really fascinated with words and artistry involving speech. The avenues for hip hop are nearly unlimited too – we’ve seen it integrated in film, theatre, visual art, and nearly everything else so being someone who’s interested in many different things, I thought that was a really cool facet of the genre. It’s also an art form that’s heavily predicated on its relationship to the past. You have pioneers of rap and hip hop still kicking to this day and they’re still a major part of the influence that hip hop has globally. I think that appreciation for its own history is dope, it makes you feel like you’re part of league with a long and storied past.

You describe your concepts as an intangible force that you feel most connected to in certain locations. How would you describe the tether between art (or passion) and place?

I think the art you create is somewhat or entirely influenced by where you are when you make it. I can say the tracks I write in the studio come out much differently than when I write them outside on a clear day, or when it’s raining, etc. It’s partly a mood thing but it’s also that you’re tapping into the energy of wherever you are. One of my favorite memories writing music was when I was working on one of my first projects back in Miami. I was in a band at the time and we got to housesit this huge mansion in a really nice neighborhood, so we all just crashed there and wrote every day it was amazing. We’d wake up early and take walks, drink coffee, stay up late being musical…it was everything. And because of that experience, the music came out entirely different than if we were holed up in a studio for the whole experience. 

Talk about your new EP, The Outside. 

 The Outside is a return to form for me. It’s me reuniting with the style of music that I fell in love with when I started songwriting. It’s a deep dive into who I am as a person, the experiences that shaped me, the melancholy things I think about all the time, my relationships. It’s a collection of fragments, that are seemingly innocuous on their own but come together to form who I am.

Where do your lyrics come from?

They’re largely just interpretations of things I’ve seen, heard, or experienced. Songwriting for me is really just autopilot at this point, I zone out and let my hands and brain take care of the work then come back and edit that. I think a lot of the rhyming and melody is born out of intuition and carving the song out piece by piece. I always get really excited when I come up with lines that I like because it doesn’t ever feel like “me” doing it so it’s a lot of fun. 

What was behind your creative decision to juxtapose peace with chaos as one of the focal points of The Outside?

That was more of a production factor, oebeats was sending me a variety of different styles and the ones I ended up gravitating to the ones that had this intersection of heavy and tranquil. I wanted to bring a third layer of deep personal subject matter to the concoction. In the grand scheme of things. it was more about making the puzzle pieces of each song fit together cohesively, then sequencing it in a way where it all made sense as a whole. 

You discuss the psychological tolls of success. Was that something that you were aware of or prepared for when you entered the industry?

 It was and has been something I’ve played first and second party witness to. I’ve had friends blow up a considerable amount doing music, friends who lived the life and were coming down off it, etc. So I was pretty familiar with the way this industry builds a person up and tears them down. I’ll say no amount of preparation can get you ready for it. It’s always about the people in your corner and how steadfast, honest, and committed they are to keeping you in check. This is an industry where you typically tend to make fast friends and end up losing lifelong ones so that really plays a part in how mentally healthy you stay.

How do you prioritize self-care when your career demands so much from you?

I like to be by myself a lot. I think it’s a pretty lonely profession all things considered – it’s hard to relate to certain people sometimes but I’m very into my me time as it is. Reading, writing, and keeping mentally active are all ways I feed my creativity and also help me take a break from the demands. It’s important to not feel like a servant to the cause, constantly toiling away for the sake of your art or to meet some commercial standard. The second you feel like you’re doing it for anybody other than yourself and your need to express things is the second you let outside influences taint your purpose. 

You’ve mused a lot about your own mortality and the anxiety that that brings up. What impact do you want to leave on the world after you die?

I just hope that whatever I leave behind helps somebody out. I don’t need any monuments or grand gestures of remembrance for me, I really just want to know that in talking about what I went through when I was alive, I managed to make it easier for somebody else to continue.

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ToBy Releases Introspective New EP, “The Outside.” Photo Credit: Maxine Bowen.