Tag Archives mental health awareness

South Asian Pop Star Nikitaa Releases Latest Single, “DITK”

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Mumbai-LA-based singer-songwriter, Nikitaa, has released her latest single, “DITK” (Dancing In The Kitchen). After a series of releases, Nikitaa comes to terms with a journey of processing emotions from an abusive experience. “DITK” is a more upbeat pop/RnB-style song than her previous releases. Nikitaa goes back to her childhood, remembering how reverting to dance in uneasy times. 

Born out of an abusive experience, “DITK” depicts the aftermath of the outing of her abuser by another woman. The fast, pop percussion and electric melodies of the song make it impossible to be still. Making the song upbeat, wanting listeners to dance were two purposeful decisions Nikitaa made. She wants listeners to welcome the same relief she was experiencing when physically shaking off unprocessed feelings.

The song came to Nikitaa while wandering into her kitchen, in search of a midnight snack after everyone else had fallen asleep. Flooded with emotions, memories of her abuse, tied to her childhood home, were beginning to resurface. Remembering feelings of loss and worthlessness that once overcame her in that same kitchen, Nikitaa comes to a sudden realization that she is only just now beginning the phases of grieving and understanding these traumatic events, but she knew that with time could, and would overcome all of it.

Nikitaa on her single, “DITK”: “Freedom is confusing when you experience it for the first time on a whole new level. And so, to represent those mixed emotions, I chose for DITK to be upbeat and very dancer/choreographer friendly, while the lyrics and vocals speak to my discomfort and pain. This song is all bass, drums, and percussion, with some guitars thrown in. I took on every possible role I could when creating this song– producer, writter and preformer.”

Born and raised in Mumbai, singer-songwriter Nikitaa, has spent her recent years in LA mastering her art. She is poised to be a breakthrough star on the independent music scene, creating a witty blend of sassy melodies, partnered with powerful lyrics that give added depth to each of her compositions. Nikitaa combines ethereal Pop/RnB with a subtle nod to the South-Asian soundscape bringing a new genre she calls “Goddess Pop.”

Her 2021 release, “Boomerang” made it onto two charts on iTunes in India placing #24 and #155, the first being the Top 200 Pop and the second, Top 200 All Genres. In 2020, the transcontinental singer has put out more than 4 singles – “Tum Aur Main,” “Universe,” “Goddess,” and “Clutch” and sang for a Netflix film Masaba Masaba and she promises not to stop.

Nikitaa is a born entertainer, with the ability to transcend language, culture, and ethnicity. She is on a self-proclaimed mission as an artist is to break down barriers, shatter stereotypes and bring people together under the universal language of music.

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How to Deal with Anxiety and Strengthen Mental Health

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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 BetterHelp.com. 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 ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

What Does Depression Feel Like?

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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 BetterHelp.com. 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 ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Janet Devlin’s Confessional: Getting Real About New Music, Alcoholism, and Mental Health

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After a stint on The X Factor catapulted her into the spotlight at 16, Janet Devlin’s life was forever changed. Ever since, she’s been captivating fans with her soulful voice and unabashedly honest lyrics. On the heels of three successful singles, “Confessional,” “Saint of the Sinners,” and “Honest Men,” Janet is back with “Away with the Fairies,” which attempts to recapture the carefree joys of teenage drinking. But perpetually turning to alcohol for escapism took a hidden toll on the singer – she recently revealed she’s an alcoholic and has been in recovery the past 5 years. It’s one of the subjects of her upcoming autobiography, My Confessional, which is scheduled to be jointly released with her album, Confessional, on June 5th. You can check out “Away with the Fairies” below and pre-order Janet’s album and book HERE. And don’t miss your chance to keep up with Janet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Cliché: Who were your musical influences growing up?

Janet Devlin: Oh there were so many! It was a mixture of everything that everyone around me was listening to. I got into Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Hal Ketchum because of my parents love for country. But on the flip side, I loved The Foo Fighters, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Smashing Pumpkins because of my babysitters!

How did your life change after The X Factor?

Everything and nothing changed. My family and friends all treated me the same but my career and opportunities were totally different. It was like I went to bed as a schoolgirl and woke up a singer. It definitely changed for the best though, because I was able to get into the industry at such a young age and it meant I had a few years that I could experiment, work hard and even make a few mistakes along the way. The show gave me the confidence to pursue a career in music.

What was it like suddenly having all that fame and exposure as a teenager? How did you adjust to that?

It was very weird, I have to admit. Considering I wasn’t a popular kid who had a lot of friends, suddenly having people know who you are is a bit bonkers! I ended up just socialising less. I would avoid going out and about for the sake of it because frequently people would yell things at me and they were more often than not, quite mean. So I just became even more of a recluse really!

Talk about your new single, “Away with the Fairies.”

I wrote this song about the rose-tinted glasses of youth, or more accurately – the beer goggles. I wanted the track to embody the happy-go-lucky spirit of drinking in your teenage years. How you can purchase a cheap elixir from the local corner shop that’ll remove all social anxiety and inhibitions, and in those days, all seemingly without consequence. So the song is one massive double entendre for drinking. For example: “…I’m in ribbons again…”, “…two sheets to the wind…” and “…a bottle of ghosts…” were all things I would’ve heard my uncles or cousins say. There’s a few references that only I could get like “…grant me wings…”. This is in reference to the copious amounts of red bull and vodka I’d drink in my teenage years – so essentially it’s me just asking to get drunk. A “moon-beam” child is the combination of moon from “moonshine” and Beam from “Jim Beam”. However, I knew that not everyone would be able to relate and I still wanted the listener to enjoy the track, so I created this almost mystical, fairy-tale feel for the song.

Why did you decide to go public with your struggle with (and ongoing recovery from) alcoholism?

Mainly because I felt ready to. I would hate to think about what might have happened if I opened up about it before I was ready. I knew when making the decision to talk about it, that I’d be met with hate. Dangerous hate though, such as “you’re not really an alcoholic” or the “your drinking wasn’t even that bad!” comments. Because they sound just like my justifications for me starting to drink again because these people didn’t see me at my worst. I wanted to let people know about the true meaning of the song. Otherwise I’d have to dance around the truth as to what the song is actually about, and when the book comes out there would be nowhere to hide.
 
“Away with the Fairies” contains a lot of references to heavy drinking and escapism. Did you have to get to a place where you felt you were far enough along in your recovery to be able to relive some of those emotions and experiences?

I would say that I’m finally confident in my recovery but not cocky. For me, even when I was in the middle of my worst days, I would use the pain of what I was going through to make art. It felt like the only way for me to truly understand exactly how I was feeling. Sometimes I wouldn’t know my true emotions or hurt until I went to write them down. So it served a purpose during and after my drinking.

With everyone in quarantine and self isolating, it’s a dangerous time for relapsing. What advice do you have or what coping mechanisms have you yourself developed to keep your mind occupied?

This is a tough one because everyone is so different. For me, I’m trying to treat myself with kindness. In these strange days it would be ever so easy to turn to the bottle in secret and pretend like nothing happened. But I can’t do that, the pain and the consequences would be too much. For me, I’ve been calling my therapist every week. Zoom meetings have been a blessing. I’ve also been calling therapist friends of mine and a bunch of folks from the rooms too. I’ve dedicated Friday evenings to my recovery because I’m well aware as to the pressure this current situation is having on my recovery. But it always comes down to: one day at a time. So I would advise people to keep in contact with the fellowship and maybe seek out help if they are in the position to.

Mental health is another subject close to your heart. How did you overcome your mental health struggles? What words of comfort do you have for those who might currently be in a bad place?

It is indeed, it’s very important to me because though I feel we’ve come a long way, there’s still a lot of stigma. I don’t know if ‘overcome’ would be the word I’d use however. Probably more like ‘manage’ because a lot of my issues are ones that will be there for life, I just had to figure out a safe way to live with them. What I’d have to say to someone going through it, is that the pain is only temporary. We convince ourselves that the pain is comfortable but it is merely familiar. One day you’ll wake up and not curse the day and mourn over the fact you woke up. You’ll welcome it with open arms. I promise.


We also want to hear all about your new upcoming album and autobiography!

Gosh, where do I even start! The album is a concept album, going back over the last ten years of my life. The book is necessary in delving deeper into the concept – if the listener so wishes. I wanted the album to be accessible and relatable to the listener so the songs are bathed in metaphor. It means if people want to enjoy the listen, they’re more than welcome to, but if another wants to know the meanings behind the songs, then the book explains them.
 
Why did you decide to release the two together?

I just always wanted both of them to come out at the same time. I liked the notion that someone could listen to a song and then read the chapter too, without having to wait to discover it in a month or so’s time. I also didn’t want to spoil the meanings of the tracks by releasing the book before the album either. This way, people have a choice.

In addition to writing music, you also write a lot of original spoken word! How does expressing yourself through poetry compare to expressing yourself through music?

Poetry comes easier to me than music in some ways. I know that both have no rules but I just feel as though spoken word can be such an effective and easy way to get my feelings out there. I don’t have to try and follow a rhyme scheme or anything like that, I can just speak from the heart. A lot of my songs start as poems too, which is handy as I have a page of lyric suggestions for songs. Like a songwriters cheat sheet!
 
Pride month is coming up! You identify as bisexual. What do you wish more people understood about bisexuality?

I would just wish that they would see that it’s real.  Be that in the LGBTQA+ community or in public. Some see it as a way to not say that you’re fully gay and others see it as a way to make yourself seem “quirky”. Also, that just because someone is bi, they’re not automatically promiscuous.

How would you respond to people feeling pressured about preferences or “picking a side?”

I would have to say ignore those who are commentating on your sexuality as if it were a sport. “You’ve slept with more women then men, you’re gay” etc. I didn’t realise people would be keeping score! Even if you’ve never been with someone of the same sex, your sexuality is still valid! We don’t look to virgins and say “Oh, you’re not straight as you’ve never been with the opposite sex”. Just do your best to ignore the ignorant.

Who’s your favorite bicon (bisexual icon?)

Got to be James Dean! I know that it was never confirmed but holy cow bells, what an icon! And his quotes on sex and quality are brilliant!

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Janet Devlin’s Confessions: Getting Real About New Music, Alcoholism, and Mental Health. Photo Credit: Emma Jane Lewis (@ejlewis).

 

C. SHIROCK Explores What’s Left Unsaid in His New Single, “Lost To The Night”

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Chuck Shirock (known professionally as CSHIROCK) cultivated his love of music from a young age and through the unique lens of an international childhood. He ultimately decided to pursue music and start building his career from Nashville before just recently relocating to LA. He started a band called SHIROCK before quietly recommitting to a solo endeavor. After hearing of his friend and co-producer’s painful estrangement from his veteran brother, Shirock was inspired to write his new track, “Lost To The Night,”  in which he contemplates what he might say to people that he’s lost. The song wound up taking on even more significance in the wake of the sudden death of his close friend. The message is clear – we should always reach out and treat each other with compassion and empathy, because you can never know what someone else is going through. You can listen to “Lost To The Night” HERE.

Cliché: Did you learn anything about yourself as an artist while you were living abroad? 

I was exposed to so much culture and unique influences growing up in the Philippines and Scotland.  My parents were doing missionary work there, and I was going to International schools.  I remember in the Philippines the traditional dances and rhythms…then in Scotland, hearing the bagpipes and other music that seemed to echo the beautiful landscapes…  Even when we came to America, we moved to Detroit first – I remember being 13 and falling in love with alternative rock and R&B.  We also had so many people from out of the country visit us from India, Africa, etc… my babysitter growing up was from Jordan, and I remember she bought me an Oud for my birthday one year.  It was definitely an eclectic musical upbringing…and I see how it has found its way into my music now.

Why did you finally decide to move to Nashville to pursue your music? And now I hear you are moving to LA? 

I moved to Nashville originally to go to a music school called Belmont University to study voice.  After college I ended up staying and being based there as I started touring, recording etc… there is such a vibrant community of artists and musicians in Nashville – it’s a special place.  

I have just officially moved to LA!  Literally about a week ago – I’ve been going back and forth between Nashville and LA for the last few years, and it felt like time for a change.  I will continue to work in Nashville writing, recording, and probably touring from there…but it felt right to be in a different environment for a while.  LA is beautiful, and I’m discovering so much new inspiration and creativity in this city…it feels vibrant and like an exciting time to be here. 

What was your thought process behind your decision to leave your band SHIROCK?

My previous band, SHIROCK was initially started as my project – I grew up always wanting to be a part of band, and even though we had some consistent musicians in the band, it never was fully a traditional “band.”  We ended up having some rotating musicians, so at first we transitioned from being presented as a 5 piece ‘band’ to a duo.  We ended up personally parting ways a few years later, and instead of continuing SHIROCK as my project, I decided to make a subtle transition to C. SHIROCK.  I view the whole catalog of work as one evolution – I love some of my songs from SHIROCK, and will continue to play them live.  But it felt important to me to have a clear beginning that represented myself as a solo artist.  

How does your new identity reflect your evolution as an artist?

It feels so much more free – I feel like I can chase whatever turns me on.  It feels more experimental, more pop, more fully pulling from my influences… There’s a freedom about being a solo artist that you can’t have in a collective band. I feel like it fully represents who I am as an individual and as a creative. 

Talk about your new song “Lost To The Night.”

“Lost To The Night” was co-written with my friend and co-producer, Thomas Doeve.  We were sitting in his studio in Nashville, and we were talking about a heartbreaking situation in his family, and his desire to reconcile and mend his relationship with his brother.  We started asking; ‘if we had the chance, what would we say to someone we lost?’  That was the start of the song – pulling from very personal experiences and real emotions.  

The song was inspired by a veteran and reconciliation.  How can we better reach out to our veterans? 

There are some incredibly heartbreaking statistics about the mental health of veterans of all ages…I think one of the most important things we can do is to check in and care for veterans on an emotional level.  Unless there are very evident PTSD symptoms, veteran’s mental and emotional health tends to be overlooked.  I think there should be more programs providing counseling and therapy to anyone coming out of the military, not only those with traumatic PTSD symptoms.  At minimum checking in with those close to us that have come out of the military is a great place to start.  You never know what’s going on with someone behind the surface.

Is there someone in your life who you’ve lost  or haven’t seen in a long time? Do you think about what you’d say to them if you had the chance?

There are a few – this past year I lost one of my dearest friends.  We lived together for a while, and created music together for years…he was like a brother to me.  He died unexpectedly this year, and now when I sing “Lost To The Night” I can only imagine Jon. I regret not seeing him more in the last few years, I regret not being there for him in ways I could have been…there is so much I’d say.  You never know how much time you have…and it hasn’t ever felt more real to me than losing Jon. 

Do you have a message for fans who are coping with a family member in crisis?

Seek help – ask questions, and check in with them.  It is so hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  I’ve had friends struggle with drug and other addictions, and it can be so easy to judge them.  I need to be reminded of this too – do what you can to understand their struggle and what it’s like for them…how they got there.  Healing will never happen through judging – understanding, empathy, listening and communication is where change begins.  And don’t be afraid to seek help – I started seeing a therapist a few years ago and it changed my life, my view of myself and my self worth…it might have saved my life.  I don’t know why I was so resistant to it all the years before.  I thought it was weakness if I needed it… seek help, encourage your loved one struggling to seek help, and do your best to listen and understand them.  We are all fighting our own battles…do your best to stay gentle.

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
C. SHIROCK Explores What’s Left Unsaid in His New Single, “Lost To The Night.” Photo Credit: Allister Ann ; Daniella Midenge ; Emilia Pare.

Samuel Jack Raises Mental Health Awareness in New Single, “In My Head”

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Mental illness is a deeply personal subject for Samuel Jack. The London-based singer struggles with anxiety and depression. His new single, “In My Head,” describes his fight to overcome the anxiety and depression that have mercilessly kept him down for so long.  Though he was once a shamed of his mental illness, now he’s eager to talk about it and encourage others who are suffering with poor mental health that they’re not as alone as they might think.  Rather than confining mental health talk to the shadows, Samuel emphasizes the importance of discussing these issues to begin to chip away at the social stigma surrounding mental illness. 

Cliché: In what ways does your childhood continue to influence your music?

Samuel Jack: My childhood continues to influence my music for sure, nearly everything I write is inspired from the music I fell in love with as a kid; old soul, blues, pop and hip hop to name a few – and also more directly, sometimes I actually write about experiences or emotions I had whilst growing up.

Talk about your new track, “In My Head.”

“In My Head” was a tough one to write in some respects, it’s a deeply personal song to me , about my struggles with mental health – and fundamentally, the fight to overcome them. 

What have your experiences with mental illness been like? 

When I was at my worst, my experiences with mental health have been huge, depression and anxiety are horrible, nasty things that can really have an effect on every  aspect of your life. 

Why do you describe yourself as “a mental health survivor?” 

I consider myself as a survivor, because I learnt how to cope, and despite the fact I think you can never really be rid of depression completely, I’m the closest I’ve ever been to being so. 

Did you find writing the song therapeutic?

Absolutely, not just this song either, whenever I write it’s a really cathartic experience for me. 

In your experience, how does coming for a family with a history of mental illness impact how you view your own diagnoses?

That’s an interesting question. I guess one would assume the reason I had mental health issues is because it runs in the family right? Wrong. My problems were born through situation, I’ve always been a balanced, mentally healthy guy until a mixture of career, financial, and emotional problems all combined to do some damage –  having said that, maybe the notion of being susceptible to these problems can be hereditary? Who knows.  

Why was it important to you to go public with your struggles now?

I just think it’s okay to talk about it now, I used to be embarrassed to talk about it, but we’re perfectly normal people y’know ? I’m not crazy. I just struggle sometimes. And I wanted to get it off my chest. 

How has mental illness impacted your relationships?

I’d say the problem with depression is those that love you don’t necessarily know how to cope with it just as much as you. Sometimes that was hard to deal with within my relationships. 

What strategies do you use to cope with your depression and anxiety on a daily basis?

To be honest, nowadays I feel so good I don’t need to use any particular strategies, but back when I was at war  with it I’d try anything – exercise was good, I also did this very weird thing where I’d imagine all my worry and problems as a ball , I’d close my eyes and if ever I was really really sad I’d imagine the ball flying towards me and then smacking it away with a bat, and I’d literally imagine the ball flying backwards into the sky and exploding. I know. Kinda weird. But it helped.

What steps can we as a society take to lessen the shame and stigma around mental health?

Just talk. It’s all talk. 

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Samuel Jack Raises Mental Health Awareness in New Single, “In My Head.” Photo Credit: LPR Agency.