In recognition of World Mental Health Day (October 10), five-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes and four-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, New York Times best-selling author and mental health activist Jewel came together today on mental health research nonprofit One Mind’s “Brain Waves” show for an insightful discussion on anxiety and depression.
One Mind Brain Waves is a weekly webcast that features timely conversations with noted mental health experts and brain scientists along with personal perspectives from boldfaced names. It airs on One Mind’s Facebook page every Friday at Noon PT / 3pm ET.
Hayes guest hosted and led a compelling discussion on anxiety and depression caused by trauma with Jewel and Dr. Raphael Rose, a Clinical Psychologist and Researcher at UCLA, who also serves as the Associate Director of the Anxiety and Depression Research Center.
The webcast also featured stirring performances by both music stars: Hayes performed the song, “Still,” from his latest album, Wild Blue Part 1, and Jewel performed her new single, “Grateful.”
Jewel, who’s talked openly about the mental health struggles she experienced as a youth and wrote about it in her 2015 memoir, “Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story,” said sharing vulnerable moments is a giant step in taking charge of one’s mental health.
“It’s important to understand that we have a shared experience,” Jewel, 46, told Hayes during the episode. “Often times with trauma and the things that lead to it, we have this sense that it’s only happening to us. It’s the secret world and shame loves the dark secret world. And so, to start creating connection because a lot of coping mechanisms actually limit our ability to connect to other humans.”
Jewel, who will be releasing a reissue of her landmark debut album, Piece of You, on November 20 to celebrate the record’s 25th anniversary this year, recounted that her upbringing with an abusive, alcoholic father was marked by anxiety, depression, trauma and fear, leading her to leave home at age 15, and also, embark on her never-ending journey of self-discovery.
“For me, I started being in a ton of pain around age eight,” Jewel said. “We bar sang — my dad and I were a duet, so I was singing in bars from a very young age, where I had a front row seat to watching people handle pain. I could tell they were in pain. It was often drugs and alcohol, rage, relationships, sexuality, and I realized they had this pain — this original wound — and they covered it up trying to never feel it but it became a mountain and it was insurmountable for them. I promised myself I would figure out what to do with pain. I knew that statistically, kids like me would end up repeating the cycle and I didn’t want to be a statistic. If my nurture was so bad, could I ever get to know my real nature? And that was my quest at 15.”
Hayes, 29, who has struggled with anxiety and self-doubt for years despite his incredible success, said, “it’s ironic that I get most anxious when I perform, even though that is one of the best parts about what I do.” He added: “I still have a lot of insecurities around my voice. I just have insecurities galore. Being in front of people, while that’s the most fulfilling part of what I get to do, it’s still something that I deal with.”
Hayes also noted that he wrote “Still” while “going through a really significant chapter of change in my life and knowing that I would have to deal with these things, these insecurities, these anxieties, in an ongoing process.”
On October 10, Jewel will also host a virtual Wellness Experience World Mental Health Day Summit & Concert, in partnership with Kroger. The free livestream will cover mindfulness, depression, anxiety, and mental health through personal stories, songs, and expert interviews, and provide viewers with actionable steps to improve their daily mental wellness.
Brain Waves is hosted weekly by Brandon Staglin, president of One Mind, the international mental health and brain research non-profit, along with celebrity guest hosts.
To watch the full episode featuring Hayes, Jewel and Dr. Rose and all of the past Brain Waves episodes, visit our Brain Health Library.