(upbeat music) – [Marjorie] Hi, this
is Marjorie Morrison. – [Patrick] And this is Patrick Kennedy. – Welcome to "The Psych Hub Podcast: The Future of Mental Health." We had such a blast recording
this episode with Josh Groban. A man that needs no introduction. Josh is arguably one of
the greatest musicians of all time. He is known for his multi-platinum,
award-winning music, and songs we all know like "You Raise Me Up"
and "To Where You Are," but there is so much more to him, and I can't wait for you to
get to know him like we did. He was born into a music family. His father, an accomplished
pianist who always encouraged him to pursue music from a young age. After signing a record deal, he put his college education on hold, a decision that for him
definitely paid off. When you get to spend an hour with him, and really get to know him, you will see that he isn't someone
you'll have a surface-level, superficial conversation
with, he goes deep, way deeper than small talk.

In fact, I wasn't expecting that right at the beginning of this
episode, we just dive right in. He has a really unique lens,
a way of seeing the paradoxes in the world that aren't easily
resolved, and why even him, some days dreams about escaping. It was really eye-opening, to think that someone who has lived most of their life in the spotlight, someone that outside of COVID, lives much of his life in isolation, either on tour buses, in dressing rooms, or in his own head, and that the only feedback
and interactions he has, for most part, is either
people critiquing his music or those that are clapping and applauding. Josh is someone that openly admits that mental health is a long
slog towards a higher plateau and that it's just so important
to strive for that balance. He talks about the arts, and how they've always been
an important avenue for him, which is why he's so passionate about the link between music
education and mental health.

Despite the arts enhancing
test scores and opportunities, minorities have half the access to arts education than non-minorities. However, low-income students
engaged in the arts, are three times more
likely to graduate college and students from low-income households, when provided with arts education, increase their graduation
rates from 78% to 96%. In order to create a
future of mental health, where our youth are raised to embrace their mental well-being, we need systemic change. We need to make arts education
a priority for everyone, so that they can learn early
on that creative expression is such a fantastic way
to manage mental health.

We know everybody
experiences mental health as they get older. So why not take these
opportunities when they're young, to teach them outlets, to be able to tap into
their creative souls and find ways where they
can have stress reduction and go to these places at times when they are feeling the most stressed. I've had a lotta time
reflecting on this episode.

Josh is such a kindred spirit. Having a conversation with him really felt like a transcendent connection with me, with Patrick, and
I know all of you will, too. I hope you enjoy this
episode with Josh Groban. Josh, welcome to the show. – Humbled, I'm star struck with the amazing work that you do, and I know I speak for a lot of people in the artistic
community and outside of it that rely so heavily on this conversation, rely so heavily on feeling less alone through the work that you and Patrick and everybody at your
amazing organization does, and so, I first, I thank
you for inviting me, and for having this dialogue in general. It's vitally important and
in many cases, life-saving. – Well, thank you, Josh. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said less alone.

I think that it's all
about community and music does so much to build community. So maybe we can hear your perspective on kinda how you came to this, but also how you think music
can be an important medium in helping us improve mental
health in this country. – Well, you know, Patrick, you and I had a wonderful conversation
when we first met about kind of the convergence
of those two worlds, and I learned a lot about the work that you've been tireless
with, over the course of your career inside of politics and out, and for me, you know, my personal feeling about music and therapy, you know, it didn't have a definition when it was doing its
most potent work for me.

It was just simply something
that was feeling better for me. I grew up kind of an anxious kid. I grew up, you know,
as a lot of, you know, especially in middle
school and high school, a lot of turmoil a lot of shyness, you know, I didn't realize until later in life that I had
attention deficit disorder. So I was having trouble with, you know, social things and grades
and things like that.

And didn't understand why I
was feeling so disconnected from the world around me. And so that built a lot of anxiety and the anxiety would tack
onto a level of depression. And at a time when everything around me was still was seemingly on
paper to be so privileged and so good, I didn't
understand why on the inside I felt this torment, the shame, this all the things that come with that.

And so for me, having music
and having music teachers a place to play, a place to
collaborate with other students and whether it was a choir or
whether it was just bashing around the drums, just
as for fun coming home and having a piano at the house
that I could play around on before doing homework, and then just listening,
just listening to music being a fan of music. I wasn't, you know, I wasn't,
none of us were at that point but especially at the age
that I was at 12, 13, 14 I wasn't educated enough
about mental health to know this is helping
my brain chemistry. This is helping me focus. This is helping my grades. This is helping my depression. I didn't know any of that stuff. I just knew it made me feel good. And I knew that in being
able to express myself through music and having
a teacher that pulled me out from the back of that choir to say and now you're gonna get a solo.

And then getting the response
from that from my family, from my fellow classmates,
feeling confident for the first time ever
in school, the plant the planting of that seed of having. And it's why my foundation
is called "Find your Light" because having that light turn
on for the first time was, you know, it was, it was life-changing, it was life affirming. It made me realize that there was a way for me to communicate that I had found a language
that made me the most confident most eloquent, and it changed everything.

It changed everything. As soon as I started to
have an understanding of how the arts in my life
and the arts in my curriculum could help organize all that chaos. I used it as a tool, and it helped my confidence
for everything else. They put me on the, you
know, all of a sudden back of the class to the front of
the class, raising my hand. "Yeah, hell yeah, I wanna go to the front and I wanna solve that problem." You know, because the
confidence that I got in front of a microphone or
enroll in a play, I realized, "Oh, I had that in me. I've got a confident thing in me. I'm gonna go to the front
and I'm gonna use that for my math class or to
ask the right questions in my science class or if
I have to learn a project or memorize a passage, I'm gonna pretend that it's a monologue I have to memorize." You know, all the ways
that the arts helped me were it was all encompassing. It made me feel better, it was relaxing. It distressed me.

But then it also provided
me with a new way of understanding curriculum
outside of the arts, which to this day has
been so important for me. – It means a great deal
to have a multi-platinum, award winning singer
songwriter, like Josh Groban say that so that you're, you know that you're making a difference
in not just an artistic way but frankly, in a societal
way, by using your platform as a recognized artist to
speak about this subject, you know, for those of us
who've been in public policy we've known for quite some
time that as you said, from your own experience, music
education enhances success in particularly math, science and the rest of your academic success. It's not just a kind
of an extra curricular. And unfortunately in many public schools, access to music is really non-existent but I appreciate your emphasis of this 'cause it isn't extracurricular. It's essential to overall
success academically.

And then you point out very aptly, that it does produce changes in the brain. It stimulates endorphins,
just like we exercise. There's a natural release
of chemicals that frankly can help reduce pain,
can build resilience, and as you said, build confidence,
all of which we need more of these days as we are
really feeling the impact of social isolation due to COVID. Tell us a little bit about how
you think just as a consumer we could do a better job
at personalizing approaches to mental health, as opposed to having it just be kind of a
one-size-fits-all approach. – Well, you know, I think
there's a couple of things.

First of all, what you
said about, you know, the chemical changes in the brain, I started to read, you know,
the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks. And I started to realize that there was, there's so much fun
math that's on our side, and science that's on our side about it because there is the stigma when it comes to arts education and
things like that about, well it's a drum circle or
it's a macaroni picture. It's a thing kill time and it's fun and it's fun. And there is great,
there is great, you know, there's greatness in the fun of it too, because you want to keep kids' attention. And you know, it may not be
as life changing for all kids but it, you know, boosts,
it's a mood booster.

It's great, but it does, it does change. It does change the chemicals
in the brain and it does, you know, it works in amazing ways. And to that point that you're
saying about personalizing it, you know, the mental health journey and the discovery in yourself that you want to find ways
to become more healthy. It's not a one size feel. It's there are many paths to choose. There are many ways to go about it. And there are many types of therapy. Not all psychiatrists or psychologists are right for all people. You know, I, you know,
I went through a couple before I found somebody that I just felt was the right fit for me. Listening to music, I would also add, because of the emotional aspect of it, and because of the personal
lyrical side of it, we all make songs
soundtracks to our lives.

And the great thing about a great song or a play or something in
art that you connect with is that, when you talk about
that loneliness, it helps you it helps you feel things
or understand things in you that you either thought were you alone, or that you didn't know you were, that you could put words to, that, you know, it a great
song, a great piece of art helps you learn things about yourself you didn't know were there. And this in the way that a
great mental health professional can do, you know, and
oftentimes you don't know that it's happening as
somebody who's, you know, spends a lot of time in
isolation, as you talked about. I mean, I'm in a, you
know, outside of COVID, I'm also in isolation because I'm either in a recording studio or I'm in a tour bus or I'm in a dressing room, or, you know, so I'm often seeing the
world through the window and you make music from your heart.

You make music with every
fiber of your being and honesty and then you put it out into the world. And a lot of times the only
feedback you get from that is either from music critics or from a lot of people in a
room clapping and cheering. And my favorite thing
over the last many years where there has been easier
ways to connect via social media and things like that, is to be,
to get responses from people about songs that have, that
have made them feel less alone as I've been having an easier time writing about more personal
experiences with mental health and incorporating that into music. The, you know, I'll get an
aside from somebody who comes in they'll do a meet and greet, and they seem like they've
just got it all together.

You know, "Hey John,
hey, how you doing, man? Hey, great, how's my wife
and how they're doing great." And, and they're just, man, they're just, I feel like this guy is a whatever, he's either run, he runs a hedge fund and he's got a Ferrari up back here 'cause he won a prize or something. And it's, and he'll pull me aside.

Somebody will pull me aside and he'll just say,
"Look, the song "River" I understand, I just want
you to know I understand, I go through it every day and
I wanna thank you for that." And that's the kind of thing
that makes it so special for me because the fact that
what music has done for me, I'm then able to express
myself and connect with people, feel less alone with strangers with people that I've never met before because of that, it's incredible.

But Patrick, to your point,
you know, I rely on, you know you and Marjorie and the, those that dive into this on a much deeper
and professional level, as far as what the options are. I'm one of those people that has said don't be afraid to reach out, don't be afraid to start the journey because it's not always easy at first. It's not always a clear
line and the expectation of what you want from it can sometimes lead to disappointment on the
way to certain enlightenment about yourself and to as somebody who gets very easily frustrated,
disappointed by things, it's important if you make
the decision to reach out and to get help and to try
to understand yourself better and to be kinder to
yourself in the process, that that kindness should go,
you know, across the board of the process too, because
it's not an easy process.

There are gonna be times where you slip. There are gonna be times
where, you know, you work with someone that you think
is gonna really help you, and they say a bunch of things
that just don't resonate or don't connect or make you
feel even worse even sometimes. And that's gonna happen,
that's gonna happen. But it's the trying, it's the decision to take the baby steps, to
take that journey for yourself, that I promise is worth it. If you just have to, you
just have to keep going. You have to keep going.

– I think you nailed it when
you said your unique challenges are not unique. They're frankly, dynamic in this world. And that is, the role of
social media has so bifurcated the worlds from kind of
as we call it a recovery, the inside job versus the outside job and reconciling that our
meaning and who we are, is not what others say. As we like to say in recovery,
what people think of us is none of our business,
but it's building- – We're not, our psyche is not meant for the magnifying glass. – For sure. – We think we are, and
these tech companies they are, they are taking advantage of the glitch in our system, because think we're in control with it. We think that that boost we
get from a favorite or a like or a connection or whatever is helping us and it's all part of it, and
I can stop anytime I want.

And it's, you know, but the sense of self that we're all kind of
collectively grappling with, because of these technologies,
it is making us more inward. It is making it harder with all the noise and all the connection
there's a loneliness. It goes both ways too. I have enjoyed hearing
testimonials from fans and people like that on
social media as well, where they've been able
to reach out and say I'm going through something. And people say, I'm
going through this too. That I think is the original goal of what social media was
supposed to be to just connect, in a very simple and very human way. But it has taken a dark turn in the last five years and or longer. – You know, it's interesting
earlier you mentioned about confidence and how that confidence in high school really was what
gave you, what set you apart. And I think that's probably
one of these critical things that we don't, it's like
life is about kind of taking these risks and these risks, hopefully give us some
confidence along the way to take more risks.

For you, you found that
confidence in music and you know both of your parents had
backgrounds in music. And so maybe it was
like a natural channel. Do you ever think about
what it would be like for kids who are struggling
their confidence, which social media does to so many of us under that magnifying glass. And, you know, music, like you,
it's what resonates with me. It's like, that's how I clear my head. So I don't know, have you
thought about, like for you, you got there naturally,
for people who might not get there naturally how
to connect with something.

– You know, I think that, you know and I am so grateful that
I didn't have to go through some of my most tumultuous
and formative years through the lens of a social media filter. I think that if I had felt,
I really, I have a lot of, you know, I think the
generations under, you know Gen Z gets a lot of
slack, but flack, I mean, but there, there's a lot
of pressures that are in their world that I am very grateful I did not to grow up with. There's a lot more, there's an energy, there's an energy and an information boom and a magnifying on the
self and self image boom that I think that our brains
have not evolved yet to handle.

And so it's, you know, they say that one of the greatest killers of depression and anxiety
is finding ways to give back or go out of yourself and altruism. And the idea that if you
just, if you take yourself out of yourself, depression, and anxiety and self loathing and all that stuff, it actually makes you
an unexpected narcissist because what's happening
is it is making everything about you. It's just that, it's
not in the other term. It's not an ego thing. It's a, I can't stop
thinking about how much I need to change or I need to
be better for other people, so I can be seen a certain way. It's not that generation's fault, because everything around
them is pushing them into these platforms that makes them feel like that's what living a vital life is, having the constant approval of people or on the flip side, which is more common, any kind of anonymous
negativity that happens on those platforms is also, you know, a representation of the
kind of person you are, the person that you're believed to be.

And it's all, you know, it's all it's all completely distorted. So distorted there's enough distortion as it is when you're depressed. You don't need an added distortion of other people commenting and judging. And of course, as we know, from
the bullying in high school, the person who feels judged
does the most criticizing and the most judging. And so you've got this dance on social media where
everybody's feeling judged, criticized, bad about themselves, and they all just keep doing
it around to each other. So even as the technology,
everything is moving forward at lightning speed, I
find solace in simplicity. I, for me, for that generation, for anybody that's struggling, I think that it's the tech candy makes you think that it's helping you, whether it's diving into
Candy Crush for 10 hours or it's going on social
media and, you know, looking for approval. And I've found that no matter how deep the technology goes, that
the things that help me, are still the simplest things.

It's just unplugging for a minute and taking a break for
yourself to listen to an album you've wanted to, how many times do we listen to a whole album anymore? And just say to my friends,
"I'm gonna turn off my phone, I'm gonna turn off my computer, I really am excited for this album and I can't wait to listen to it." I used to do that, you know, I have to push myself to
do it now and I'm in music. And so I would say, keep it simple, keep your anything,
keep your goals simple. When you're in a dark place,
find things to accomplish that you can really knock out of the pack whether it's, you know,
cleaning out a cluttered drawer or trying a new, simple recipe, or just deciding to take that
hike, you know, whatever, something that you know you're gonna get through no matter what.

And just knock that down, connecting with people,
depression, isolation, loneliness. It makes you feel like nobody
cares, nobody's interested and that no matter what anybody says, they're not gonna help. I push all the time for
people to call, you know, suicide hotlines if they need it, if to reach out, make those calls and I'll get two responses for that. I'll get people saying, "I've done it. It saved me, it's fantastic. There should be more awareness for this." And I've also gotten
people saying, "I don't, I don't feel like I'm
getting what I need from it. I don't feel like they care. I don't feel like, and
that's the demon talking. That's the kicker about
something like depression when you're in that dark space, it's not just, it's takes an extra step than just reaching out. It's also giving yourself
just a modicum of permission to let someone in as well,
and to really understand what caring, what love,
what that feels like, because God the walls
go up, the walls go up and they just, it becomes impenetrable.

So I would say as far as
keeping it simple, you know, just reach out without pressure, reach out to talk about a
movie, talk about a TV show, talk about, to send a
meme you think is funny. So just get yourself out of yourself. I have found that when
I'm in my darkest places, I'm telling myself a
narrative that is just, I'm just going in circles,
I'm chasing my own tail. And sometimes just talking to
a friend about a dumb thing that I saw on TV, just
kind of like snaps me out of the spell. And so there's all kinds of intricate and long-term things to treat
and to work on yourself, whether it's through therapy or medication or long time treatment,
but in the immediate, there are things to break the
spell and art is one of them. Simple connectivity is another. And exercise is great going out and just taking a walk
is very helpful for me. – I love that you have two
things that are so essential to good mental health, that's insight into your own challenges and two, steps that you can take to
address those challenges.

It's psycho-cognitive, behavioral therapy whatever the illnesses,
is the change agent and helping people get out
of the rut that they're in or help them manage their diagnosis in a much more effective way. And you don't get there
by thinking it through, you get there by acting your
way into different thinking. So, you talk about that.
– And acting in a way that is, acting in a way
that is counter-intuitive to what, in the strongest ways to what your brain is telling you to do. It's why mental health
is such an exceedingly, important conversation because
we are everything I'm doing. I'm talking right now, moving my head. We're all in here, singing
is very mental, you know, and so as a singer I have to find ways to
almost psych myself out, not in a dishonest way, but in a way, getting out of my own way, way.

And so, you know, with mental
health, for those of us too that are spinning and cerebral, there is the misconception that you can't think your way out of it. I tried for a very long time. I was actually somebody
who resisted talk therapy for a really long time,
because I said to myself, what is this person gonna
say, that the stranger is gonna say to me, that
I can't say to myself. I'm, I know myself better than anybody. I know my faults, I know my hangups, I know my mental health hangups and I'm gonna, you know,
and I'm coping okay. So I'm gonna figure it out. And, you know, it's not
the best that it can be. And in many cases, it's the worst, the worst that can happen. – One of the challenges
being in public life is the concern that
you're gonna be found out, that in some way, you'll
be made vulnerable.

And of course your life
is so much predicated on a certain image. Having been through politics, this is familiar territory for me, but when I got out of Congress and I got heavily into 12 step recovery, I found that I'm unique,
but just like everyone else. And the challenge is, if
you let enough of yourself be transparent, you
realize that everybody else is going through similar challenges. And it does build that
intimacy that you need to get well yourself. So I love that admonition
to support others and reach out to others because
again, it's not intuitive but the paradox is, by helping others, you're doing something very selfish and that is you're really
helping your own mental health.

And I appreciate you making those points. – Well, thank you, Patrick. And you've been, you've
been a shining example of what daring to share that vulnerability and the strength in numbers
that comes from that looks like. And so, you know, I think
that we need to eliminate the idea that not sharing is courageous or in the military, it's
macho, whatever it is, it's, you know there are, there are, we've made great strides in people from all facets
of life and industries talking about their struggles.

And it's great, but there
are still, you know, in the entertainment
industry too, you know, the idea that, you know, we're
putting all kinds of people through incredible stress and really through very
conflicting ego challenges because young, a lot of young people who get into this business,
there's no manual. There's no, there's nobody. There's nobody, there's no like, you know, mental health guides to say
so you've gotten a record deal or, hey you've just been
cast in a new Marvel movie. Congratulations, now here's
what you should expect that will happen to your
brain over the next 12 months of the harshest inner and outer criticism you'll ever receive in your life. And everybody having a say about you, your look, your voice,
your style, everything. And then, whoa, how about
this also, (indistinct) you've got millions of
people who are screaming their heads off and creating a god complex and have put you on a pedestal,
that is, feels pretty good, but also, oh my God,
I'm on a pedestal now.

So there's that pressure. So, you know, these are the
things that you don't get told when you're plucked out
of high school, you know and all you wanna do is
fail and be okay with that. Have people around you say,
"Hey, that's all right. You learned and let's move on." I miss greatly the fact that I didn't get an
opportunity to mess up and be okay with that through college. I made the decision to
take a leave of absence which then turned into a big career. But I think that it is so important that the systems that are in place, where pressure performance is involved, whenever you're required to
perform at a very high level all the time, there's a
culture around that requirement that is that you suck it up and that anything else
that comes around it that might be forming a
bad mental health habit, or is causing you to
put on a smile on stage, but then be really dark
when you're off stage, well, that's just the name of the game.

And if you don't like it, you
can pass the microphone on or you can quit whatever job that is. And I think that there just
needs to be more understanding. I think, in the places where
that is supposed to be, you know, your muscle is your ability to control your emotions. Your strength is in your
ability to kind of suck it up and move on and perform.

And the amount that you can
perform is representative of how healthy and strong you are. It's a backwards approach
because as I mentioned, the voice, the mind, all
artistic sides of it, it's all connected to mental health. And I can directly look at performances and things like that, where I know I was going through a dark
place and thinking to myself, well, that struggle is
good for the art man. That struggle is good for that part of it. And just going, I don't know that guy.

I didn't like that
performance, I was a wreck. So yeah, I do hope that in having continuing to have these conversations, that it results in enough
people stepping forward in industries where it's looked down upon that that'll change. – I also think both of you very similarly are using your voices to
make in different ways to make it okay for other people. I have watched Patrick speak so many times and a hundred percent of the
time somebody will say to him and make him feel like I never knew, I thought it was just me
or, you know, I didn't know, and thank you, and right,
is that not fair to Patrick? Like there's always the, he
opens up and is so vulnerable and then everybody around
him is able to be vulnerable.

And when you talked about, you know, the song that people just
immediately can connect, you know "You Raise Me Up," but like, I
got it, you're talking to me, like, I think in a way, you
also are able to connect with people and make it okay
for them to not be okay, or to express themselves. And so I'm just so grateful
that there are people out there in addition to making it okay not to talk, to give a platform to make it okay.

– And it doesn't have to
be, it doesn't have to be, you know, a coming out
about mental illness either. It doesn't have to be
that, at first, you know. I'm happy if I'm singing a song,
that's either inspirational like that song or a song that might be about something sad that I've
gone through, whatever it is. I know that when I would
sit in those audiences for the first time when I was younger, I knew that I was experiencing something that was both very healthy
and also very private. And I didn't feel the
need to talk about it. I didn't feel the need to
shout up to the rafters and bring other people into that yet. I just knew that in those
moments, hearing it, made my day better and made
my next week a little better.

And so yeah, we, you know, we
talked about art in schools. I think there's a lot of
those inner private moments of comfort that are
happening with young students every time they're introduced
to the arts as a tool through their education, and
they may not talk about it, they may not go home and even talk to their families about it or
tell their friends about it, but the light bulb goes on
and it's something inside that that will continue to get brighter and brighter and brighter as they grow up and as they feel more comfortable sharing that light with others. – I was interested on something
from my own experience. It's put me hitting a wall and then changing
everything, leaving Congress leaving where I live and
leaving what I, the way I lived, so that I entered a world with a spouse, ultimately five kids and not it's a three
ring circus in the house, but it's not the three ring
circus that I used to thrive on.

It's not, you know, getting out
the White House and going in it was not making a vote and
feeling as if I'm all that. And it's not hanging
around with the big celebs. It's a very quiet and otherwise pedestrian non-exciting world, but in a way, it gave me a new lease on life
because I had to do something completely different than
what I was doing before. In your case, your talent
is just so extraordinary. It's a tough challenge,
I would imagine for you, because to make those sacrifices, when it's kind of like
politics, you have to be all in. There's very little kind of
being one foot in one foot out especially when you have all
the performances and concerts that you've now even scheduled virtually with the harmony coming out and with all of the online concerts that are gonna come from that. It's hard to think as two
terms of your own life when that turn will come, because essentially you've knocked it out. You've checked the box in this area. If it's about just your personal success, which as we talked
about is the way society kind of measures did we make it or not? You've done it, but obviously
there's something more, right? 'Cause it's the art sustains you.

But at the same time, there
may be things that in your life you wanna have a different experience and it'll take kind of
jumping completely out of the fishbowl for you to
have had those opportunities to have those experiences. – You may be right Patrick
and it's, you know, that comes down to where the journey becomes very personal for
to each person's life. You know, for you, the excitement of, and responsibility of
the job that you were in, and the constant pressure
and validation from that, was as is for me being in this
business is a drug in itself, is a feeling of that your
brain starts to raise a bar for what you've, what
happiness should feel like.

What, what your best self, what your most validated
self should feel like. I nailed that high note and
got Madison Square Garden to stand up for me. You knocked that bill out of the pack and helped a bunch of
people, you know, whatever. And, you know I think the
key underlying red ink word is balance, because the flip side of that is that we like it. We like to do the nucleus
of those things is good. I love singing, I love singing for people.

You love changing people's
lives through legislation, and through reaching
people through politics and outside of politics,
you continue to do it. You can say you jumped
out of the fishbowl, but you're using your voice
for good, just as much, if not more now, than you were when you were in the confines
of that government structure. So, you know, I think balance is the word. You haven't given up on it. You say, oh, it's not
as exciting or whatever, but I think you actually, you know, are a perfect example of
how to find the balance, how to eliminate the things
that are causing a spiral of negative behavior while
still keeping that nucleus of where the good is,
you know, take me back, take me back to the first
moment where I stood on a stage and felt that felt that
good thing, the good thing.

Not the pressure of having to sell a certain amount of records
or having to be places at once or having to deal with self
criticism, but that good thing the feeling you felt whenever
that thing was for you, that got you into politics. There is good nucleus
in all of these things that have these side effects. And I think the balance of it is, and this is where reaching
out and having a community of people that share that
passion is so helpful, is finding a way to, because
I talked to my therapist all the time about this. I have fantasies about
leaving the fishbowl. I have fantasies about
just moving to an island and going off the grid and just saying you know what, like
you said, I've done it.

I've checked the boxes. I have, you know, boom,
it's been almost 20 years. I've been able to do this, and sung for everybody around the world. And I'm not married and I don't have kids. And I think to myself, you
know, maybe I should just, you know, just give
myself the ejector seat to just say you know what,
nothing is required of you. How about that? Nothing is required of you, sit in that for a bit and enjoy it. And I always come back
to the determination, that to eject your seat is
also to turn off the light. And it's not an all-in, because the other thing
about anxiety and depression is it makes you feel like
it's one of the others, very black and white, and it's either this or it's either that
and finding the balance and finding the other colors, is really about doing the
hard work of figuring out when to trim and when to
try and refine those things that make it good for
yourself, good for the world.

Good for music, good for,
you know, the good in it and balances it, I'm trying to find it. This is, I talk about the journey. I'm not at the end of it, you
know, and I hope, you know, before I kick the bucket,
I find that enlightenment but we all wanna know when
we're laying in our beds at that moment, that we put in the work, it's not always gonna have the result that we want on a day-to-day basis. It's not a quick candy, like
a swipe on social media. It's a long slog towards a higher plateau, but it's one that I'm continuing to do. – It's, in recovery again, we say it's, we trudge the road of
happy destiny, which means we don't get to it overnight. We have to work at it day by day. And I love the nuance that you put on in my own experience,
yes, I'm still in it. I found a medium and a way to be in it that works better for
me than it did before.

And as I said, and you point out, I've got this added dimension
with the family and kids. So I thank you for pointing
out that, you know, we like to catastrophize,
we like all or nothing, and- – You jumped out of the fishbowl. You jumped out of the fishbowl. You gasp for air for a few minutes and find yourself at the
Monterey Bay aquarium. How about that. – It's so true, you know,
and I love, you know, Josh you're just so inspirational
and it comes so naturally. And I think it's because
of all of this insight that you have. But I think what you touched
upon is so important too about wellness and mental wellness. And at one point earlier,
you said, you know, it's not just mental illness.

And I think that that is one
of the flaws that we've done with mental health, is we've
made it mental illness, oh, that's your uncle Jack over there. But really well, mental
health is something that affects every single one of us. We all have periods of times
where we feel depressed. We all have periods of times
where we feel anxious, we all and by the way, that's
actually, that's healthy and that's normal. And there are times where we can't sleep. And it doesn't mean we
have major depression. It's those are the bumps
that life gives us, and I think, part of what we struggle with is this lack of resiliency out there, or this sense that
things should be perfect and happy and great all of the time, for all of the reasons we discussed today.

And that's kind of created
this bar for us is unrealistic. And then if somebody has
an uncomfortable period, they think something's wrong with them. So I think this conversation
around go get help, go get through these periods of time, you yourself are going to get better. It's gonna help you in the future, and you're gonna get those
bumps again, as we're learning, 'cause that's what life is. – There's not a lot, I totally agree. There's not a lot of nuance in this idea of the pursuit of happiness. The word happiness is a much
larger picture than just that. It's vitality, it's the ups
and downs of love and loss and struggle, and, you know, one thing, you know, elevates the
other and it's the journey. And so, you know, I
agree, it's the resilience of knowing there are gonna be bumps.

And even for those of us that
are on a social media filter where it looks like we're just
only showing our best life, there are so many bumps people don't see. And there are so many,
so many, so much trudging that needs to be done in everybody's life, that we can all share in and hopefully feel a little less pressure
to just show the final result all the time. – I love the album
"Harmony" the name of it. – [Josh] Thanks. – I look forward to go to this concert. – We, I felt like, you know, this album was made in two parts,
but it was, half of it was done before quarantine and then the other half was
after everything changed.

And then we were trying to
figure out how to best represent you know, the time that I'm in the songs, that I wanna sing to
feel better right now. And then a couple of
unexpected, original songs popped in there. And we just, the word that
just kept coming back to us is how do we create a continuity and a harmony with this album? And it was just a word that to me from when I first heard it in context of "Sunday in the Park with George" and Steven Sondheim was,
wrote about, you know, harmony and what it means to paint and
step back from the painting and see the whole, see the whole, it just seemed like a word
that was right for it.

– I'm so excited, I have no doubt it's going to be fabulous. Before we wrap up, you mentioned earlier your
organization "Find your Light." Can you share a little
bit about that for us? – Sure, so I feel so lucky
that I now have a platform to give back in a way that to a universe that gave so much to me early on as I mentioned throughout
this interview, all the ways that those teachers in the
arts in schools saved me. I was given a check and a bonus
check at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles in the
middle of a show in 2004 for about $50,000 from
fans who'd collected money and said, "Hey, we love the
philanthropic work you're doing.

We want you to start a foundation one day and this is our first donation to you." And that's just-
– Aw, beautiful. – I mean, I tell the story, but it's like, I still to this day, can't
believe the generosity. And that just goes to show
just how incredible my fans are and just how giving they are. And so, you know, many
years down the road, they'd tell me how it the
Josh Groban Foundation. We were giving a lot of things
to a lot of different places. And eventually I was asked
by Americans for the Arts which is another amazing organization to testify to Congress,
Patrick, you know what art's day on the hill looks like. It's a, generally, it's a pre-decided, you know, day financially but it's a good day for
artists to at least, you know, plead their case on C-SPAN and talk about the importance
of the arts in our worlds of the jobs and so I had an amazing time.

I spoke with Linda Ronstadt
and with Wynton Marsalis and I was so humbled to be there. And I realized in that
moment that while I could, while I could have a
foundation for a lot of things that my silver bullet thing
that I have experienced with were a little bit could go a very long way was in making sure that these
programs that are being cut every single day continue
to exist for young people, are the programs that saved my life, to continue to give a
spark for young people. And it's not about talent search. If somebody like me
develops, you know, says, "Oh this is what I wanna do for my life. I didn't know I had this voice." That's a bonus. It's really for just the
idea, all those other aspects, self-assuredness, confidence,
humanity, empathy, grades go up, college admission goes up, it changes everything,
it's vitally important. And so Find your Light is about
making sure those programs in school and out of
school continue to exist. So we give a lot of grants
to hundreds of places. – That is so cool.

– I appreciate that. You know, the memorial to
president John F. Kennedy was a living, is a living memorial in the John F. Kennedy
Performing Arts Center. And, you know, he liked to quote Adams, that my father studied war
so I could study politics. So my children could
study the arts and music. And it's a beautiful, beautiful way, of thinking about how important and cherished in our
culture, the arts should be and your foundation
helping to promote that is a value to all of us. I really appreciate Josh,
you taking the time today and I can't wait to see you again when all of this-
– I know I miss you.

I miss you and the family. Love to Amy and the girls.
– Thank you. – And Marjorie, so nice
to meet you and thank you for the amazing work you do,
and congratulations on it. I really appreciate it. – We're so grateful. I know I will be in
trouble if I don't ask you how can people reach you on social media or the foundation if
they want to learn more? – Well, I mean, it's just
@JoshGroban for everything, but for the foundation,
for the foundation, it's – Okay, perfect. – And they can learn.

Well, we've got some great videos that my brother directed
about the work we're doing and they can watch those and,
you know, donate if they want. – You are truly, very, very special. And, you know, it's,
we're all very grateful that you're out there using
your voice and sharing it. – Well, vice versa. Thank you so much for having
me and for the kind words.

Appreciate it, thanks Patrick. – Thanks Josh. (lively music) – What's crackin' Hub nation. It's your friendly neighbor, Kevin Hines. And here is your brain
health tip of the week. Connect with others. Sometimes connection is a heart-to-heart, spill it all out talk, but sometimes it's just a laugh-out-loud email. As a result of social
interaction, dopamine is generated which gives us pleasure, this is crucial. There was a study done by Perspectives on Psychological Science that showed that social
isolation has health effects equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So pick up the phone and send a text to spark that conversation and build on your connections today. Remember to connect. – [Marjorie] As always thank you for listening to our podcast. – [Patrick] If you enjoyed
the show, drop us a review. – [Marjorie] If you haven't already, subscribe to our podcast
for the latest episodes. – [Patrick] For the latest insights, check us out at (lively music).



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