Singer-songwriter Chelsea Cutler spends a lot of her time on the road playing sold-out shows and making appearances all over the world. Being on tour is something every artist dreams about, but the day-to-day strain took a serious toll on Cutler’s mental health at the beginning of her career. The Connecticut native reached a breaking point in the fall of 2019 when she began to resent being on tour. Cutler was 22 at the time and overwhelmed with feelings of angst and uncertainty that come with the twenty-somethings.
After the tour, Cutler took time to really focus on her mental health and was meeting with therapists multiple times a week. Throughout this process, she learned that the lowest moments of life equip people with the tools necessary to keep on pushing.
“At this point in time, there is still a general lack of autonomy among people who struggle with their mental health. Therapy and psychiatry are not easily accessible, and many workplace environments still care more about output than employee wellbeing,” she explains. Cutler wants to use her platform to create positive change & push toward a society that prioritizes mental health above all. She told Billboard, “It has always been important to me to be open about my mental health needs, as well as my struggles because I want to be a part of the greater paradigm shift towards a culture that prioritizes mental health above productivity.”
Over the last four years, Cutler has committed herself to always prioritizing her mental health and wants her experiences to help other struggling artists. Cutler’s 2021 album, When I Close My Eyes, featured vulnerable tracks like “Devil On My Shoulder” where she confronted her struggles.
In Sound Mind’s latest episode of Unmasked, Cutler opens up about her journey with depression and shares some of the tools she learned in therapy. Unmasked was created by Sound Mind for artists to speak freely about their journey with mental health and be honest about the toll touring can take.
Cutler credits her therapist for the shift in her mindset and wants other struggling people to know they can win their personal battles too. She keeps itemized lists to help with productivity and highlights the importance of regular social activity. Cutler said, “Social activity is really important because your depression wants to isolate you and if you are able to rationalize with yourself, that’s a distortion.”
Artists like Chelsea Cutler are extremely important to creating meaningful change around mental health in the music industry. Check out her episode of Unmasked and stay tuned for more to come from Sound Mind.