Andy Grammer has made it a priority to focus on his mental health.
The musician, 38, spoke to PEOPLE about taking care of his psychological health after a “really difficult” time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic “has been so hard on me that it’s forced me into therapy,” Grammer told PEOPLE exclusively. “Break it down for me [helped me realize] how no big deal it is and how cool it is to help yourself and your sanity.”
He recognizes that some people are reluctant to try therapy.” For me, it’s this idea of, we don’t want to feel broken, or we don’t want to feel less than, but news flash – everybody’s broken, everyone,” he continues. “No one is perfect. We all need help in one way or another.”
It is also a method of self-awareness: “There is no shame in learning about yourself, in mastering yourself, in understanding the reasons why you do the things you do, and in obtaining practical advice on what to do with yourself to get out of it, if you’re into a funk,” adds Grammer. “We should all work on ourselves.”
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For Grammer, going to therapy is something he describes as “so convenient” and exactly what he needed when the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered his usual routine.
“My favorite thing is being surrounded by thousands of people every night,” he explains. “When that was taken away, there was a lot of silence with myself. I didn’t really like it. It made me very anxious and uncomfortable.”
“When I started therapy, I started getting into the deep work that everyone needs to do,” the “Keep Your Head Up” singer said. “It’s just a good interview. I go to a great therapist, and I’ve been going there every week for about two years, and I really, really like it.”
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Grammer is also aware of the existing stigma surrounding mental health, particularly when it comes to men.
“There’s still a long way to go to not feel worse than getting help, especially when it comes to something invisible like your brain,” he explains. “I think a lot of men don’t want to feel weak.”
Detailing that he once thought he could “just overcome” his own difficulties, Grammer realized that “it doesn’t have to be like that.”
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Currently the world’s No. 1 streaming artist in the “Happy” category on Spotify – Grammer is lending her voice to a good cause and participating in the Beyond the Sidelines fundraiser on Friday in Indianapolis.
Grammer will perform to benefit Kicking The Stigma, the Indianapolis Colts’ initiative to raise awareness for mental health disorders.
Fans can bid on auction items, including autographed Colts memorabilia, exclusive experiences with current and former players and coaches, Colts gear, and other gifts and opportunities. They can also make a general donation to Kicking the Stigma, which first launched in 2020.
“I think there’s a lot of people who see me as the happy guy, and so when I say the happy guy is depressed or was depressed, maybe that will help some people to chime in,” Grammer said.
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