Mad Tunes: My New Podcast on Music & Mental Health

Music has, in so many ways, been a lifeline for me. As a teenager I wrote songs to survive. As an adult I have playlist upon playlist that I can cling to when life gets a bit much. So many musicians – myself included – have stories that weave in and around the songs we create. Mad Tunes is an opportunity to hear some of those stories – to talk about the stuff that sometimes gets glossed over in a catchy tune.

In each episode I invite a songwriter to share 2 or 3 of their tunes. We listen to them together and then see where the conversation takes us. Each interview is unique and unscripted. It’s a window into some of the things that go on inside a songwriter’s head, heart and life.

Please share this podcast with anyone you think may be interested.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify Podcasts

Episode 1: What I Was Trying to Avoid by Writing the Other Songs

In this week’s episode I’m joined by Doll Normal as we listen to tunes from her album ‘Dreams’ and explore the different ways she has processed a difficult time in her life through songwriting. From the quirky and fun ‘Take My Picture’ to the intensity of ‘That Night’, we talk about how songwriting can capture a moment or slice in time … crystallising both the precious and the painful aspects of our memories. We talk about how choices around the style of the song can make it more or less easy to perform and how – with collaborators – it’s possible to hear one’s songs differently and fall in love with them all over again. In amongst all this we explore the role of perfectionism and how to tame it, making space to appreciate aspects of a song that bring us pure joy.

Episode 2: The Right Song Could Save Somebody’s Life One Night

In this week’s episode I’m joined by Kenton Hall as we listen to songs from his former band – ist – and his solo project Kenton Hall & The Necessary Measures. We talk about the highs and lows of being a touring musician, filmmaker and human being. We explore songwriting; processing grief; bipolar; hitting rock bottom and finding a way through. Oh, and how the right song can save someone’s life one night – so it’s worth putting the effort in. Art matters. Now living and working without the highs, Kenton challenges the myth of the necessarily tormented creative genius and talks about how he’s finding a sense of balance.

Talking about life, living & madness

A few weeks ago, I spent an evening chatting with Beth and Tom from ‘Notes on the Mind’ – a new podcast that aims to demystify experiences that are often seen as ‘mad’ or hard to talk about. I went in to the interview really questioning whether I had anything of interest or use to say. Some days are like that – I get tired of my own voice and wish I could express myself in interpretive dance instead. If not for Beth and Tom’s enthusiasm and my wish of supporting them in their endeavour, I would probably have cancelled.

What happened in that hour surprised me more than anyone. It was probably one of the most wide ranging interviews I’ve done. We talked about my experiences, obviously … but we also touched on issues around hospitalisation, coercion, the ‘borderline personality disorder’ diagnosis and the need for more humane and responsive mental health services. I got to speak, a little, about my more emerging understandings of my voices/visions/beliefs … that I no longer seek who or what they represent, but simply accept them as part of my world (even if I don’t always agree with what they say or how they say it).

If you’d like to listen to other episodes, access it through your favourite podcast platform or subscribe – see: