#ImListening ; Panelists & Guests 2018

August 27, 2018


Alessia Cara

“I’ve had a lot more low points than I’d like to admit,” said Alessia Cara at the top of the year.

The Canadian singer-songwriter has risen to the top of the charts with her honest and compelling singles “Scars to Your Beautiful,” “Here,” and more recently,  “Growing Pains.” The Grammy Award-winning artist has quickly become known for her down-to-earth attitude and relatable lyrics. When Alessia teamed up with Logic and Khalid for the 4x multi-platinum “1-800-273-8255,” a song tackling mental health and entitled with the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, her candor got real…

Alessia’s sophomore album, The Pains of Growing, (out in September) helps define what’s going on in her life: “I'm not good with explaining my feelings verbally — the closest thing to explaining them is lyrical.” She continues, “We’re all a lot more similar than we think we are.”

Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and one of the biggest names in country music. The Georgia native has released four studio albums throughout his career which includes his No. 1 hit, “Country Must Be Countrywide.”

Gilbert has previously worked with United States Veterans to support mental health awareness in the military. He also continues to encourage fans to “break the silence” surrounding the stigma.

Lzzy Hale, Halestorm

Lzzy Hale is a singer, songwriter, and the co-founder of the group Halestorm. After years of relentless touring, Hale and her band have built a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the world. That, coupled with being one of the biggest voices in rock music has forced everyone to sit up and take notice of the GRAMMY award winning band. Their latest album Vicious was released earlier this year.

Hale has become equally loud when it comes to mental health. “Asking for help doesn't mean you’re broken. And if you don’t know how to ask for help, that’s okay too. Those of us who have a shoulder will let you lean on it!” she explained in a recent post. “We are all in this life together.”

After Lzzy’s friend Jill Janus (from the band Huntress) was recently lost to suicide, Hale has called for a more open discussion when it comes to mental health.  Lzzy recently started her own #RAISEYOURHORNS campaign on social media for mental health awareness.

Stephan Jenkins, Third Eye Blind

Stephan Jenkins is the lead singer and songwriter for Third Eye Blind. The band released their self-titled debut in 1997, and have sold over 12 million albums worldwide. The band released their latest album Thanks For Everything in August.

“My music is my way to rearrange the world according to my own hopes,” Jenkins once said, and he has shared his own experiences through a career of deeply personal songwriting.

Stephan illuminates the meaning behind the lyrics to Third Eye Blind’s iconic hit “Jumper,” and has always been an ally for mental health initiatives.

Conor Mason, Nothing But Thieves
The muscular guitars and pop sensibility of Nothing But Thieves has made the English band beloved all over. The band captured acclaim in 2015, and their self-titled debut album landed them on festival stages around the world.

It was after that first extensive tour that frontman Conor Mason began to suffer with mental health issues. “I completely crumbled,” Mason explained. The singer sought professional help to assist him overcome his new challenges. In the time since he’s been very vocal about his mental health struggles and having an open dialogue. “It’s knowing what you’re going through, and knowing how to be prepared for it.”

Dr. Chris Nowinski

Dr. Christopher Nowinski is an author, co-founder/CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and also a former WWE wrestler. He went to Harvard, played football as an All-Ivy defensive tackle, and graduated with a BA in sociology. Nowinski then earned his doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience at the Boston University School of Medicine before penning the book Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis, which discussed long-term effects of head trauma, namely concussions, in all levels of athletics.

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is one of the biggest bands in America. Since their debut in 1991, the Seattle band has steadily amassed their following through amazing live shows and their ten studio albums. They have sold over sixty million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017.

The band has long been an advocate for mental health, as far back as their song “Jeremy” which dealt with teen suicide and became a story frontman Eddie Vedder felt compelled to tell after reading a newspaper article. Vedder himself has often spoken about struggles with depression and how to reach out for help. The band continues to influence community health and social change through their Vitalogy Foundation.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he has won 23 gold medals, including 8 in Beijing, 6 in Athens, 5 in Rio de Janeiro, and 4 in London. This makes Phelps hold the record for most Olympic gold. Despite being on top of the world, Michael Phelps has also dealt with some very dark moments.

After years of battling depression, Phelps credits finally being able to talk about what he had been storing away as ultimately saving his life.  Michael recently announced a partnership with Talkspace, which helps connect those in need with therapists through a computer, tablet or smartphone, to help to remove some of the stigma associated with mental health — especially for those who are reluctant to seek-out help in person or may not have the financial means.

Charlie Puth​

Charlie Puth, the “See You Again” singer who began on YouTube, has released two studio albums, Nine Track Mind and this year’s Voicenotes, which have gone Platinum and Gold, respectively. Puth is one of very few people who has the ability to perfectly identify a pitch or a note in a song without what is known as a “reference tone.” This ability is called “perfect pitch.”

Charlie Puth was severely bullied throughout high school. The way he got through it was by staying true to himself, despite what everyone was saying to him.

Bebe Rexha

Bebe Rexha has become one of the biggest break-out pop stars of 2018. The 28-year-old recently delivered her debut album, Expectations, which features her personal track, “I’m A Mess.” The singer-songwriter’s newest single shines a light on her ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression. She credits exercise, as well as songwriting and performing for helping her deal with the day to day battle. Rexha is well-known for her smash hit collaborations including “Me, Myself & I,” with G-Eazy, and “Meant to Be,” (featuring Florida Georgia Line).

Barret Robbins

Barret Robbins, is a former American football center who played nine seasons for the Oakland Raiders with the NFL. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2002 and was the offensive lead that led the team to Super Bowl XXXVII that same year. Unfortunately, Robbins missed the actual Super Bowl. He was incoherent after a manic episode from not taking his depression medication.  

In addition to depression, Robbins has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

BJ Shea

BJ Shea is a native New Englander, but has called Seattle home for the last 20 years, the last 13 as host of the BJ and Migs show on KISW Seattle. His personal connection to suicide prevention goes back five years ago, when he had to break the news to his daughter (who works with him on the show) that her recent ex-boyfriend took his own life.


Shinedown formed in 2001 and has become one of the core names of Rock music. The band is fresh off the release of their sixth studio album, Attention Attention.

Shinedown members Brent Smith, Eric Bass, Barry Kerch, and Zach Myers introduced the project with a track called “Get Up.” It sends a powerful message about mental health while showing fans there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

As a group, Shinedown has been very vocal about their bass player who is also the producer of their recent album. The band’s single was written about Bass and his battle with depression.

Mike Shinoda​

Following the suicide of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, bandmate Mike Shinoda released his first solo album, Post Traumatic – “a journey out of grief and darkness – an album about healing,” said Shinoda. “In most parts of the world, suicide claims more lives than war, murder and natural disasters combined. I hope that sharing my personal story, in music and conversation, helps open up the door to new discussions and awareness about mental health.”

Stone Temple Pilots

San Diego, California’s Stone Temple Pilots featured both Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington as lead singers at different points in time. Weiland was found dead in 2015 after an accidental overdose, while Bennington was lost to suicide in 2017.

Known for their hit songs “Plush,” “Interstate Love Song,” and “Creep,” ‘STP’ is newly fronted by Jeff Gutt. The grunge-rock band still features the DeLeo brothers (Dean on guitar, Robert on bass and backup vocals), and Eric Kretz on drums.  The band’s seventh studio album (and second self-titled album) was released in March of this year.


Sugarland was founded in 2002 and consists of singer-songwriter’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. The country duo released their first album in nearly eight years earlier this summer which made their return Bigger than ever.

The album includes a track titled “Not The Only” which sheds the light on not feeling alone. The esteemed country act wants to bring their fans together as a community while doing something Bigger to end the stigma of talking about mental health.

Dr. Ursula Whiteside

Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Ursula Whiteside is the CEO of NowMattersNow.org and a member of the University of Washington’s Clinical Faculty. As a group- and individual-certified Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) clinician, Dr. Whiteside aims to minimize the gap between “us and them,” treating high-risk suicidal clients in her small, Seattle-based private practice using DBT and caring contacts.

“I’m thrilled to serve as a medical expert on the live panel for ‘I’m Listening,’” she said recently. “Hearing stories about peoples' lives help us understand suicide so we can approach this topic with people we care about. I look forward to answering questions via phone and providing resources even after the on-air broadcast has concluded. This is critical given that suicide is something that 4% of Americans seriously consider.”