Michael Ray Describes The Impact Talking About Anxiety Had On His Own Mental Health

'I just thought, if I feel this way, somebody else does and I need to reach them'

September 8, 2020

RADIO.COM's I’m Listening broadcast returns on Wednesday, September 23. During the 2-hour event, we’ll once again join forces with artists, athletes, and individuals nationwide to showcase that talk has the power to save lives.

Leading up to this year's special, we’re taking a look back at our past I'm Listening shows to share some of our favorite interviews throughout the next week.

Country singer Michael Ray has had his own struggles with mental health, and knows the impact that an intense, or even uncomfortable conversation can have on a person's well-being first-hand.

Ray, reflecting on his decision to speak out about his anxiety admits, "I went to a doctor because I didn't know what was going on and I literally described everything. He's the one who goes, 'you know anxiety is a real thing, right?'"

"I think for a long time, especially as a man, you know, you just don't talk about it," Michael explains. "You just kind of find a thing to numb it and go on with your life. So, I just thought, if I feel this way, somebody else does and I need to reach them.”

"I might not know who it is, I might not ever meet the person but I hope this reaches whoever it needs to. So, I got on Snapchat just to go ‘hey you know what? I know people look at me and think 'hey everything’s going great and you got everything together and everything in your world seems fine.' But it’s not, and here’s what I’m going through,’” recalls Ray. The impact was immediate, with fans sharing their own stories, and thanking him for his openness.

“It made me realize that I need to open about this, and help as many people as I can,” he added. “You can be as strong physically as you want to, but if the mental isn’t there, none of this matters.”

More details about this year's I'm Listening broadcast will be revealed on September 9.

In the meantime, we'll continue to share moments from past I'm Listening shows here and at ImListening.org, with previous guests like HalseyMetallica, and Shawn Mendes opening up about mental health.

We also invite you to share your story about your own journey with mental health. We will select some to be a part of this year's show.

Join us on Wednesday, September 23 for I’m Listening - an evening filled with support, compassion, and community - right here and on the RADIO.COM app.

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