Andy Grammer: The Therapy You Didn’t Know You Needed

We’re pleased to welcome recording artist Andy Grammer to Cincinnati on Oct. 7, for Kaleidoscope, our annual benefit concert. Proceeds from this year’s event will support our Campaign for College Hill.

Known for his observations and affirmations, Andy Grammer energizes fans with his empowering pop anthems, including the quadruple-platinum "Honey, I’m Good," and platinum singles "Keep Your Head Up," "Fine by Me," "Don't Give Up on Me" and "Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)."

But when he was asked by Alessandro Corona of the "Cincinnati Enquirer" how he maintained his positive outlook through COVID-19 the past few years, he answers truthfully.

“I don't think I did. But I got into therapy, and that's what brought me around.”

Like so many of us, he’s struggled with his mental health—particularly the past few years—and he openly shares his experience to encourage others to keep moving forward.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing back Kaleidoscope, our benefit concert. Guests raved that the 2019 event, featuring Leon Bridges (pictured here), was like nothing else in the city.

An advocate for mental health, Grammer was recently a keynote speaker at the American Mental Health national conference. He recalled a moment when he was told that his music was No. 1 in the world on Spotify for music tagged as “happy,” but he didn’t feel that way internally. “It’s worth all of us just being honest with ourselves about where we are. And if we need help, to make sure that we get it.”

“I wasn’t feeling super positive. I broke down pretty hard, and that has informed some of my art. But I come at it from a place where I think we're here on Earth to grow,” Grammer shares. “I’m seen as a positive guy, so maybe it carries a little more weight when I say I was depressed during the pandemic and had to get into therapy to work through it. I hope that gives other people permission to seek help.”

Leading with His Heart

A proud dad of two little girls, Louisiana (5) and Izzy (2), Grammer is teaching his daughters “excellence in striving” and also “self-acceptance.” These are lessons he learned personally from his mother, Kathy, whom he lost to breast cancer when he was 25. Kathy cared passionately about women’s issues and fought for equal rights for them, and she was a very strong force in Grammer’s life. In fact, she continues to inspire him and his team. They refer to Kathy as their “momager” up in the sky and lean heavily on the lessons Grammer learned from her.

When asked to perform for our benefit concert, Kaleidoscope, Grammer quickly engaged. Excited by the cause of helping to support our patients and mental health initiatives, he made a generous gift to our Campaign for College Hill. In recognition for his support, the classroom at our new facility will be named in his mother’s honor.

Dedicated to “Kathy Grammer, Women’s Advocate,” the College Hill classroom will offer dedicated safe space to provide 1:1 educational and behavioral support to patients with developmental disabilities.

Lyrics from “She’d Say,” a song inspired by his mother, help us understand Kathy’s influence and how her spirit continues to guide Grammer and his family: "You are so much stronger than you even think you are/Let your heart, let your heart lead the way/That's what she'd say."

Listen to Grammer's music.

Life Informs Art

  • Grammer began his career as a busker on the streets of Santa Monica. He wrote his hit “Keep Your Head Up” for encouragement when he began selling a self-produced CD of his best material in between his performances.
  • “She’d Say” was written to convey what his mom, whom he lost to breast cancer when he was 25, would have said to his first daughter.
  • “Good Man,” the ultimate father’s anthem, was inspired by the birth of his daughters.
  • “Love Myself” was written during the isolation of the pandemic when he needed to show himself some compassion and self-love.
  • His godmother, Leigh, who stepped in for all the major life milestones after his mom passed, inspired his most recent hit. Grammer wrote “Saved My Life” for her, but he hopes when each of us listen to it, we think of someone who really showed up in our lives.
  1. s.

Join us for Kaleidoscope featuring Andy Grammer

Friday, Oct. 7, Aronoff Center for the Arts

Whether you know Andy Grammer’s music or not, you’re sure to find the night empowering. His songs will pick you up, affirm your potential, and encourage you to keep going.

Share this page

Go to the next article

Organ Transplant Program Success Rooted in Skill, Technology