How Gabrielle Giffords is Using Music Therapy to Heal

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

The world was stunned when House of Representatives member, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head while meeting constituents in January 2011. The democrat from Arizona was critically injured but never gave up. She has had to learn to walk and talk all over again and, while speaking was initially very difficult, she has regained an amazing talent – the ability to sing.Music

The former congresswoman posted a video on Facebook that went viral because it showed her singing gleefully along to “Maybe,” a song from the hit Broadway show, Annie. The song choice was particularly meaningful since the 44-year-old shared a photo of herself in the title role of Annie in community theater as a child.

Giffords shared the video wanted to show other brain injury patients how much they can accomplish with the help of music. During her recovery, Giffords saw a music therapist (with whom she sings in the video) at the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation and Research Hospital in Houston.

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Sia’s Hidden Face: Addiction and Social Anxiety

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

Australian singer, Sia Furler, has been around for a long time but some may struggle to recognize her. She often refuses to be photographed for interviews and uses stand-ins like 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler to represent her in music videos.LOS ANGELES - FEB 08:  Sia & Maddie arrives to the Grammy Awards

She has, of course, written songs for herself (including the smash hit, “Chandelier”) but she’s found a real niche in penning tunes for others including Rihanna (“Diamonds”), David Guetta (“Titanium”) and Flo Rida (“Wild Ones”).  Rather than trying to soak up every bit of notoriety, Sia seems content to remain in the shadows despite her immense success.

While agreeing to an often-quoted article for the New York Times last year, she declined to have her picture taken and when she graced the cover of Billboard, she wore a paper bag over her head. Some have accused the star of trying to drum up publicity but, really, the answer is much simpler – fame makes her very uncomfortable.

Although she, as a solo artist, is suddenly very popular, she had a chance to come into the public eye back in 2005 when her ballad, “Breathe Me,” was used in the final scene of HBO series, Six Feet Under. The song went viral, selling 1.2 million copies and her manager even tried to seize the opportunity to launch a tour. The only problem was that Sia didn’t want that.

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Imagine Dragons Musician Reveals Battle with Depression

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

When we see people achieve fame and fortune, too often we assume that all of their problems are solved. Of course, that is not how mental illness works. We know this from watching Robin Williams lose his years-long battle with depression. It can be so disorienting and confusing when a public figure reveals a struggle but it’s so important for them to share because it raises awareness.

Imagine Dragons has topped the charts with some of the biggest songs in the past year including “Radioactive” and “Demons” but now, band member, Dan Reynolds, is opening up about his personal life.  Overall, he admits to being “depressed as hell.”

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Golfer Peter Lawrie Blames Soda Addiction for Struggles

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

Not long ago, when people talked about addiction, our minds immediately assumed that drugs or alcohol must be involved but, nowadays, things are a little different. Sugar has become such a huge part of the American diet that people are struggling to deal with their consumption. Indeed, we have learned that there are addictive properties to sugar and sweet drinks such as soda are all too common in our society.

If you follow golf, specifically the European Tour, you will be familiar with the name Peter Lawrie. The Irishman was a staple on the circuit but has dropped from 161st to 900th in the Official World Golf Ranking over the last two years and the explanation for this change may surprise you.

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Hollywood’s Fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

In just a few days, the film adaptation of the wildly popular novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, will hit theaters and I can’t help but take a moment to really appreciate the phenomenon. Not only has the book (and its two sequels) done incredibly well but it seems to have sparked somewhat of a sexual revolution and awakening among women. It’s worth noting, however, that many men have picked up a copy and even Doctor Oz dedicated an entire episode to the book.Bdsm Toys

Of course, the hype hasn’t escaped the Hollywood crowd with many celebrities expressing their love for Fifty Shades but what is it that has everyone so captivated?

Radio and television personality, Ryan Seacrest, feels like the book has had educational value.  In an interview, he admitted: “I’m obsessed. I’m past the bathtub scene, so I’m making progress. It’s fascinating to see something like that capture the zeitgeist and also it’s really interesting to read… And I’m using it as a manual. I think it can be a study book for a lot of people… Parts of it can be a workbook.”

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Brady Bunch Actress Reveals Addiction, Emotional Struggles in Memoir

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

It’s sadly common to learn that, behind the scenes of some of our favorite family shows, pain and turmoil was hidden just beneath the surface. In the years since the final episode of The Brady Bunch, actress, Maureen McCormick, has been vocal about how much she struggled silently during her years portraying Marcia Brady but now she has chosen to share on a deeply intimate level.

In a new memoir titled, Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, 58-year-old McCormick opened up about her eating disorder, cocaine addiction, abortions, trading sex for drugs and the devastating death of her grandmother from syphilis.

Fans of the hit sitcom will know that this behavior is very different from her character on the show – Marcia never seemed to have a real care in the world whereas McCormick’s battles with addiction began when she was just 18.

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Bruce Jenner’s Transition Will Be Documented on Reality Series

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

For a while, people have been commenting on Bruce Jenner’s changing physical appearance. Since his split from most recent ex-wife, Kris Jenner, he has been spotted with longer hair, fuller lips and manicures. While speculation has definitely been rampant, PEOPLE magazine is confirming the rumors that he is transitioning into a woman.Bruce Jenner at the  'Keeping Up with the Kardashians/The Spin C

Jenner first rose to fame as an Olympian after he won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal. He became a national hero and, among other things, appeared on boxes of Wheaties, went to the White House to meet President Gerald Ford and appeared in the films Can’t Stop the Music (1980) and Jack and Jill (2011), both of which won Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture.

The first real speed bump Jenner faced was in the mid-1980s when he decided to have plastic surgery. On an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians (on which he starred with his then wife, Kris, and their daughters), he explained that the surgeon “botched” the procedure and the fallout took a toll on his self-esteem.  Afterwards, his popularity began to wane partially because people stopped recognizing him.

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Whitney Houston’s Daughter Bobbi Kristina in Medically Induced Coma

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read
bobbi-kristina2

Bobbi Kristina, the daughter of singers Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Georgia home. The news is particularly chilling since it conjures up memories of how her mother died almost three years ago.

Police were called to the home on Saturday morning after Brown’s husband, Nick Gordon, and a friend found her face down. They immediately started CPR as they waited for help to arrive. According to the Roswell Police Department, rescue personnel began “life-saving measures” after they arrived at 10:25am. The 21-year-old began breathing on her own and was taken to North Fulton Hospital. CNN has reported that she is in a medically induced coma in an effort to control swelling in the brain.

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Did Scientology Make Tom Cruise Ditch Nicole Kidman?

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

LOS ANGELES - JUN 08:  TOM CRUISE arrives to the "Rock of Ages"It’s been a long time since Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman divorced but, back in 2001, the split was so sudden, shocking and mysterious that the lingering curiosity is understandable. Recently, more details have begun to emerge and, if any of it is true, it’s very sad.

Marie Claire published a story about an upcoming documentary, Going Clear, which is being described as an exposé on the Church of Scientology. The man behind the film, Alex Gibney, makes some shocking claims about the downfall of Cruise and Kidman’s marriage and, so far, no one has refuted them.

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Jian Ghomeshi -His Antics -And Me

By Laura Bzowy • 2 min read

Canadians have been rocked by a sex scandal this week. Beloved radio and tv host/journalist Jian Ghomeshi was fired by the CBC because of his sexual antics. Faced with being outed by an ex-girlfriend regarding his sexual preferences (BDSM) he decided to take a leave of absence from his show Q, and after it was announced by the CBC that they were parting ways with Ghomeshi, he took to his Facebook page and tried to explain himself. You can read what he has to say here.    Jian Ghomeshi

I am not here judge Mr Ghomeshi, I don’t know him personally, and to be honest I don’t understand what is happening. But 9 women have now come forward, 2 of these woman have told their stories publicly, that Jian Ghomeshi hit them, choked them, pulled their hair, and bruised them in violent sexual acts. Actually I just lied to you. I completely judge Jian Ghomeshi. I don’t know him at all. I did listen to his program, and I found him to be educated, intelligent, culturally aware, informative, and enjoyable. But now when I think about him, I find him to be monstrous.

I am the first one to tell you, that I do not understand adult situations very well. As a child, I was sexually abused in an incredibly degrading and humiliating way, and while I have never repressed these memories, my mind has never let me evolve or mature in a way where I could understand these types of desires. I would rather watch Scooby Doo or read novels alone than date. Its not healthy way to live your life, so I do try to go out occasionally. But you can probably imagine that I would rather self destruct than have to understand what is happening with this, and you would totally be right.

Private time between two people should be between two people, two consenting people. This is what Jian Ghomeshi is telling the world. That his encounters with these women were consensual- and well thought out, which included safe words. If this is indeed true than I should not judge him, just because I disagree with his behaviour. But women are coming forward to talk about being abused by him. His employer found just cause to fire him for these actions – and I can only assume it had more to do than just the potential harming of the brand. His crisis management team has left him. From the looks of things, the only thing Jian Ghomeshi has left, is his law suit for 50 million dollars against the CBC.

But I want to talk about the women for a moment. These women who are making these claims (some now publicly). If what they are saying is true, these women are brave. And they should could be encouraged to come forward. It is so difficult to admit to being a part of humiliating acts, but by coming forward they are taking ownership and control. Which is so important. Furthermore, they are opening up a dialogue about abuse. There is a difference between kinky acts, and the claims against Ghomeshi. By coming forward they are not only helping themselves in the long run, but are helping a whole lot of others. They are  creating awareness. And I for one would like to thank these women for standing up for themselves -and for other women.

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