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Idol Gives Back: Don't Get Depressed, Get Motivated

Around this time every year, the American Idol family airs Idol Gives Back, a show during which Idol opens its doors to a slew of actors, actress, musicians, and other famous faces for one purposes: To draw attention to and raise money (over $140 million to date) for the charities and other programs created to help the droves of less fortunate people in America and throughout the entire world.

In addition to the judges themselves and past Idol contestants, last night we saw celebs like Jennifer Garner, Annie Lennox, Victoria Beckham, David Arquette, and Morgan Freeman visiting, working with, and otherwise interacting with some of the very folks who benefit from the money Idol Gives Back raises and donates.

We saw performances by Elton John, the Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Jeff Beck and Joss Stone, and Mary J. Blige backed by Orianthi, Travis Barker, Steve Vai, and Idol’s own Randy Jackson.

Oh, and let’s not forget the comedic (well, sort of) enhancement George Lopez, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, and Wanda Sykes (okay, she was funny) provided us.

Overall, it was a pretty good show. A little heavily sprinkled with advertising for one of Idol‘s biggest sponsors, Ford, as well as a couple of new movies coming out starring Queen Latifah and Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, but, still, an overall good show.

I always enjoy Idol Gives Back because if you can wade through all the sponsorship and promotional stuff, you see the good the program is accomplishing. You see all the children receiving medical care, the families receiving food, and the communities receiving basic everyday needs many of us take for granted but without which they are struggling to survive.

I also enjoy the show because it’s a reminder to those of us who do have medical care, food, and adequate housing that there are millions of people throughout the world who don’t.

Americans aren’t idiots. We know this. Sometimes, though, many of us need reminding.

Someone told me last night she hated watching Idol Gives Back because it made her “depressed.” I thought about that and figured, you know, there’s a decent chance that’s a good thing. If you get depressed because you see how horrible these people have it, you can get motivated to do something about it.

Did you watch Idol Gives Back last night? What’d you think? Did it motivate you to donate, or help in some other way? Or did you just get depressed and change the channel?

Idol Gives Back: Don't Get Depressed, Get Motivated

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2010). Idol Gives Back: Don't Get Depressed, Get Motivated. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 22 Apr 2010
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