Dec 18
  • Written By Scott Drochelman

  • #215 – Brendan Berry

    Season 5 - Brendan Berry

    Grammy Winner On Recovery And Helping Musicians

    Brendan Berry grew up feeling uncomfortable in his body. Anxiety and suicidal thoughts came early and he found himself in many situations where he felt like an outsider. He excelled in sports, but even that seemed to take him away from his peers as his skills meant he was asked to play at higher levels with older kids. When hazing in sports began, he left the group and began hanging out with the kids who drank and used. He began waking up in the night to drink vodka after his parents went to sleep.

    His grades tanked at one point dropping as low as a .56 gpa. He became disheveled and wore the same clothes everyday. His relationship with his parents unraveled to the point where they told him they were sending him away to Cedar’s Academy. There he witnessed or experienced mental, physical and sexual abuse. When he finally escaped the situation he hit the bottle as hard as he possibly could.

    As his drinking and using escalated, a dream remained of finding a career in music. He found a way into music school but only lasted a semester and half before he ODed and ended up in the ICU in a coma with a ventilator. 

    The use didn’t stop there. What followed was rehab, relapses, and finally lasting recovery. With recovery came a life he’d always dreamed of. Getting back into music school, making music for film and television and even winning a grammy. 

    Today Brendan works for MusicCares which works to provide Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services, Health Services, and Human Services for people in the music industry.

    Tune in To Learn About 

    Early Struggles with Mental Health: Discover Brendan’s early challenges with anxiety and suicidal thoughts, creating a sense of discomfort in his own body. Explore the situations where he felt like an outsider, exacerbating his feelings of isolation.

    Traumatic Experiences at Cedar’s Academy:Learn about Brendan’s traumatic experiences, including witnessing or experiencing mental, physical, and sexual abuse at Cedar’s Academy. Understand the profound impact this had on his mental health and addiction struggles.

    Rehab, Relapses, and Lasting Recovery: Explore Brendan’s journey through rehab, relapses, and ultimately achieving lasting recovery. Witness the challenges and triumphs along the way that shaped his path to sobriety.

    Dreams Fulfilled in Recovery: With recovery came the realization of Brendan’s dreams, including getting back into music school, creating music for film and television, and even winning a Grammy.

    To find other similar episodes by topic, click here.

    Connect with Brendan

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