How to Reinvent Yourself With Hall of Fame Musician John Oates

John Oates

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Meet John Oates

John Oates is a member of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates. He’s also an accomplished solo artist who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The American Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Hall & Oates has recorded 21 albums, 10 number-one records, and more than 20 Top 40 hits. John has also recorded seven solo albums.

In 2017, his autobiography, Change of Seasons, became a bestseller. In it, he shares his journey with managing his mental health as a famous musician and the steps he took to stay grounded.

Why John Oates Is Mentally Strong

John saw many of his fellow musicians develop drug and alcohol problems. He chose to avoid using substances to manage the stress of his career.

But, he says, he struggled in his relationships and mental health.

He now talks openly about his experiences with seeing a therapist, how he took a break from music and the strategies that helped him reinvent himself (including shaving his famous mustache).

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • How John’s mustache became famous
  • The one thing that motivated him to avoid using substances
  • How he began couples therapy
  • Why he started to see a therapist on his own
  • The steps he took to reinvent himself
  • The visualization exercises John learned in therapy and how those exercises helped him create the kind of life he wanted to live
  • How John became more selective about the people he allowed into his life
  • The role changing his appearance played in reinventing himself
  • Why he thinks it’s so hard for men to ask for help
  • Why he’s speaking out about mental health issues
  • How success can be a catalyst for increased mental health issues
  • Why he wishes he would have started yoga sooner
  • The strategies John uses to manage his mental health now

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

Sometimes we get caught up in the labels we place on ourselves or the ones others place on us. And we forget that every day is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves.

You might think, “I’m a shy person so I can’t make friends.” But you could choose to act friendly today even if you feel shy.

Or you might think, “I’m not the kind of person who could run a business.” But, you’re capable of learning the skills you need to run a business.

Sometimes, breaking free from our labels and reinventing ourselves can go a long way toward helping us manage our mental health and create our best lives.

Quotes From John

John Oates

I think a lot of men still to this day are reluctant to reveal and face certain things.

— John Oates
  • "I never thought I would buy into therapy. I never believed in it."
  • "I'd get up at the crack of dawn, and it would be howling snowstorms, and I'd go out, be the first person on the ski lift, [and] ski by myself."
  • "I started doing yoga very seriously during COVID when I was at home for a while. And I always wonder, why the heck did[n't] I start that 30 years ago? Nevertheless, it's been amazing for me."

More About the Podcast

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Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.