Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Skip to main content
24/7 Helpline
730 Middle Tennessee Blvd. Suite 10. Murfreesboro, TN. 37129
Our Location

After thunderous success following the release of his third album, Stick Season, Noah Kahan seems to spend his time between tour dates, interviews, and musical collaborations focused on mental health advocacy and graciously reflecting on the whirlwind of experiences he’s had since 2020. 

On World Mental Health Day 2023 (Oct. 10), Kahan shared in an open letter with TIME that his nonprofit mental health charity, The Busyhead Project, had raised $1.9 million through concert ticket proceeds and donations, surpassing its initial fundraising goal of $1 million for the year. 

“Being able to use my platform to help bring some good to the world has been the highlight of my life, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your generosity,” Kahan said in an Instagram post about the milestone. 

Kahan’s Focus on Mental Health Advocacy: The Busyhead Project

Between the raw honesty of his songwriting and dedication to mental health activism, Kahan has garnered a considerable following of inspired and passionate fans. Kahan remains humble and earnest while being celebrated so widely and highly. 

“As I’ve been touring the country supporting my record Stick Season, many people have told me my music saved their lives—that I gave them the strength to carry on,” the Strafford, VT native said in his TIME open letter. “Though flattered and honored, I am inclined to disagree.” 

“The strength it takes to get through difficult moments and complicated challenges, mental and physical, comes from within,” he said. “Any person brave enough to share that they have made it through a struggle deserves every ounce of credit for making it to the other side.” 

In May 2023, Noah Kahan founded The Busyhead Project to promote mental health awareness, eliminate stigma around mental illness, and support organizations that provide mental health resources. 

“We wanted to find a bigger way to reduce stigma and provide resources to people struggling with their mental health,” Kahan said when the foundation launched. “I’ve been given so many wonderful opportunities in my career and it really is all for nothing if I don’t try and give back to the community that has supported me.”

Noah Kahan; mental health

Kahan’s Struggles with Anxiety and Depression

Kahan never shies away from crediting his parents for the space to have open conversations about mental health and for helping him find treatment for depression, anxiety, and depersonalization when he was growing up. 

As young as 10 years old, he began experiencing episodes of depersonalization brought on by anxiety and depression. Throughout Kahan’s teenage years and into his early 20s, he continued to struggle with his mental health as he navigated an unpredictable career as a musician.

“The lack of structure and uncertainty of finding success in a cutthroat industry wreaked havoc on my well-being,” he said. “The exhausting grind of touring while battling writer’s block and performance anxiety and the ensuing depression became unbearable.”

Freshly out of high school in 2017, Kahan moved to Nashville, TN, after signing a record deal with Republic Records. He spent the next couple of years writing, collaborating, and touring until the pandemic struck, forcing him to return home to Vermont for the unforeseeable future. 

“Suddenly, the world came to a halt, and in that respite I felt alive again,” Kahan said about this strange period. “The pressure was off. No one knew when the industry would come back, so I started to simply make music I loved again.”

Return to Vermont, Release of “Stick Season” Single and Album

During the pandemic, Kahan returned to therapy, started retaking medication, and accepted that taking care of his mental health would require commitment. “I still felt anxious every day, but I learned how to work through the thoughts, to sift the rational from the far-fetched,” he said. 

While working on his mental health in 2020, Noah Kahan continued writing music, releasing his EP Cape Elizabeth in May, teasing his double platinum-certified song “Stick Season” on TikTok in October, and releasing his album I Was/I Am in September 2021.

In 2022, Kahan released “Stick Season,” along with a 14-track album under the same title, launching him into mainstream music. Stick Season debuted at 14 on the Billboard 200, and since its release, it has topped music charts in several countries.  

In June 2023, Kahan released an extended version of Stick Season, which included collaborations with renowned artists like Kacey Musgraves, Post Malone, Hozier, Sam Fender, and Gracie Abrams.

Kahan on Touring, Collaborating, and Living in Nashville

Kahan spent much of 2023 on tour promoting Stick Season, playing sold-out shows across the U.S. and Canada. In October 2023, the Stick Season tour stopped in Nashville to play two shows at the Ascend Theater. 

While onstage in Nashville back in October, Kahan wasted no time encouraging fans to seek help for their mental health, urging them to practice self-care and lean on others for support–a common theme between songs at Kahan’s shows.

He’s slated to spend 2024 touring, too. Amidst a slew of shows and festivals across North America and Europe, Kahan will return to Music City in May, headlining two nearly sold-out concerts at Bridgestone Arena.

Reflecting on his time in Nashville, Kahan reminisced about the nights he spent playing music to crowds of 10 or 15 people and at open mic nights at bars around the city, trying to win people over with his blended pop, folk, and Americana sound.

“I feel like it’s really Nashville that’s the only place I’ve ever felt truly at home,” he told The Tennesseean. “I’ve been in a lot of places, but a lot of them I felt like an outsider. Nashville is one place that I felt like I belonged and I really love it there.”

Take Noah Kahan’s Advice: Seek Mental Health Treatment

Whether it is in his music, activism, or conversations with media and fans, Noah Kahan inspires anyone struggling with mental health. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to the mental health crisis facing Tennessee, it’s important to remember you are not alone. 

Help is out there, and TRUE Addiction & Behavioral Health is here to guide individuals toward overcoming mental illness. Don’t let yourself or someone you care about become just another statistic. 

For more information, call our 24/7 helpline at (615) 802-6460 or contact