Judith Owen the inspirational singer and songwriter

Judith Owen the inspirational singer and songwriter

By Liz Lockhart

Mental Healthy is proud to have had the opportunity to interview Judith Owen, an inspirational singer/songwriter who works to make life better for those with mental health disorders.  Not only does Judith write and perform honest and inspirational music but she starred alongside Ruby Wax in the production ‘Losing It.’

Judith says that it was the suicide of her mother when Judith was only 15 that drove her to make sense of depression.  Judith’s mother suffered from depression, a condition which Judith says she also shares.

‘The shame and guilt of it was balanced by my ability to write songs which allowed me to express the things I felt but could never say,’ Judith says. ‘It’s because of music I’m still alive….it was my therapy, when I had none, my self-medication pre-drugs!  It is my passion and I do believe it reaches parts other drugs/therapies cannot always reach.’

Judith says that her childhood was a loving, yet unnerving one.  ‘Always aware that my mother was emotionally fragile and needed protecting, our roles reversed and my strongest memories are of being an anxious child, an emotional sponge for and mirror of my mother.’

‘My family was destroyed by her death…in spite of her thinking it would release us for the better.  I hid in my private world of music and thought my songs, so exposed and personal, only meant something to me until I summoned up the courage to play in public whilst at drama school.  From then on, I knew I could touch people through music, resonate with them, and say what they couldn’t,’ Judith adds.

Judith has produced nine recordings so far, mostly in the United States.   She performs her solo show constantly.  ‘With each CD, I chart my battle with depression and anxiety and my hard won return to life, light and humanity,’ Judith says.  ‘I try to mix beautiful melodies with difficult stories.  The beauty allows the listener to enjoy the music first so that the lyrics can slowly hit home.’

She adds ‘Each song serves as a confession and a way of sharing in a safety, for me, and I hope the listener.  I think we all think we’re the only ones not invited to the party of life.  I’m just here to say ‘there’s no party, we’re all scared and lost…some of us just fake it better’’.

Judith’s CD ‘Some Kind of Comfort’ features some of the songs from the show ‘Losing It’.  Judith says ‘It speaks about the hard, brutal stuff we do: self-harming, addiction, depression, suicide…but in a loving, self-forgiving way that is both compassionate and kind’.  'Some Kind of Comfort'  is released on Courgette Record and is available on Itunes and Amazon.

‘I love  it when songs like ‘Tell Me’, which encourages speaking out about depression, get played on the radio, or are placed in films, that’s my way of getting the message through to the public at large.   So I’ll be producing emotionally truthful music and shows for as long as I’m breathing.’

Judith continues ‘Honestly, if I can write songs that make fellow sufferers feel less isolated, better understood and perhaps safe enough to speak out about their pain, then for me it’s the best job in the world and one which will continue to be my own means of de-stigmatising mental illness whilst honouring my mother’s life and death.’

Judith is about to do a series of videos based on the songs from ‘Some Kind of Comfort’.  She tells us ‘In addition to performing the songs in an intimate setting, I will talk about the meaning and personal impact of the lyrics.  It’s a way of reaching out to fellow sufferers, of connecting on a human level, especially when you can’t get out the house!  They’ll be available on my site http://www.judithowen.net/ on a monthly basis.’

Judith has kindly offered to give Mental Healthy readers the opportunity to win two pairs of tickets (four tickets) to her forthcoming performance at the Pheasantry on the Kings Road in London on Monday 21st May.  The show starts at 8.30 pm.  For an opportunity to win a pair please email me [email protected] and tell me, in under 25 words, why you would like to see Judith Owen singing live.  Entries must be in before midnight on Saturday 19th May please.  Winners will be informed on Sunday 20th May.

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