Be a positive person. Always look at that glass half full. Positive people attract positive energy. It’s ok to have bad days here and there and have that cry and hate everything for a day because that’s part of the healing process but in general, try to see the good in everything and everyone around you.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Moriber.
Brooke Moriber’s powerhouse vocals and emotional songwriting have connected with audiences from New York City to Nashville — the two towns she calls home. This is reflected in her new single “This Town Made Us” out now on Reviver Records. Inspired by the likes of Jennifer Nettles, Ingrid Andress, Brandi Carlile, and her idol Linda Ronstadt among many others, Brooke is poised to take her place among the biggest voices in country music.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
My mom. We had no money and were evicted from 5 apartments when my parents split up. Ate countless dinners from the tasting bar at the local market. She still found a way to push me to follow my dreams and get me to auditions. She taught me how to make something out of nothing and to this day I squeeze that tube of toothpaste to its very end until my fingers hurt!
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with a rare eye disease that stole my sight for 4 years. The doctors told me I would go completely blind without high doses of steroids and chemotherapeutic drugs. I was told that, in most cases, the disease does not go away and that I would be taking these medicines for the rest of my life. They told me there was nothing I could do to control it, no homeopathic remedies or miracles. It was a very isolating time and the treatments were almost as bad as the disease itself. I had to grow up very quickly realizing that doctors can’t fix everything and no one can really help you through something but yourself. I turned to songwriting as an outlet and it became my best friend. I also taught myself to meditate to will away the cells attacking my eyes despite the doctors telling me to just learn to live with it. When the disease went in to remission those four years later, the doctors were shocked. I realized how powerful the human spirit is and that music is one of the many ways that spirit can channel its ability to heal.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
That time I just described when I lost my sight was definitely the biggest setback I’ve ever experienced in every way. At first, I thought I would never be able to perform again. But I did. Even during the worst periods of the disease, I found ways to work around it and, in the end, it became the thing that made me the person and artist I am today. I may never have become a songwriter without it. Since the day I got my sight back (after one of several surgeries) I will never forget how I felt when they removed the bandages. I remember seeing things for the first time in four years and how it all felt so bright and high definition. Seeing leaves on the trees and crying from how beautiful it all was. I remember promising myself that I would never take this for granted. Never forget that I am so lucky to be on the other side of it and to have discovered my love for songwriting because of it. I am a true believer that everything does happen for a reason, but it’s up to you to make it a reason. I found my voice when I lost my sight. I discovered who I was as an artist and what my message was. I have a purpose now for what I do and that is to connect with other people and heal together through messages of inner strength, resilience, and self-acceptance. Sometimes the thing that almost breaks us is the thing that makes us the person we were meant to be.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I started out performing as a child and, being a native New Yorker, did a number of Broadway musicals. My first professional gig was playing Young Cosette on Broadway when I was 8 years old. I think being a child in the business forces you to grow a thick skin early on. So much rejection. So many extreme highs and lows. It’s a lot when you’re that young but it did teach me to just keep going because somehow the universe always provides and there is always the next opportunity. I remember spending a year preparing and auditioning for a show I wanted so badly and how devastated I was when I didn’t get the part. A year after that, the show closed and failed miserably and the director hired me for another (much more successful) show. You just have to keep the faith because you never know what’s around the corner.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- The first step is to give yourself a phrase to remind yourself to keep going. Mine is super cheesy and I stole it from the Nike commercials but I love it — “just do it.” Every time I procrastinate on something or start feeling sorry for myself it reminds me to pick myself up and “just do it”!
- Look for other things in your life other than your dreams and ambitions that make you happy. The more you have the more you have. It takes the pressure off the importance of the thing you’re working towards and in turn you will have more of an ease going about it and ability to bounce back. For example — find your person! Someone who can go through this journey with you.
- Cry. Let it out when things suck. Crying is a healthy way of cleansing and letting go. Let it out so it doesn’t weigh you down. I think part of my strength comes from allowing myself to every now and then just break down for an hour or two so I can then pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back in the ring.
- Be proactive with your physical and mental health. Don’t wait for something to go wrong to take care of yourself. Little things like reminding yourself to breathe are really good-we all hold our breath too much (I know I do) and it’s literally something you can’t live without! And exercising itself teaches self-discipline and perseverance so it’s all good!
- Be a positive person. Always look at that glass half full. Positive people attract positive energy. It’s ok to have bad days here and there and have that cry and hate everything for a day because that’s part of the healing process but in general, try to see the good in everything and everyone around you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would like to start a kindness movement. We are in such a high-tech, internet-based world that it’s too easy to forget how to relate to each other on a real human level. I think we need to be reminded that we are all going through this crazy journey of human existence, of life together.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Linda Ronstadt. She has always been my inspiration as a singer and role model as a performer and she has handled her recent health setbacks with such grace. I am just in awe of her.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I am very active and easy to find on social media! Just type in @brookemoriber on all platforms — I have a fun cover series on Instagram and some adorable videos with my bunny Sherlock on TikTok. And don’t forget to follow me on Spotify for all my latest releases!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!