What’s up Hardcore Humans! This week on The Hardcore Humanism Podcast I was thrilled to talk with Jacoby Shaddix – founding member, vocalist and songwriter of the band Papa Roach. Papa Roach has been making great music for over 25 years and have sold over 30 million albums. Papa Roach’s music has been classified as “nu metal” – a sub genre of heavy metal music that combines metal with other genres, including Hip Hop, Emo and Alternative Rock. Not only is Papa Roach considered one of the best nu metal bands of all time, but also their album Infest (2000) is considered one of the greatest nu metal albums of all time, and their song “Last Resort” is considered one of the greatest nu metal songs of all time. Pap Roach is celebrating their career with their greatest hits album Greatest Hits Volume 2 – the Better Noise Years.
One of the core goals of humanistic approaches to psychotherapy is to provide a safe space for an individual to identify the various internal and external forces that interfere with their ability to self-actualize and live an authentic and purpose-driven life. Oftentimes, one such force is the negative judgment that we put on ourselves and that others put on us as we struggle. When we are self-critical, we judge ourselves with harsh negative thoughts that are demeaning rather than supportive. Predictably, this self-criticism can be harmful, in part because people who are self-critical may not feel they deserve the care they need to treat their mental illness.
Shaddix has been a strong and consistent mental health advocate, challenging the stigma of mental illness and supporting compassionate and kind treatment for people. And in our discussion, he explains his long history of struggling with depression and substance dependence, as well as the harsh self-criticism he engaged in that worsened his condition. Shaddix then also explained an alternative approach that he has been using where he engaged in more acceptance and forgiveness rather than harsh judgment and self-criticism.
As we struggle to break through barriers on our purpose-driven path, we need to be respectful of ourselves and make sure we don’t lose sight of how difficult that struggle can be. This is what humanistic psychologists referred to as unconditional positive regard – whereby we don’t think of people as less human or less worthy of respect and support during difficult times.
Once Shaddix was able to approach his depression and addiction with kindness rather than judgment and criticism, he was able to then take the next action steps that he needed to take care of himself during this tough time. This includes being open and honest with his bandmates, letting them know he needed some time to take care of himself. And he committed to a self-care routine that included prayer, reading, writing and meditation to help him stabilize.