Tuesday Tunes: Earth Day

earth day music collage


It’s Earth Day! To celebrate this special day on our planet, we’ve put together a playlist of music with nature-inspired lyrics/titles. Check it out on Spotify!

1. Willow Tree March-The Paper Kites

2. Currents-Eisley

3. Trees-Manchester Orchestra

4. Daisy-Brand New

5. Thistle and Weeds-Mumford & Sons

6. re: Stacks-Bon Iver

7. Dead Sea-The Lumineers

8. Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume-mewithoutYou

9. Lost Tree-VersaEmerge

10. Busy Bees-Silversun Pickups

11. I Woke Up Near The Sea-Lydia

12. Crystalline-Bjork


Bravery in Honesty

Artwork by Catina Jane Gray


Words by Maria C.


“Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave…
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is…
And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?”
Mmmmmm, I LOVE these lyrics. Normally, I’m not a Sara Bareilles fan, but I can’t resist these words.
I remember my fiancé thinking this was another angry woman singing about the scorn of a love went wrong, and I had to explain to him that this song wasn’t about anger at all. This song is motivation to speak your truth. I have finally developed the mentality that I’m going to say what I want and be who I am without fearing the judgment of others, and there is so much freedom in that. I remember when I first started going to therapy 8 years ago and was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I was scared to tell people, even my closest friends. I felt the enormity of the stigma that I believed existed. It felt heavy, and I felt like I couldn’t turn to anyone. Man, have I come a long way since then. Now I spout my condition as though it is a badge of honor. I had fought a war within myself when I was at my lowest point and came out victorious, and I continue to fight battles on a daily basis. I’m proud not to be ashamed of it anymore, and I am VERY open about what I deal with, that I’m on medication for it, that I’ve sought treatment and continue to do so, and that I find self-care to be an utmost priority.
I’ve realized that the more open I am about my mood disorders, the more I discover that others endure or have endured similar issues. I’ve realized that the more open I am, the less I care about what others think, and that gives me even further freedom to be myself. I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I couldn’t give a shit about what others think; I’m going to be honest with myself and others. The more I share, the more I’ve found that others share as well. The stigma I so feared I feel doesn’t even exist anymore. For me, personally at least, it’s disappeared. For me, I just don’t care if there is a stigma; mood disorders are real, our feelings are real, and we deserve to be validated and take care of ourselves. As far as I’m concerned, if anyone has a problem with my issues, he or she can suck it.
This song, “Brave,” is a poignant reminder that, in order to free ourselves and take care of ourselves properly, we need to speak up. It takes courage to fight, but what good will silence do? Nothing. It will do zero good. Saying what you want to say will do good. It will shed light on your own mind and on others’ minds as well. Honesty allows you to reach for and achieve a healthy state of mind.



 Check out Maria on facebook and keep up with her blog Head Above Water, where you can find this blog post.

Listen to This: Charli XCX “Boom Clap”


Words by Elizabeth Tolbert


While we anxiously await the much anticipated John Green book-turned-movie The Fault In Our Stars to hit the bigscreen this summer, we can start psyching ourselves up with its music. Charli XCX has released the first song from the film’s soundtrack, a bubbly pop hit titled “Boom Clap”. While the track is more toned down than her recent single “Superlove”, it still has me wanting to get up and dance. Driven by an old school 80’s beat but with a larger than life chorus, dance-pop’s breakout darling delivers an anthem big enough for the Hollywood screen. “Boom Clap” is infectious and cosmic, much like the singer herself, and I can’t stop listening to it.

You can pre-order The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack on Itunes. Listen to “Boom Clap” at MTV.



Tuesday Tunes!

OOE Bethany collage
This week, we put one of our bloggers in charge of Tuesday Tunes. Check out Bethany’s playlist below and listen to it on our Spotify!
by Bethany Polson
1. The City-Ed Sheeran
2. Be Brave-Sleeper Agent
3. Nevermind-Foster the People
4. Settle-Two Door Cinema Club
5. Cry – The Used
6. Bridges (Live From Spotify London) – Broods
7. Drowning Butterflies – Bipolar Sunshine
8. Milk & Black Spiders – Foals
9. Oh. Hi. – Now, Now
10. You Don’t Know – Breech The Summit
11. Leaves – Cheers Elephant
12. Stray Away – The Colourist
13. Human – Daughter
14. Love Slayer-Joe Jonas
15. Endlessly-Green River Ordinance

Ask a Counselor: Tips for Relieving Anxiety


Words by Hollie McCollister


Anxiety; we all experience it to some degree due to the stressors of daily life.

What is it?  It can be anything and everything from mild nervousness to a constant feeling of dread.  It may include muscle tension, muscle aches, or shaky feelings.  For me, I get that little fluttering in my chest for no reason that I can identify at the moment.  Some feel it in their stomach area; some experience it as an all-over body sensation.

The question is, “What can I do to help myself when this happens?”

If it is mild anxiety, there are a number of things you can do.  The techniques that I use and recommend to my clients are the following:

1) Deep breathing.  Take several deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.  I like to use a mantra as I breathe such as “I am love” or, if you’re of a spiritual nature, “Come Holy Spirit.”  You can come up with a mantra that means something to you.  Try to keep it positive as you’re telling your brain to tell the rest of your body to relax.

2)  If you’re having anxiety inducing thoughts, one of the things you can do is wear a rubber band around your wrist and pop it every time you have a negative or anxiety inducing thought.  You’re not going to hurt yourself; it’s just a technique to get you to recognize the thought and reframe it in a positive way.

3) When you have a thought that induces anxiety or you are feeling a bodily sensation that you recognize as anxiety, tell yourself, “I’m done with that!”  It sounds a little silly, but I’ve seen it work for many people, myself included.

4)  There’s a spot in the center of your body that is said to connect the body to the mind.  It is right in the center of your chest.  Tap or rub here for 30 seconds to relieve feelings of anxiety.

There are many more techniques to relieve anxiety.  It’s all about finding the one that works for you, and putting it into practice.

If your anxiety is severe, the best thing to do is find a good physician to rule out any physical problems, and seek out the guidance of a good therapist.  Speaking of therapists, if you decide to go that route, find one that you’re comfortable with and that will support you through this journey.  There are some very good books on anxiety that can be purchased if you decide to go the self-help route.  I’ve listed some of them below:

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can… by Margaret Wehrenberg (Aug 11, 2008)


Anxiety: A concise guide to Anxiety Disorder: How to control and overcome anxiety disorder! (Coping with Anxiety… by Elizabeth Conrad (Mar 24, 2014)


The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety and Worry by Lisa M. Schab LCSW (Apr 1, 2008)


8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind, Change Your Life. Paperback by Victor Davich (Author)


These are just a few of the books that I recommend to my clients and also use myself.  I hope this information has helped you in some way.  See you again soon!



Hollie OOE



Hollie McCollister is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  She is currently President of the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association and President Elect Elect of the Mississippi Counseling Association.  She is married and lives at her home with her spouse and four dogs Bella, Bacchus, Buster, and Booboonoodle.  She can be reached at mctherapy08@gmail.com with any questions.