Robb Nash tore up a record deal to deliver message to kids

Part musician, part comedian and part philosopher, Robb Nash has a knack for cutting through the stuff that doesn’t matter in life, and getting to the heart of things.
And while he took this direction after surviving a life-threatening car accident, he doesn’t run around chiding things like “everything happens for a reason” and claiming that the accident was a blessing in disguise.
In fact, one of the major reasons he tours through schools instead of sold-out arenas is to share this wisdom with kids.
“Things don’t happen for a reason, but things happen with potential,” says Nash to the crowd at John Henderson Junior High School. “It’s not automatic – you’ve got to make it happen.”
Nash’s approachable, guy-next-door prophecies visibly resonate with students and even the adults who attend his shows – his messages easy to chew on.
There’s no two ways about it for him: getting into an accident which completely altered his life, even leaving him temporarily dead on the scene, sent him into a downward spiral. He started hearing voices that told him he was “useless,” that there was no reason for him now.
Luckily, something compelled him to track down the driver of the semi-truck who collided with him that day, to tell him that he was alive. It turned out the driver was haunted by the incident, though it was no fault of his own, and Nash felt good about lifting his spirits.
Since then, he’s been able to make a living achieving that feeling through his work with the Robb Nash Project. His primary motivation is to help students going through a hard time see a way through it – and 317 suicide notes intended for use have been turned in to him since he started. “If pain doesn’t go away, neither does the strength,” reminds Nash.
These impactful words, combined with songs with messages about taking things one day at a time, has inspired hashtags, tattoos, and an incredible amount of suicide prevention in schools.
His formula of relating to students through impressions of “Family Guy” characters and Adam Sandler’s singing style – plus live performances by him and his rock outfit punctuated by personal stories – puts him in the perfect position to be impactful to students. He wins their admiration but also makes students comfortable coming right up to him to reveal secrets they’ve never shared with anyone.
For the reluctant listeners, he makes concessions, acknowledging he’s not a therapist and his way is not necessarily “right,” but he willfully offers practical tips he’s learned about navigating teenage life and life in general in uncertain times.
Nash remembers what is was like to be 17 and have all sorts of questions hurled at him about his future – with certain options removed because he wasn’t able to complete school on time and was no longer physically able to compete as an athlete.
                                                     Find out your “why”
What started to work for him was tracing the “why” in situations – or figuring out what motivated him to act in a productive way.
For him, he realized the “why” when it came to sharing his music was most important, so he ripped up his record deal and started touring through schools to speak about his experience. Anyone who really makes a difference, “it’s about why they did it – it’s not about what they did,” explains Nash.
Perhaps the most powerful thing Nash facilitates is connecting the room, uniting classmates to stick up for each other and help make life a little easier on one another.
Though students who experience depression or anxiety likely feel burdened by it, Nash calls it a gift: “We hurt deeply, but we can see others when they’re hurting… Someone else needs your story.”

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