I’m Listening 2021: Meet your hosts, Carson Daly and Dr. Alfiee

Dr. Alfiee and Carson discuss the intersection of mental health and media portrayal
Carson Daly, Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

Audacy is proud to announce our fifth annual I’m Listening special happening on Thursday, September 23 at 6PM on all Audacy stations and in the Audacy app.

Additionally, we are thrilled to introduce our 2021 hosts, Carson Daly (NBC’s Today show and The Voice) and pioneering psychologist and author, Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble (The AAKOMA Project). Throughout this year’s special, Daly and Dr. Alfiee will be joined by artists and athletes who are constantly bringing mental health topics to the forefront of the music and entertainment industry.

The I’m Listening 2021 lineup includes conversations with Billie EilishLil Nas XLizzoDoja CatShakira, Justin Bieber, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Jack Antonoff, and more.

Before the debut of our September 23 broadcast, we spoke to Carson and Dr. Alfiee about the importance of mental health representation in the media and in the music industry.

Daly shared, “I’d like to see media shine a light… on areas that really need the light shined on them. We particularly worry about communities of color where access to mental health care is disproportionately harder than other areas to access.”

As more conversations about mental health have developed in the media we consume, the TV personality says, “that’s a good thing because it’s a lot better than suffering in silence and not having these conversations.”


Dr. Alfiee touched on moving the needle when it comes to “our showcasing of mental health and who’s getting it right.” The psychologist spoke on a particular “watershed moment,” explaining that when Mary J. Blige spoke out about her mental health “back in the TRL days… before anybody thought it was cool,” that was a “huge” moment for her own awareness.

The author adds that Blige was “really a leader early on.... fast-forwarding 15-20 years, seeing so many other people out here talking about their mental health has really been amazing to me. Watching people incorporate mental health professionals and psychotherapists into all kinds of shows, whether that is the center of the show or not, I think those kinds of folks are getting it right.”


Finally, Dr. Alfiee also mentions professional athletes who are making mental health a priority in their careers. The phycologist commends the sports figures who are creating conversations around mental health and “making sure they are showing people through their actions how to do it.
You don’t always have to be ready to perform. And if you’re not, it’s okay to say that ‘today is not the day and I need a break.’”

Oftentimes Dr. Alfiee looks to these figures as her “own role models for how I want to show up around taking care of my mental health.”

To keep up with the artists that create music that feeds our minds and keeps the I’m Listening initiative powered, check out Audacy’s I’m Listening Mental Health Mix. With tracks from Billie Eilish to Demi Lovato to Pearl Jam, this Exclusive Station keeps your mood in mind. Listen now!

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This year I’m Listening has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to further support mental health initiatives and provide expert medical health access as we continue to navigate maintaining the intersection of mental and physical health in the age of COVID-19.

Part of the I’m Listening mission is to highlight the idea that you are not alone when it comes to mental health experiences. By sharing your voice and your story, you empower others to feel seen and connected to a community surrounded by support.

Audacy is committed to supporting the health and success of the communities that are the heart of its business. I’m Listening aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741. You can also find more resources here.

Don’t miss Audacy’s I’m Listening broadcast debuting on Thursday, September 23 at 6PM on your favorite Audacy station and in the Audacy app.

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