At Spotify, we believe in building a healthier, emotionally well environment where everyone can be their very best. Our Heart & Soul initiative aims to reduce the stigmas around mental health through education, open dialogue, and shared experiences and understanding, and opens a safe forum for discussion around self care.

Our Heart & Soul Ambassadors are a diverse group of Spotifiers from around the world dedicated to driving and implementing Heart & Soul. They ensure local and cultural aspects are taken into consideration at our global offices and help create community everywhere. This month we caught up with Beverly Maeda, Director of UX Writing in Stockholm.

 

Who is your biggest Heart & Soul inspiration?

Everyone in the ambassador group!

Why did you choose to be a Spotify Heart & Soul ambassador? What does it mean to you?

I care about people. At Spotify I want to see my team and fellow co-workers succeed and thrive. It’s a complicated world, and depression, suicide, and dependence on medications are on the rise. I’m thankful that our company has taken a stand to do our part to create a supportive community at work and to remove the stigma of mental illness. I believe that in the long-run the payoff will be big. Our workforce will be more resilient to change, perform better, and feel that they’re at a company that’s empathetic to their needs.

How do you stay focused on your own mental health?

I’m lucky to have a support group of friends and family that I can turn to for advice. I also seek help from a therapist when I need professional advice.

If you could say just one thing about mental health to the whole world, what would it be?

I would say that mental health should be treated just like physical health. Healthy eating, exercising, and regular checkups with the doctor. We should take an active self-care approach toward our mental health.

What role does music play in having positive mental health and wellbeing?

Music plays a big role in my mental health. It helps me concentrate when I need to be focused, and as an expression of what I’m feeling it has a healing effect. It’s also comforting and fills a void when the loneliness is overwhelming.

Who is your biggest music influence for you when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, and why?

Lady Gaga is someone who’s been open about her ongoing struggles with anxiety and depression. The way that she has openly talked about her issues is admirable. It has helped normalize the feelings that we all have in different degrees at different times in our lives.

Do you remember a specific moment when music helped you through a difficult situation?

The song “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers was my inspiration for my eulogy at my dad’s funeral. It definitely made me stronger in that situation.

Do you have a go-to song that always cheers you up? Or a song that makes you cry?

My go-to happy song is “Strength, Courage & Wisdom” by India.Arie. The title really says it all – It lifts me up when I’m feeling defeated and powerless.


The song that makes me cry is “Pearls” by Sade. It’s a song about sacrifice and survival.


One song that describes your heart?

George Michael – “Jesus to a Child” describes my heart because it’s about love and loss.

 

One song that describes your soul?

“Tres Pedernal” by Lila Downs from her album “Tree of Life.”