Noah Kahan Medicate Meditate

June 8, 2024

noah kahan medicate meditate

Noah Kahan, a major-label folk singer from Vermont and New Hampshire, writes songs about small-town claustrophobia, emotional introspection, and the heavy lifting of self-discovery. He’s become a regional ambassador and generational icon. But how did a Watertown-born boy who writes about his parents, driving, and dogs become mainstream music’s Next Big Thing? The answer lies in TikTok, raw talent, and lots of honest therapy.

Kahan’s 2022 album Stick Season, and its deluxe 2023 counterpart, resonated with jaded New Englanders thanks to lyrics about change, complicated relationships, and homesickness. But it’s his willingness to address trauma and personal failure without resorting to cliches that has truly struck a chord with his mostly twentysomething fanbase. For a generation that has been defined by therapy-speak, Kahan’s honesty contributes to healing.

Growing up, Kahan’s family talked openly about depression. “It was something we had as part of the conversation like the weather,” he says. Despite this, the reality is rural communities often have limited options for mental health care. Kahan has experienced this firsthand as he’s gone through four or five therapists searching for the right fit.

He’s toured the world with sold-out shows, and his charity, The Busyhead Project, raises money and awareness for mental health. But he’s also spent the past few months trying to balance this success with his innate desire to write and create. In an interview with TIME, he talks about the challenge of finding a therapist that’s unbiased, and he opens up about his own struggle to stay grounded in his mental health.


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