Latina Musician Carla Morrison Gets Candid About Her Burnout and Mental Health on Argentine-American Nathaniel Drew’s Podcast, ‘No Backup Plan’

Latina Musician Carla Morrison Gets Candid About Her Burnout and Mental Health on Argentine-American Nathaniel Drew’s Podcast, ‘No Backup Plan’
Credit: YouTube

Carla Morrison, the beloved Mexican Indie pop singer, recently joined the Argentine-American creative, Nathaniel Drew, on his podcast series titled, “No Backup Plan, “to speak about burnout, the immigrant mindset, and learning to listen to yourself.  

Morrison, who has received two Grammy nominations, won three Latin Grammys, and is lauded by millions of people, got candid about her mental health and what giving herself love looked like. 

Though the entire conversation is brilliant, we want to share some of our favorite things the Mexican star shared during this vulnerable interview. 

Carla Morrison and Nathaniel Drew’s Interview Highlights

The clips have been slightly edited for clarity and brevity.  

On unrealistic expectations instilled in Latines about happiness

When you’re an independent artist, you work so hard that you don’t allow yourself to even think that you’re going to stop because it takes so long to get to [that] place. Then, you don’t want to stop and then the other part of you, being a woman being Mexican, being Latina, I feel like that adds a lot of pressure because our cultures think that money and success, and fame are what make you happy. And we kind of believe it too at some point. 

It gets to a point where you’re just saying yes to everything and you’re also grateful at the same time because so many good things are happening to you and at the same time guilty of even thinking to take some sort of hiatus or some sort of break. 

On realizing when it was time for a break

I just remember being before a show and thinking they were telling me it might get canceled because there’s rain and we’re in Cancun and it was the last show and I was like, ‘oh, cancel it like I don’t care.’  

This is supposed to be my dream job and I feel like it’s a nightmare. I remember thinking this over and over again and thinking, ‘this is so strange.’ 

On her lowest points and how bullying played a role in it

I started to get really dark thoughts, like really dark. Like, maybe it would be better if you weren’t alive. Maybe it was because also in Mexico I was getting a lot of comparisons to my colleagues and [there was] a lot of bullying. I feel like it was just me, just tired of kind of holding it together. 

[I would tell myself], ‘no I can do this’ and then there was a point where I was like, ‘I can’t.’ But I wasn’t telling it to myself. I was just kind of burned out. 

She spoke about decision fatigue

It was all this stuff. Like, trying to pay the musicians, the band, the booker, and the manager, thinking about the vision, and it is constant stress. It is a lot of decision fatigue. You’re kind of a business owner so that clashes with creativity sometimes. It’s pretty depressing. It’s hard. You have to play the game but [you] don’t want to be the game. 

On understanding her journey

I was just not happy – just tired like a baby that hasn’t slept. You’re like, ‘I don’t want to be here. I learned that this comes from a story that I need to understand. I’m a book and I have chapters and I haven’t read some chapters that I’ve been through. 

On her parents’ influence

My mom grew up in a very poor family in Mexicali and my dad is from Durango. When I say a poor family, I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way. What I mean is that my mom really worked very hard for us and my dad was from Durango he moved to San Diego. He was adopted and that’s why I’m Morrison. So, he was adopted and he worked really hard all his life. I learned what they knew and this isn’t their fault. It’s just that I was just kind of repeating a cycle and it’s hard. The truth hurts, but the truth will set you free. So, when I had to confront that it was like, ‘oh, this sucks so bad,’ because this is all in my hands. 

On sharing her vulnerabilities with the world

I don’t know to be any other way. I think that’s the only way. I also feel like the world is an experience. I almost feel like I have this opportunity to be this open for people to see me, so they can open up. It’s very strange. I don’t even have it very clear in my mind. This is going to sound so stupid but this is like the Matrix movie. To me, I feel like we’re all very disconnected from our emotions and I feel like we come to this world to feel so many things that help us learn who we are and what direction we’re going to, and what we’re providing for our journey. Not in being alive, but I feel like our journey is larger than just being alive. So, to me, it’s almost as if I was assigned to wake people up when I’m singing and it heals me. 

I feel like I’m a healer, but through music, because I feel like I have to be super honest. There’s not a lot of [this] in the world, so I feel like I have to do that.  

On what helps her stay grounded

I feel like I try to allow myself to just be like, ‘this is who I am.’ I try not to alienate myself and just accept myself. 

Yoga helps me a lot. Working out during the week a couple of times a week helps my emotions, and spending time with myself. I try not to listen to music with lyrics before 10 am because I try not to have so much information in me. If I’m waking up at seven, I have a couple of hours of silence or piano music or guitar music. I also try different things that can help me. I noticed that taking walks helps me a lot. I feel like the way I eat also helps me a lot, just taking care of myself. I try to not have coffee, I [usually drink] tea. I don’t have any sodas [or] anything that puts me nervous. I avoid scary movies or anything too superficial.  I try to connect myself with meaningful stuff and things that bring me peace and that remind me that I’m human. I love plants. play the piano. That’s something that really helps me relax. I feel like when I have so many emotions, I like to stop and I listen to what’s next.  

I know that virtual life isn’t life. What really brings meaning to your life are the relationships that you create with people. And the relationship that you have with yourself is way more important than any relationship in your life. To me, I was like ‘man, I don’t even know myself.’ And that’s not right. So, it just became all about me. It felt good. It felt like when you see an old cousin that you haven’t seen in a long time. You’re just so happy you want to do everything together. After a while, I loved spending time with myself. I love just reading and nobody telling me anything. Nobody’s sending me an email. Nobody can mess with me. It just felt good. That gives you a sense of relief and power and you just feel at peace with yourself. So, you sleep better at night.  

On how good things take time

We can’t just like put things in the world just because we can. It’s almost like cooking you know. The best food is done slowly. It’s a whole process. I feel like taking time is just so valuable, but we’re told that it’s not — that we have to go fast because life is going fast. In this world, nobody feels seen. That’s why we’re all so focused on being bloggers. They want to feel seen. We don’t feel seen and it’s super sad. So, taking it slow and really validating ourselves is the best gift we can give ourselves. Validate yourself and then you can go out in the world. Validating oneself takes time. Good things take time.  

This conversation is from the fourth episode of Nathaniel Drew’s new podcast, “No Backup Plan.” You can watch the full episode on YouTube or listen anywhere you stream your podcasts. 

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