78 episodes

Music Therapy is a mental health podcast for musicians and music fans. Musician and licensed therapist Jessica Risker interviews musicians and therapists to explore issues around mental health, creativity, and music careers.

Music Therapy with Jessica Risker Jessica Risker

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Music Therapy is a mental health podcast for musicians and music fans. Musician and licensed therapist Jessica Risker interviews musicians and therapists to explore issues around mental health, creativity, and music careers.

    Episode 93: Dustin Currier (Lightleak) Quits His Job, How to Make a Creative Space, and Binary Thinking

    Episode 93: Dustin Currier (Lightleak) Quits His Job, How to Make a Creative Space, and Binary Thinking

    In this episode of Music Therapy, I talk with Dustin Currier of Lightleak! 

    Dustin talks about

    quitting his job to work on music,
    how his studio space setup helps him be more creative,
    the limits and strengths of binary thinking,
    making an album remotely,
    and his most recent album "Tender Fits" 

    Songs featured on the podcast: "No Icon" and "Sympathetic Vibration" by Dustin Currier

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

    Music Therapy Podcast Credits: 

    Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker, produced by Sullivan Davis of Local Universe, and engineered by Joshua Wentz in Chicago. 

    Opening and closing music composed by Joshua Wentz.

     

     

     

    • 50 min
    Episode 92: Daniel Wyche on Quarantine Concerts, Getting Older, and the Chicago Music Scene

    Episode 92: Daniel Wyche on Quarantine Concerts, Getting Older, and the Chicago Music Scene

    On this episode of Music Therapy I talk with Daniel Wyche of American Dreams Records!  

    Daniel talks about:

    His newest album “Earthwork” via American Dreams Records!
    Curating the wildly successful Quarantine Concerts via Experimental Sound Studio
    balancing teaching and making music
    mental health
    the Chicago music scene
    getting older
    and lots more!

    Songs featured: ”Earthwork” (excerpt) and ”The Elephant -Whale II” by Daniel Wyche from the album Earthwork




    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

    Music Therapy Podcast Credits: 

    Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker, produced by Sullivan Davis of Local Universe, and engineered by Joshua Wentz in Chicago. 

    Opening and closing music composed by Joshua Wentz.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 91: Group Session featuring FRIKO or How to Live With Your Bandmates

    Episode 91: Group Session featuring FRIKO or How to Live With Your Bandmates

    Group Session featuring FRIKO!  Chicago indie-pop trio Friko takes the couch at Cafe Mustache for a live taping of Music Therapy.  Features an in-depth interview with the band, comedy, and a special live performance by Friko.  

    Friko shares what it’s like to live together, how they approach songwriting, answer audience questions and lots more on this special Group Session episode of Music Therapy!

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

    Songs featured: 

    Music Therapy Podcast Credits: 

    Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker, produced by Sullivan Davis of Local Universe, and engineered by Joshua Wentz in Chicago. 

    Opening and closing music composed by Joshua Wentz.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 90: Jason Balla of Dehd on Recording, Lo-fi vs Hi-fi, and Touring Tips

    Episode 90: Jason Balla of Dehd on Recording, Lo-fi vs Hi-fi, and Touring Tips

    In this episode of Music Therapy I talk with Jason Balla of Dehd and Accessory. We talk about Dehd’s new album ”Blue Skies” out now on Fat Possum, embracing mistakes in songwriting and recording, how to work past your inner critic, giving up control in collaborating, advice for touring and recording, and lots more!

    Songs featured:

    Chop Shop High School by Jessica Risker

    Eyes for Berlin by Accessory

    Bad Love by Dehd

    • 59 min
    Episode 89: Autism and the Best DIY Spaces Ever with Charles Joseph Smith

    Episode 89: Autism and the Best DIY Spaces Ever with Charles Joseph Smith

    Charles Joseph Smith is an absolute fixture of the Chicago DIY scene.  He is also a musical genius, a prolific pianist with over 600 compositions and arrangements under his belt. 

    In this episode of Music Therapy, Charles shares his story of growing up with autism, how he discovered and nurtured his talent for music, the differences between the classical and DIY music scenes, his top 5 favorite DIY spaces ever, and lots more. 

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

    Music Therapy Podcast Credits: 

    Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker, produced by Sullivan Davis of Local Universe, and engineered by Joshua Wentz in Chicago. 

    Opening and closing music composed by Joshua Wentz.

     

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 88: Psychedelics, Psychosis, and Death with Angela James

    Episode 88: Psychedelics, Psychosis, and Death with Angela James

    Angela James is a Chicago singer-songwriter who just released a beautiful new album, co-produced with David Vandervelde (Father John Misty) called ”Now That I Have You”. ​

    ”I’m making what I feel like is the best work in my career. I had a lot of opportunities early in my career, and that was great, but I was so new and I had just started writing songs and just started playing music, and I didn’t have the confidence, and now it’s like, I’m making better work. I have more confidence.” - Angela James

    I loved talking with Angela.  As a musician who is also a mom, I’m always excited to speak with other musician moms to see how they balance their lives and art.  

    Angela speaks in a calm, thoughtful way about a range of pretty wild topics, including using psychedelics, postpartum depression and psychosis, death, grief, and working in hospice.  We also talk about her creative process, her new album, and how her relationship to her music career has changed over time.  Finally, we share our love for the Chicago music scene, and how unbelievably talented, accessible, and supportive it is.  

    We cover:

    How do you make music when you become a parent?

    How does your relationship to art change when you hit middle age?

    What does music success look like?

    Can psychedelics help spiritual growth?

    Should you wait to have kids if you’re trying to be a musician?

    Visit musictherapypodcast.com for show notes, past episodes, and upcoming events!

    Songs featured: ”Portrait of the Artist by a Middle-Aged Mother” and ”The Caregiver” by Angela James

    Music Therapy Podcast Credits: 

    Music Therapy is hosted by Jessica Risker, produced by Sullivan Davis of Local Universe, and engineered by Joshua Wentz in Chicago. 

    Opening and closing music composed by Joshua Wentz.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

camdoge11 ,

Thank you Jessica and Team

Thanks to Jessica and team for all your hard work on putting together such a unique show! It’s been really helpful during this time to feel more connected and also hear difficulties that I face voiced and put into words, it’s helpful to know you’re not alone!

I really like the new format with the songs interspersed into the dialogue. Thank you!!!!

adele_n ,

Great interviews

I love Jessica’s insightful interviews with artists about balancing art and life, finding space to make stuff during a pandemic and other challenging circumstances, and what goes into people’s creative processes.

Joe Frank ,

Brilliant show

Live this show!

Top Podcasts In Music

Barstool Sports
The Black Effect and iHeartPodcasts
The Joe Budden Network
WNYC Studios & OSM Audio
The Black Effect and iHeartPodcasts
REVOLT

You Might Also Like

The New York Times
This American Life
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
NPR
Axios