Country legend Martina McBride can’t get enough of gymnastics superstar Simone Biles.
“I was just talking to my husband [John McBride] how much I admired her for taking time off to focus on her mental health,” McBride tells PEOPLE in a recent interview about the Olympian’s openness about her mental health issues. “I think the more celebrities talk about it, the more acceptable and less stigmatized it becomes. I mean, we could all use a little help here and there.”
Indeed, the ongoing mental health crisis in this country is one that McBride, 57, knows all too well as the mother of three young women.
“We have a mental health crisis with teenagers in this country,” explains McBride, the hitmaker behind songs like “A Broken Wing,” “Independence Day” and “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.” “I have an 18-year-old [Ava]I am 25 years old [Emma] and I am 28 years old [Delaney] … all girls,” says the country music star. “Fortunately, the focus on mental health has come more to the fore. It has become less of a stigma. It is becoming more accepted to ask for help.”
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It’s also become far more acceptable to talk about it, and McBride is one artist in the spotlight who never shies away from it.
“I have a way of getting a lot of people to listen to what I’m saying, and with that comes a certain responsibility,” says McBride, who will headline the 29th annual One Mind Brain Health Music Festival on Sept. 9 at Staglin Family Vineyard in Rutherford, California, joining past headliners such as Jewel, Hunter Hayes and One Republic for the always-anticipated event.
“Honestly, I didn’t know about the organization until I was offered the gig, then I did some research and that’s it wonderfully organization,” says McBride. “They’ve raised over $500 million for mental health. Plus, it sounds like a fun event, so it’s a win-win.”
When it comes to his own mental health, McBride says he’s still working to get back to normal once the pandemic slows down.
“I think there were two kinds of people—people who used time to create and people who used time to restore, and I was the recharge guy,” McBride reflects. “I’m just going back to thinking about it and trying to figure out what I want to do next.”
Until she solidifies her plan, the Kansas native says she finds solace and contentment in places like her garden at her home in Nashville.
“It’s a place of peace and solitude, and it’s also nurturing to plant a seed in some land and then look at it, care for it and nurture it, while being able to feed my family and friends healthy food,” says McBride. “It’s a real pleasure to be able to go there every day and spend some time taking care of something.”
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In fact, it’s a ritual that McBride says more people should try. “Everybody needs somewhere they can go to just take you away from what is kind of a rat race that we live in,” she says.
And while McBride says September is a pretty busy month for her with tours and such, she won’t be leaving her garden to her husband while she’s gone.
“I don’t trust the garden,” she admits with a laugh, adding that her husband is also traveling with her. “Just the other day I was thinking of planting lettuce for my fall garden, but I don’t have that much.”
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And while he’s on the road, McBride says he’ll be thinking more about what comes next.
“I think what I’m leaning towards is a really personal album,” says McBride, who says she’s also “putting together and testing recipes” for a possible new cookbook. “I’ve always done songs that talk about life, tell stories and really maybe help else people and say theirs stories, but maybe it’s time to me to make an album that is perhaps more personal.”