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ATP! Presents: Cassadee's Corner (April 2013)

Our very own in-house guidance counselor Cassadee Pope is back, with her latest monthly installment of "Cassadee's Corner".

Each month, Cassadee will be answering questions and offering advice about school, relationships, breaking into name it! If you have anything on your mind that you would like to ask Cassadee, drop her an e-mail at with the subject title "Cassadee's Corner" and your question might be featured in next month's column!

For the past two years, I've struggled with serious depression, anorexia, bulimia, and self-harm. I was in a really, really dark place for those two years and was obsessed with what other people thought of me. It's gotten so much better now and I'm really focusing on getting better and staying genuinely happy but it's been tough. I know that as a musician in the industry, you have a lot of people commenting on the way you look or the way you act. (I think you're perfect but that's just my opinion. Hahaha.) I was wondering what you do to keep people's comments from affecting you? Any advice for me?

Before I answer your question, I want to put it out there that I hope you've sought out professional help with your struggles. I am not qualified to give you the right advice on those things, so please see someone who is. As for how I get through public criticism, I constantly surround myself with good people. You'd be amazed at how other people's positive energy can change your outlook on life. The negative becomes so minute, and you realize the people who pass judgements are really just unhappy with themselves.

I love singing. I just don't know how to warm up, and my voice becomes strained. How do you warm up?

It's hard to explain in writing, but my advice would be to YouTube "vocal warm ups." My goto exercises are lip trills, doing scales on vowels, and low larynx "gug's". Also, don't forget to do these same exercises AFTER you sing. It's just as important to cool down as it is to warm up.

Are you and the guys still friends? Do you think Hey Monday will ever come out of hiatus?

I still keep in touch with some of the guys, yes. Everyone is pretty invested in their new projects, so it's hard to make time to see each other. I don't know for sure what the future holds for Hey Monday. But I do know that I haven't even begun to scratch the surface in my solo career. I have so much more to achieve and more goals to be met before moving on to something else.

Do you look back and think of any songs you could have cover on the Voice?

I love all the songs I was able to cover, but I really wanted to do "Best Of You" by Foo Fighters. It couldn't get cleared!

If you could go back in time and pick another decade to have started your career in, which one would it have been and why?

This wasn't that long ago, but I loved where music was in the 90's and early 2000's. There was an abundance of female solo artists who played real music and wrote real songs. There were also more bands on the radio. Tours were selling really well and people actually bought the music. There were people who illegally downloaded music back then too, but not as many as there are now.

Are you excited or a little bummed that you're touring with country artists now and not the pop punk scene with bands like All Time Low?

I'm so excited to be touring with country artists now. And that doesn't mean I'll never tour with the more pop/punk bands and artists ever again. I've always been a fan of country music and more specifically a fan of The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts.

Do you miss family while at Nashville or are you super busy with your recording?

I definitely miss my family during the recording process. I am extremely busy while in the studio but when I have down time, that's when it really sinks in. We do a great job with trying to see each other every few months. We don't let more than 2 months pass before seeing each other.

I have always been the single one out of the majority of my friends. I am super happy that my friends are happy, but sometimes I can't take it when they obsess over their boyfriends. One of my friend is already planning to marry her boyfriend that she has been dating 9 months (she's 18) and is glued to him wherever we go. Whenever I hangout with them (whether it's just the three of us or a group of us) they constantly have PDA and make everyone else feel awkward. He's also super protective over her and gets mad when me and her tease each other or will get jealous when she takes pictures with me or her other friends (And I'm a girl by the way). 

I'm happy that she has found someone that makes her happy, but I don't need it thrown in my face. Her boyfriend even makes fun of me for being single and actually makes me feel really bad about it sometimes. I'm very independent so it's hard for me to find someone who appreciates that, which I am fine with. How do I deal with this without sounding like the crazy jealous single friend?

I don't think you should worry about sounding like the crazy, jealous, single friend when your concerns are very valid. This guy is affecting your friendship in a negative way. It's one thing if your friend hangs out with you less because she's in a serious relationship, but you still maintain that close friendship. It's quite another when the guy makes you feel bad about yourself for being single, and has an issue with you and your friends' closeness. He has a bad case of insecurity and envy. If you are a good friend, you will have a talk with her. You will do her a favor by being honest (that's if she listens), and yourself a favor by getting this off your chest.

Will I be okay if I can't forgive my dad for everything? Because I don't think I can forgive him. Do you think I can be okay?

I wish I knew what he did to make you feel like you can't forgive him, but I'll go ahead and assume it's with good reason. I think anybody can be ok as long as they choose to be. If you feel like having your father in your life would be at the expense of your happiness, then don't have him in it. I do think, however, that it will affect you no matter what. Choosing to not have your father in your life will come with guilt. My advice would be to try counseling together. Trying is all you can do.

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