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He finally cracked the mystery of his mental illness. See how he's using music so others can, too.

Mike Caesar is using his musical medicine to help others struggling with mental illness.

Meet Mike Caesar.

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As a child, he felt like something was wrong with him. But he didn't know exactly what.

He got into trouble. A lot. When he was in elementary school, none of the adults around him could figure out why he couldn't just "behave." He was angry. He had tantrums. He felt like he was on an emotional roller coaster. Fortunately, one counselor helped him discover something that made him feel better in spite of all the ups and downs.

The one thing that helped calm him down was writing.

That counselor helped change his life forever — she told him to keep a journal and write down his thoughts and feelings every day. He started to write short stories and poems, and pretty soon he was writing songs and rapping. But without the treatment he needed, he continued to struggle.


It took 10 long years — and a variety of medications — before he finally found the truth: He has bipolar disorder.

After he was diagnosed, he was finally able to get the right treatment to manage his condition. And it helped his relationship with his family, too, because they knew exactly what they were dealing with.

He started to use his musical talent to raise awareness around mental illness — especially in black communities.

Mike admits that he struggled with societal pressure to be a "strong black man" who didn't need any help. That's why he's using his music to reduce the stigma around having a mental illness and getting help for it.

Roughly one-quarter of black Americans seek mental health care, in contrast to 40% of white Americans.

But Mike wants to change that. That's why he's donating all the proceeds from his latest single "Gotta Ball" to domestic violence and bipolar organizations.

Money raised from his $.99 single will go to the nonprofits Joyful Heart Foundation — committed to ending domestic violence and sexual assault — and the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, which raises awareness for early-onset bipolar disorder.

That's only the beginning. He's also working on making his own foundation.

He and a few friends are creating a nonprofit called the WAIT Foundation. WAIT stands for "We're All in Together." He plans to use the foundation to continue to raise awareness around mental illness and other related issues like homelessness and domestic violence.

He hopes reducing stigma around mental illness will prevent people from being too afraid to ask for help.

In an interview with the Dallas Observer, Mike said, "Even if people don't donate, at least they're asking the question, and with each question, those stigmas that might deter someone from seeking help will begin to dissipate."

That's music to so many ears.

You can listen to his single on SoundCloud. (Warning: explicit language.)

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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