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Professional football player finds Calm after years of struggling with depression

Professional football player finds Calm after years of struggling with depression

"It felt like I had exhaled for the first time in years." — Joe Barksdale

We were moved to tears when Joe Barksdale — professional football player, musician, husband and father — reached out to Calm to share his story.  After a traumatic childhood and years of struggling with depression, he downloaded the Calm app and it changed his life. 

Joe wanted to tell his story in the hope that it might help others who are struggling with their mental health but maybe think that meditation isn't for them. After all, a football player isn't usually the first image that comes to mind when someone says the word meditation. 

Meditating with Calm has not only improved Joe Barksdale's athletic performance as an offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL; it's also helped him with everything from playing the guitar to cultivating healthier and happier relationships.

Joe loves the Daily Calm; he describes the 10-minute guided meditation as the bar between the peaks and valleys of his day. He also enjoys the nature scenes, Calm Masterclass, Calm Music and Sleep Stories — he's yet to make it past five minutes of any of Calm's Sleep Stories.

According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people are suffering from depression worldwide – and many of them are left to face their mental health battles alone due to stigmatization and lack of resources. Amidst this devastating health epidemic, it's hopeful that more and more people, including top male athletes like Joe Barksdale, are speaking openly about their struggles with depression.   

The video above is an unpaid testimonial with the goal to spread the life-affirming power of mindfulness, a good night's sleep, and a deep breath. 

Thanks for your courage and inspiration, Joe. 

Wishing you and the many others out there who struggle with depression more support, ease, and joy in your days ahead. 

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