Séan McCann

Séan McCann

Mental Health Advocate | Acclaimed Solo Musician | Founding Member of Great Big Sea

Séan McCann uses his music to help people find light in the darkness. Best known as a founding member of the massively successful Canadian band Great Big Sea, Séan’s twenty years with the ensemble came to a halt in 2013, when he realised that he needed to deal with both alcohol addiction and coming to terms with the sexual abuse he suffered as a young man. Since then, Séan has been using his words and music to bring healing into his life and the lives of others.

Séan’s love for Newfoundland and Labrador folk songs shot him to international fame as a founding member of the renowned group Great Big Sea. But while Séan was with the band, giving himself to thousands of people a night on the road, he was slowly losing his own way. It was a life, he says, where “every night was like a Friday night.”

The time finally came for him to seek help and realise that the underlying issue surrounding his alcohol addiction was that a local priest had abused him while he was growing up. It was in finally confronting this reality and bringing it out in the open by speaking about it with family, friends, the media, and the public that Séan was able to begin moving forward.

In 2014, he released his first solo album Help Your Self, which was later followed by the album You Know I Love You. With these projects, Séan found how therapeutic creating, recording, and performing music could be for him, and discovered that his songs were helping others as well.


The Séan McCann Story: Help Your Self

Séan McCann is a survivor. When he was 15 years old he was sexually assaulted by a priest and spent the next 35 years drinking heavily to numb his pain and avoid his truth. 20 of those years were spent singing in the iconic Canadian party band Great Big Sea. He was high functioning and hiding in plain sight and everything was “fine” until one day it just wasn’t. On November 9th, 2011 he put down the bottle and poured his heart into a new album called “Help Your Self” which resonated with people in a way he could have never imagined. He has now found a new way to connect with audiences and is using his platform and his music as a mental health advocate who is helping other survivors face their own truth. He has been in Recovery since the day he put down the bottle and credits his work in communicating through music as being essential to his continued clarity and overall well being. Today Music is his Medicine and that is what Séan will speak (and sing) to you about as he helps you to Help Your Self.