about the book

In the nineties, Ryan Dusick and his friends Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, and Mickey Madden dreamed about making it big… and against all odds, they did. Harder to Breathe is the inside story of Maroon 5’s founding and their road to becoming Grammy-winning megastars, told through the eyes of former drummer Ryan Dusick. He takes readers behind the scenes of the band’s meteoric rise to success - and the grueling demands that came with it.

For Maroon 5, fame came with a platinum debut record, jam sessions with Prince in his living room, and encounters with celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, and Bono. But for Ryan Dusick, stardom came to an abrupt halt with the devastating loss of his ability to play drums due to chronic nerve damage - followed by personal struggles with anxiety and alcoholism after his departure from the band.

Alongside Maroon 5’s story of camaraderie and pressure, Dusick interweaves his own narrative: a decade lost to liquor and antianxiety medication, his ferocious commitment to recovery, and his current perspective as a professional counselor. With a candor that will speak to anyone who has struggled with mental health, Harder to Breathe moves beyond celebrity to examine the nature of human heartbreak and resilience, and to buoy anyone facing similar challenges.

Ultimately, Harder to Breathe is a roller-coaster memoir about how making it to the top sent Dusick to the bottom - and how he let go of the past and embraced a new future, one breath at a time.

about the author

Ryan Dusick is an associate marriage and family therapist; the founding drummer of one of the world’s most popular bands, Maroon 5; a mental health advocate; and an author. His life has been a long and winding road from aspiring pop star with anxiety, to heartbroken alcoholic, to thriving mental health survivor and messenger of hope in recovery.

Ryan grew up in Los Angeles, at the intersection of Hollywood and real life. After founding the group Kara’s Flowers in 1994, Ryan and his bandmates worked tirelessly for a decade before the group changed its name to Maroon 5 and released its first hit album Songs About Jane. Multiple hit songs, two Grammy Awards, and 20 million albums sold later, Ryan found himself suffering and without direction when his career as a performer came to an abrupt end.

In 2016, Ryan finally overcame years of struggle with physical and mental health challenges when he started his recovery journey, culminating in a new life path full of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. Now working as a mental health professional at the Missing Peace Center for Anxiety in Agoura Hills, California, and beginning his new journey as an author and advocate, Ryan is spreading the message that recovery is possible, and some astounding things can come with it.

904 Manhattan Avenue - Manhattan Beach, CA
7pm PST

more info

Medical Problems of Performing Artists
Weill Cornell Medical Center – New York, NY

more info

view all events