Adam Hood Meets Struggle with Positivity on ‘Bad Days Better’

Adam Hood is making a concentrated effort to live in a positive mindset. 

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Hood’s journey to living positivity has been ongoing for years but was ironically accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. A time of stress and pain for many people, the pandemic taught Hood some valuable lessons. As a self-described “perpetual pessimist,” Hood says sitting in that headspace got “pretty debilitating,” especially as the world grappled with a pandemic.

“We were all having to find ways to think positively about the negative situations,” Hood tells American Songwriter. “The whole positive thinking thing is something that I’ve really tried to adopt in the past five years of my life.”

As someone who has been a working musician since the age of 16, the now 47-year-old admits that over the years, he’s developed some “scarring” and a “jaded” attitude. In his three-decade-long career, Hood is an accomplished songwriter, penning Little Big Town’s “Front Porch Thing” and “Good ‘Ol Days” on Miranda Lambert’s ACM Album of the Year The Weight of These Wings, along with cuts by Lee Ann Womack, Travis Tritt, Eli Young Band and many more.

“I think it was a long time of not so much doing this, but doing it this way for a long period of time, without coming up with a different way to look at it,” Hood explains of his frustration.

But in doing the hard work of overcoming personal challenges, Hood did manage to find a new perspective, particularly when he became sober. For many years, drinking was a frequent part of his life on the road and live performing. But he had an epiphany that helped alter his mindset.

“When you ask yourself, ‘what’s your problem?’ and you can’t come up with an answer, you got to change your way of thinking,” Hood asserts. “The fact that I decided to quit drinking was a huge step because I didn’t have anything to hide behind anymore.”

To get to that healthier place requires “daily effort,” Hood says, which he accomplishes through The Five Minute Journal, which is centered on mindfulness and gratitude journaling. Along with reading the devotional book his wife Britni gifted him when they got married, it’s a practice he’s been doing for 10 years in an effort “to try to get my head in a better place,” he shares. “I feel better, and I think this album is a good representation of where my head is now, or at least where I want my head to be.” 

Hood captures this positivity in the title track of his new album, Bad Days Better, where he sings of waking up and seeing the world around him from a refreshed perspective. On the track he acknowledges that he’s spent much of his life being self-critical and the only person he can change is himself.

Well even in the bad times / The sun’s gonna shine on me / I’m gonna make the bad days better than the good days used to be, he proclaims in the chorus.

“It’s nice to have that song because of the fact that it’s kind of a positive affirmation,” Hood says. “By playing that song, I’m beating my positivity over my head.” 

Bad Days Better also features a list of heavy-hitting collaborators, including longtime friend Lambert, Brent Cobb, Blackberry Smoke and Warren Hayes of the Allman Brothers Band. Lambert appears as his duet partner on “Harder Stuff.” Their relationship goes back decades. Hood independently put out an EP in 2004 that later landed him in Texas, where he met Lindale native Lambert around 2008 at a show. Lambert introduced him to her producer, Frank Liddell, and the person who would sign him to a publishing deal at Carnival Music in Nashville.

“I signed my first deal thanks to her,” Hood praises the woman he calls “the pinnacle of country music.” Lambert was integral in connecting him to Cobb, who was also signed to Carnival at the time, and later introduced him to his cousin, Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb. Hailing Brent Cobb as a “prolific” writer, he has three credits on Bad Days Better, including “Harder Stuff,” which Hood describes as the “epitome of vulnerability.”

“It’s my story,” Hood states of the song that addresses his struggles with alcohol. These days liquor don’t write my song / It ain’t right for a family man / To build a house on shifting sand / But don’t think that I’ve given up / I’m just takin’ on the harder stuff, he sings on the track.

“I’m not here to tell anybody how to live their lives,” he continues. “This is just one of the choices that I made in my life. I don’t want it to be anything that sways anyone’s opinion of how they do things. So it’s an it’s an interesting place to be.”

Hood also points to “Business With Jesus” as another one of the album’s vulnerable moments, which was inspired by Ry Cooder’s rendition of “Jesus on the Mainline.” Hood describes Cooder’s interpretation of the gospel song as “real roots-y.” Wanting to create that same vibe, Hood channels his journey back to his faith in “Business With Jesus” as he sings, I was on the way down / Who could hear me cryin, it was hard to tell / I finally got a line to the man himself / Dealin with the devil’s been hard as hell / And, now, I’m doin business with Jesus.

“It’s interesting to see how people react to that song when I play it because of the fact that I wonder if they look at it like, ‘this is my spiritual awakening,’” Hood shares. “So it’s a more vulnerable moment than I realized it was going to be.” 

No matter what storms he weathers, Hood is committed to keeping his head held high with positivity at the forefront.“It’s a very liberating feeling,” he proclaims of positivity. “I’ve still got a long way to go for somebody who’s done this for a long time. It’s good to be able to have a little bit of a lighter load. I feel like I have a little bit more endurance now and more prepared to accept the things that need to be done and deal with growing pains.” 

Hood hits the road this month with friend Jason Eady on the co-headlining Southern Brothers Tour, which visits cities around the country from December 1-10. Hood also plans to release the re-recorded version of his 2007 album, Different Groove, next year.

Photo by Justin Cook; Courtesy of 117 Entertainment Group

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