Rick Springfield: Channel your struggles to win

Tips to success from Rick Springfield
Tips to success from Rick Springfield

On the surface, Rick Springfield has had decades of success — from hit songs to best-selling books — but much of that has been fueled by his struggle with his mental health.

In his 2010 memoir, "Late, Late at Night," the rock star opened up about his lifelong battle with depression. Springfield has said that the self-reflection that comes with it has helped him artistically.

"I try and channel my depression into a creative art, either writing or performing, doing something with it so that I win and it doesn't," Springfield told CNBC.

"It's a life sentence. You have to use it creatively. I use it in my writing. I use it to power my insatiable drive. I try to channel it to productive areas so it doesn't beat me."

Recording artist Rick Springfield performs onstage during the first ever iHeart80s Party at The Forum on February 20, 2016 in Inglewood, California.
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It looks like Springfield is winning. He smashed the Billboard charts with "Jessie's Girl" and starred in "General Hospital" in 1981. But he hasn't faded from the spotlight. Last year he appeared in the second season of HBO's "True Detective." In February, Springfield released his 18th studio album, "Rocket Science."

And his memoir turned into a New York Times best-seller, as did his 2014 novel, "Magnificent Vibration."

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The mental toughness Springfield developed fighting depression is something that has also helped him stay creative and prolific.

"Persistence will beat out talent. It will beat out anything. I know a lot more-talented people that didn't stick it out long enough, and a lot less-talented people who did and eventually made it. So persistence is absolutely key," he said.

"I always tell my kids, the three most important things are never give up, never give up, never give up."