Up until a month ago, the only time Mollie Gray sang was when she was travelling alone in the car.
This week she belted out Vanessa Amorosi's Perfect in front of a crowd as part of the Australian Defence Force's Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program.
Ms Gray was one of 20 ADF personnel who came to Canberra from across the country this month to take part in the ARRTS program.
Held twice a year, the four-week program uses different art mediums - chosen by the participants - as a means of recovery from a "low period".
"When people hear about the program and they're going through all of the information they say 'Imagine Defence doing this for its people'," ARRTS head Brigadier Wayne Goodman said.
"In Defence, everything we do is for our people. It's a people-orientated game and if you don't have the right people, you don't do your job. And so sometimes you're just not feeling well and there's a whole lot of reasons for that.
"We take off their uniforms, we take off their rank which is a big thing in the military because it's a hierarchy, and then they get to know each other and this thing called art again."
The program sees participants led by a group of mentors who are experts in the chosen art forms, and ends with a showcase presentation.
Brigadier Goodman said participants are encouraged to use the time to tell their stories. By doing this, it helps participants to "reset" and "find that their lives, all of our lives, are intermingled somewhere along the line".
For Ms Gray - who has been in the army for 11 years, five during which she also played rugby for Australia - there were certain parts of her personal story that were easier to tell than others.
She found it easy to talk about the four knee surgeries which led her to retiring from professional rugby, however the period she spent in Afghanistan in the army was something she struggled to talk about for a long time.
"Coming here, when you hear all the other different stories that people have, maybe it's the same experience, whether it be physical or mental or whatever it may be, when you hear their stories you start to pipe up a little bit more about your own," she said.
"You pick and choose what you want to tell and what you want to share. I think sometimes it's OK to want to keep certain things to yourself as well.
"But some people come here and they just need to get it all out on the table - and they do, and it can be quite confronting - but I think one of the things that I've learnt is to let someone tell their story, not to judge, not to offer up too much advice because sometimes people just want to share a story."