Jewel: Mental Health During the Pandemic & Beyond

Jewel: Mental Health During the Pandemic & Beyond

Vinny Gambini: “I fit in better than you. At least I’m wearing cowboy boots.” Mona Lisa Vito: “Oh yeah, you blend.” The line is from the 1992 classic, “My Cousin Vinny.” Telluride is a place where cowboy boots or no, everyone seems to blend. (Ok, except for tourists who choose to wear the skins of animals on their bodies in winter.) In general, that goes for celebrities like the ones who show up at the Telluride Film Fest (in days of yore), willingly, happily losing the make-up and the entourage to be folks. That also includes a local like a Jewel, a world-renowned talent – and supporter of local nonprofits and philanthropies like her own Inspiring Kids. And when Jewel decides to use her megaphone, guaranteed people listen. A friend sent us this story by Leena Tailor published in the Huff Post. The title: “Jewel On Living With A Mental Health Condition During A Pandemic.” In the interview the singer-songwriter opens up about managing her anxiety right now and how she’s advocating for kids’ well-being.

Jewel, Telluride local, major talent and philanthropist.

It took Jewel a long time to create the toolbox of self-help techniques she uses today.

The singer-songwriter and Alaskan native left her abusive childhood home at 15 and eventually graduated from Michigan’s Interlochen Center for the Arts. But at 18, she became homeless and lived with mental health conditions like debilitating panic attacks and agoraphobia (a fear of places or situations). At times she was petrified to leave street corners, even for food.

Over time, she got help and developed coping techniques that helped her manage her mental health and get to the place where she is today: a Grammy-nominated musician, mother, author and actor. She relies on mindfulness, a practice where you stay grounded in the present moment through simple mental exercises. Research shows mindfulness can reduce anxiety and help benefit a person’s overall mental health. Jewel also relies on journaling as well as replacing negative self-talk with “antidote” thoughts to shift her mindset.

She also has dedicated substantial time and effort to helping others prioritize their mental well-being. The artist has spoken out about her experiences in the media in an effort to help fans dealing with the same mental health struggles. She launched the Inspiring Children Foundation to help at-risk youth, and has worked with the education sector to implement mindfulness and emotional intelligence curriculums in schools. In recent months, she also shared her advocacy on social media by hosting virtual mental health discussions with famous friends like Brad Paisley during the coronavirus pandemic.

HuffPost spoke to Jewel, 46, about how she transformed her life and the coping methods she still uses for her mental health today…

Continue reading the meat of the interview here.

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