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Inspiring Black Artists Who Champion Mental Health: Alicia Keys’ Story

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to highlight Alicia Keys for her openness about her mental health journey.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to spotlight outstanding Black figures who’ve made their mark with their talents and shown us the power of being real about their lives and mental health journeys.

These Black artists, dancers, and actors are open about who they are, flaws and all, and they teach us valuable lessons.

They remind us that it’s totally okay and normal to face tough times and challenges no matter who you are. Life isn’t always smooth sailing, and that’s alright.

They highlight the importance of seeking help when it comes to mental health. Reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

They remind us that speaking up and standing for your beliefs can positively change the world.

We hope these stories inspire you from these artists’ actions and the words they want you to hear.

You’re not alone in your journey; just like them, you can overcome anything with determination and resilience.

Why we’re celebrating Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys has been outspoken about issues of racial injustice.

Earlier this year, she spoke to Vogue about blackness and fighting racial inequality, saying that ‘Racism is the major pandemic’.

In 2018, Alicia co-founded She Is The Music, an organization that helps eliminate gender bias in the music industry.

Alicia also speaks passionately about expressing her African ancestry through her hair, saying;

“I’ve always felt royal when I wear braids. There’s something so beautiful about the Blackness of it, about my African ancestry that I just feel truly connected to.”

Alicia Keys

Keys has spoken about what it was like growing up mixed-race and how, early in her career, people often mistook her mother, who is white, as her babysitter instead of her actual mother.

Keys has also been vocal in activism, hosting events and participating in ad campaigns to bring awareness to racism and police shootings of young Black people.

In one song, “Perfect Way to Die,” Keys recalls the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Sandra Bland and chronicles the changes communities have demanded as a result.

Her Mental Health Journey

Alicia Keys has been transparent about her mental health struggles with depression earlier in her career, admitting to people that she “became a master of putting up the wall.”

“All I knew to do was just to fake it till you make it. Once I stopped doing that…I started to feel much more honest.”

Alicia Keys

Keys spoke to InStyle about the importance of listening to her inner voice and says she used to have trouble answering what she wanted and would ask others, trying to find the “right” answer.

“I had to ask 75 people and get validated first before I said, ‘Okay, I know what I want. I know what I think.’ No, you don’t. You know what they want.”

Alicia Keys

Keys continues to work on finding space without noise to help improve her mental health, those quiet moments where she can reflect.

We hope these stories inspire you, just like these athletes inspire us. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey. With determination and resilience, you can overcome anything.

‘Head in the Game’ is here to help support young peoples mental health. To learn more about the ‘Head in the Game’ program click here. Young people can also explore resources to support their mental wellbeing by clicking here.