Jewel says she's mindful about how she talks to her son about the pandemic: 'He knows it's our duty to stay home'

·Reporter

Music has the power to heal. No one knows that better than Jewel. 

The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and mental health advocate joined Yahoo’s Reset Your Mindset even to share her new song “Grateful” and to discuss her foundation helping kids fight anxiety during the pandemic.

Jewel is no stranger to anxiety, having experienced panic attacks and agoraphobia throughout her life, starting when she was homeless as a teenager. She describes the feeling like a car alarm going off, alerting her body that something isn’t right. Over the years she has developed tools to learn from her anxiety, and she credits them for helping her stay in alignment during the pandemic. 

The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and mental health advocate joined Yahoo’s Reset Your Mindset even to share her new song “Grateful." (Credit: Getty Images)
The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and mental health advocate joined Yahoo’s Reset Your Mindset even to share her new song “Grateful." (Credit: Getty Images)

“I’m also really grateful that I have developed a mindfulness practice and a meditation practice to help with anxiety and uncertainty,” she tells Yahoo Life. “So I don't feel this is as disruptive as it would have been if I didn't have those skills.”

Sharing those skills has been important to Jewel, and her partnership with the Inspiring Children Foundation has been providing life-saving tools to kids with suicidal ideation, extreme anxiety and depression for more than 18 years. In addition to a curriculum, the foundation also teaches mindfulness skills, tennis and entrepreneurial skills. Sensing that more students would be in crisis during the time, the foundation has made its resources free on the site JewelNeverBroken.com.

Cherrial Odell is a student who credits the foundation with saving her life. Both of her parents struggled with addiction, which led to her depression and two suicide attempts. She joined the Inspiring Children Foundation at 13 and says the mindfulness exercises, like meditation, have helped her to navigate dark times. 

“It was one of the first things that I learned through the foundation and I practice it every single day,” Cherrial tells Yahoo Life. “It's been a gift and I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with even just a little bit of stress.”

At home, Jewel says she is too sensitive to listen to the news and doesn’t tune in at home. As a mom, she makes sure to talk to her son Kase, 8, about the pandemic in a way that doesn’t create hysteria and fear. “He knows it's our duty to stay home. He knows the world's changing. He knows he can't go see his dad the same in Texas because of the social distancing orders,” she explains. 

We can't control how long this lasts, but we can control how it affects us, how we change. Jewel

One thing that hasn’t changed is music. Jewel revealed that this has been a very productive time for her writing, admitting that she has written more than 200 songs in the last year. Some of those tracks will appear on her upcoming album, but she released “Grateful” early for her fans. 

“I went ahead and released a song early just because I felt like it was a medicine that has really healed me, this particular song, and I wanted it to make sure I offered it now for people,” she says. 

The song reminds listeners that they can find happiness in the little things, no matter what is happening in the world. There are so many things we can’t control right now, but taking positive action in our own lives can help this time to feel less stressful. 

“We're going to change,” she says. “We can't control how long this lasts, but we can control how it affects us, how we change.”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. 

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