John Legend says stepping back from social media is 'truly better for my mental health'

Singer John Legend. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Getty Images)
Singer John Legend. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Getty Images)
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The Unwind is Yahoo Life's well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Like a lot of folks, John Legend has figured out that he needs to take a step back from social media sometimes.

"I used to be on social media a lot more than I am now. I generally post more on Instagram and some on TikTok, but I kind of stopped posting on Twitter," the Voice star tells Yahoo Life, noting that the platform now known as X has become "a little too toxic." "After a while, having that much transparency between you and your audience — not just coming from you, but also coming to you — all the incoming [discourse], it was just a lot. After a while, I was just like, 'You know, I don't need that.' And it's truly better for my mental health. I just found it better for my mental health to stay away."

Calling himself "pretty unflappable," Legend says there's not that much that stresses him out in his daily life. "It's not because I'm some master meditator or something like that," he adds. "I'm built this way. I've been like this my whole life and I'm probably more calm now just with experience."

Of course, staying calm when you've got four children at home is no simple task. Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, are the parents of Luna, 7, Miles, 5, Esti, 8 months, and Wren, 4 months; their youngest was delivered by surrogate just months after Teigen gave birth to his older sister. But Legend is quick to point out that the chaos at home is the joyful type.

"We've got four kids, two babies. So it's always an adventure in our house, but it just makes it more fun. It's just a lot more energy and excitement at home," he says, noting that it was always Teigen's dream to have four children. "Chrissy loves chaos. And not only is it us, but we have friends over at the house all the time. We have people that work with us, nannies, all kinds of folks in the house all the time. We love to cook for people, we love to be social and we love to entertain. We like that kind of chaos."

In addition to making a concerted effort to maintain his mental health, Legend works hard to care for himself physically with a solid diet and exercise regimen. "I do some cardio and some weights, nothing too crazy or innovative," he shares, adding that he likes to get a workout in every morning in the family's garage gym before taking the kids to school. Due to a long family history of high cholesterol and high blood pressure, Legend also makes sure to keep an eye on both of those things, while keeping an "everything in moderation" perspective on food and alcohol.

Another way the EGOT winner stays healthy is by getting the latest COVID-19 vaccine. Legend has teamed up with Pfizer ahead of the holiday season to raise awareness about the shot.

"Some people feel like it's controversial to talk about vaccines," he says. "To me, it's just intuitive."

Legend's motivation to get vaccinated it simple: "I want to protect my family, and I want to encourage other people to do the same." That said, he acknowledges that some folks are skeptical.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there," Legend notes. "I think a lot of people have a general kind of distrust of the authority, or mandates or the establishment, and I understand that. What I tried to rely on is, I talked to my doctor, not any random person on Facebook. I believe if you listen to the experts, the evidence and the recommendation of the medical community is very clear. And I'd rather listen to them than a random average Joe on the internet."