- 26 Oct 22
Hip-hop star JyellowL tells Hot Press how he keeps his mind healthy.
"In terms of getting out of a bad space, when music hasn’t sufficed, I go to those around me for help. I’m grateful for my support system. My family and friends are always there for me. I’m able to be completely vulnerable around them. I can express how I feel without judgement. That’s definitely my coping mechanism.
I would also recommend physical activity, like keeping fit. Personally, martial arts really helps, because it takes your mind off whatever you’re worried about for that session. You’re totally focused for those two hours, so it provides a complete escape.
In my family – be it Jamaican, Nigerian or Irish – we’ve always allowed each other to express ourselves without making you feel like you’re somehow wrong. My brothers, my mum, my dad, my grandmother, my late grandfather and I have a culture of openness. There are differences in how they advise you, like my grandma always says, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you’.
Being an impressionable child and looking up to the person giving you advice, I was empowered by it. People can say whatever they want. My grandma said words can’t hurt me, so I’m unscathed! On the other hand, my big brother has always urged me to pay close attention to how situations and language can affect your mental and emotional state. He encouraged me to speak about that and to not feel bad for allowing those things to affect me.
My mum pushed me to be strong mentally, which I completely value, but she also allows me to vent as well. My Nigerian uncles hold that space for me."
Read the full Hot Press Mental Health Special in the new issue, out now.