As African American women, no matter what the cause, we often carry the title of “someone who can do it all” as a badge of honor. We take care of the kids, work, cook, mentor, love and become everything to everybody. But what happens when we hit our breaking point? Depression amongst African American women is plaguing our community at skyrocketing rates. So, what can we do to combat it? Mother, YouTube aficionado, entrepreneur, and mental health activist Jaz Jackson talks about her struggles with depression and her harrowing journey to a healthy mental space.

In 2012, Jackson was clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety. With a budding social media platform that boasted a quarter of a million followers, one would never suspect the daily struggles Jackson had to endure. After her diagnosis, she was given an overabundance of medication that affected her sex drive, memory and weight. Her doctor told her that writing in a journal, taking part in meditation, eating right and exercising would greatly improve her condition. However, at that time Jackson wasn’t ready to make those changes. She had a budding beauty career and looked flawless on the outside, but to the surprise of thousands, she was slowly dying on the inside.

For years her condition spiraled out of control. Her long-term relationship ended, she increased to 190 pounds at only 5’2” in stature, and she was no longer as active with her son. It was not until she took a trip to Miami in 2016 that she realized her dire need for change. She decided it was time to work with a trainer (Marissa McDonald) and take her doctor’s advice of dealing with her depression in a natural way.

Meditate. Eat Well. Work Out. Journal.

Meditate. Eat Well. Work Out. Journal.

Meditate. Eat Well. Work Out. Journal.

The advice from Jackson’s doctor rang out in her ear like a beating drum, and to her elation, it worked. The combination of eating healthy foods, meditation, working out and journaling not only helped her to lose 50 pounds in only one year, but it also helped her get on track with her mental health.

Now that she is in the proper mental state, Jackson has found a career path in the wellness and fitness industry. She actively travels and discusses her journey as a mental health advocate, particularly for African American women. She has even seen prodigious success as the creator of the JSCULPT fitness belt, selling more than 2,000 units in only two months. 

A piece of Jaz is in all of us. Her story of remarkable survival serves as a reminder that we all have the necessary components within us to manifest positive outcomes in our life. By taking hold of her mental state, she was able to completely change her life. 

Black girl magic does not entail an overabundance of overextending ourselves to everyone, black girl magic is a trait with which we were inherently born. It’s just another attribute that makes us so dope.