“Deep breaths in, hold the breath in the middle, then deep breaths out.”
British electro-pop singer Cherie Jones, AKA JONES, has recently released her New York EP and lead single ‘Silver Screen.’ Boasting support from the likes of Sam Smith, JONES incorporates the soul and reggae her mother helped soundtrack her youth with. We chatted to JONES about how meditation is key, anxiety, grief and a clean diet.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I have just finished a couple of novels by the French author Francois Sagan I’ve just read a book called Bonjour Tristesse which means ‘Hello Sadness’ and it was beautiful. I’m listening to a lot of old vintage sounding French piano music and I haven’t been watching too much recently – however I did watch a really inspirational episode of Chef’s Table featuring the very interesting Francis Mallmann which I’d recommend.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
The first was overcoming my stage anxiety and the second was dealing with grief when my mother was gravely unwell. My fear of performing with something that help me back immensely in my early years I always loved and adored music and playing music but struggled with being able to feel free when others were watching. I decided to push through and gradually things got better it was difficult but I managed to get to the place that I’m at now which is a free, comfortable and confident space. I enjoy performing now – I feel excitement but not anxiety.
When my mother was unwell I felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and grief and found it hard to think of much else, my life had been turned on its head and truly the only things that has helped and could’ve helped were time and being able to throw myself into music. I always say that music to me is a lifeline and I stand by that firmly having an outlet and something to immerse myself in was one of the most healing things I could’ve done and it’s only now after some time had passed that I can see just how healing it has been for me.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Waking up naturally and early, making a bullet-proof coffee and then doing my morning workout. Exercise is a very healing thing that I have worked into my routine as a measure to keep myself in balance mentally it helps me research helps me to feel good and gives me energy. I would then have a beautiful lunch somewhere around London with a friend, ideally in warm weather. A walk somewhere green a bit of time to get lost into a book and then out somewhere for dinner in the evening. For me food and happiness very closely interlinked
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
During the dark moments of my life I found that writing gratitude lists is immensely powerful and sometimes can be the only thing to lift a dark cloud from over my head. I’m thankful to be aware of this tool, to be able to lift my mind up when it’s fallen and re-adjust my perspective to look at things from a positive angle and take the weight off of any negative things or feelings. There are so many things to be grateful for but I think the two most important are my good health and being able to do music as I do as a career.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Ace mental health for me means balance and freedom. The feeling of being yourself and feeling happy and content with that feeling hopeful feeling energised and unburdened.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
I like to eat as many greens as possible so spinach,kale, broccoli, spiriluna. Eggs are stable and I havebeen dipping in and out of the kettle genic diet which incorporates facts as the majority of what youeat and less starchy carbs. I don’t eat red meat as a general rule and eat mostly chicken or salmon. I of course love junk food and sugar but always trying to cut this out as I do find the cleaner I eat the better I feel. I allow myself treats – you have to live! But I am always aiming for the majority of my diet to be clean.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
I have a routine of doing it HIIT training in the mornings – I have a bank of different exercises that I draw from during this. I also enjoy yoga classes.
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
I haven’t thought about tag for years! Yes I used to play this during school it was generally boys versus girls, we used to have another game called kiss-chase where it was normally the girls chasing the boys to try and kiss them – rather than the other way around!
What three songs lift your spirits?
House music in general (I have a great playlist for working out to!) – Disco always gets me smiling and then Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
One of the most life changing books that I recall reading is a book called The Untethered Soul – this really provided me with multiple breakthrough moments and I would highly recommend it. It’s one that I have gone back to for years and years. I would also recommend The Power of Now.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Meditation – if feeling unsure about what meditation is or how to do it I would recommend to a friend to try a class as this is another thing that also helps me resetand find clarity. You always leave a meditation session feeling better than where you started. I would also add to be kind to yourself during the meditation process, it can be frustrating when feeling that you’re not getting ‘there’ but it is a journey and takes practice and patience and even five minutes is beneficial to yourself and a loving thing to do. I’d say workout find some form of physical activity that works for you it’s not a one size fits all with exercise. Another powerful and very easy, simple thing to do is breathe (mindfulness). Deep breaths in, hold the breath in the middle, then deep breaths out – doing this for five minutes is so helpful when feeling stressed.
Listen to JONES here.