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Alicia Keys Talks The Importance Of Surrounding Yourself With People Who 'Bring Your Energy Up'

"Make sure that the people that are around you bring your energy up."

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We all have people in our lives that we love and cherish, but a lot of times, some of those people can bring negative energy into your space. You don’t necessarily want to cut them off and so you are forced to love them from a distance. While that may be hard, you have to do what’s best for you, right? That’s something that Alicia Keys had to learn as she got older.


The “Diary” singer is known for her laidback demeanor and positive vibes and she likes the people around her to be on that same wave. Mental wellness is important to her and she shared with InStyle what she’s learned since she’s been on that journey.

"One of the things that I've learned lately that has been resonating with me is monitoring the energy that you allow in your space," she said. "There are a lot of people that we love, people that we've known for years, family members, that we feel obligated to be with and talk to and entertain. And sometimes their energy or their frequency is just not matching yours and not bringing yours up.”

“Even though that's quite hard — trust me, I know — I think that that's something I really, really came to terms with this year. Make sure that the people that are around you bring your energy up, and that's it,” she said.

Alicia recently celebrated her 41st birthday with her husband Swizz Beatz and the mega-producer shared snippets on Instagram of Alicia celebrating in a big way. They never mentioned where they were, but the videos showed the couple on a private jet and then partying all night in a club.

Alicia and Swizz always serve couple goals on social media as they both seem to have one thing in common: they enjoy living life. The singer also highlighted the importance of taking time to experience life and how it plays a major role in your mental health.

"This idea of being able to put yourself first is another part of well-being — making sure that you are okay, making sure that you are mentally stable, making sure that you feel good in your heart and your spirit," she explained.

"I think there are many of us that feel like we're not allowed to or we're not supposed to — like this idea that suffering is a part of life. And surely there are ups and downs for everyone, but there's also the idea that we deserve to be well. It's important to learn how to do that."

Alicia definitely exemplifies that. Being a mother of two and a celebrated, award-winning musician, Alicia continues to be an example of having it all.

"The gift of life is something we can all continue conversations about," she said.

"How are we making the most of our lives? And feeling good and having fun? Because man, life is so short. You can't be stressed the whole time because then it's done."

Featured image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

The emergence of a week-long tension headache told me that I needed to figure out a way to minimize and relieve my stress. In addition to daily magnesium supplements and meditation, I also found myself wanting to orgasm (the health benefits are hard to ignore) and do so at least every other day.

I was determined to set the mood and engage in some erotic self-focus by way of masturbation, and I wanted to do so with a little more variety than my wand vibrator provides. My commitment to almost daily masturbation was affirmed even further with the arrival of what would become my new favorite sex toy, the viral Lovers’ Thump & Thrust Dual Vibrator.

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If there is one artist who has had a very successful and eventful year so far it’s Mary J. Blige. The “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” shut down the 2022 Super Bowl Half-time show along with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Eminem, she also performed at NBA All-Star weekend and now she is being honored as one of Time's most influential people of 2022.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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