Jewel Opens Up About Finding Peace After ‘Massive Panic Attacks’

Jewel Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Jewel hardly had it easy. With divorced parents and an alcoholic father, the Alaska native left home at age 15. Two years later, she was living in her car.

“I started having massive panic attacks,” the singer-songwriter, 44, recalls to Us Weekly. “I began to write, and I started practicing what I didn’t know then was mindfulness. My anxiety calmed down.”

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Now on a mission to help others find their Zen, Jewel plans to share her lessons at Kroger’s first Wellness Your Way Festival, which will be held in Cincinnati from October 4 to 7.

“If you’re feeling anxious, stop and take a breath,” the “Who Will Save Your Soul” songstress says of her tried-and-true method. “I would force myself to be grateful for something, that I was still alive and it was a sunny day.”

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Bettering her mental health has also made Jewel a better parent to her 7-year-old son, Kase, whom she shares with ex-husband Ty Murray.

“I learned to let go of perfectionism,” she tells Us. “I’m more accepting.”

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The four-time Grammy nominee has spoken candidly through the years about her tough upbringing.

“I was probably the only fourth grader that went right from the elementary school to the bar,” she recounted to ABC News’ Dan Harris on his “10% Happier” podcast in March 2017. “And I watched how people handled pain. I watched people use relationships, drugs, alcohol to try to numb and medicate feelings … and I was like, ‘I’m in trouble.’”

These days, Jewel turns to meditation to cope with her anxiety. “I don’t want to look back on my life and go, ‘My art is my best art,’” she said on the podcast. “I want my life to be my best work of art.”

Reporting by Marc Lupo

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