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Millennials and Gen Z-ers are able to use imparted wisdom to avoid some of the struggles our foremothers went through, specifically when it comes to emotions. It was once normalized, and even preferred, for us to be silent about the struggles we endure, including the effects of racism and misogynoir. Now, not only are we being vocal about our trials, but we’re working with one another to heal as a unit.

Missed all the fun? Don’t worry, we got you! Click HERE to watch the 2021 ESSENCE Girls United Summit now!

During a timely panel discussion appropriately titled All The Rag: Embracing, Releasing And Managing Your Emotions and moderated by GU Editor Brooklyn White at the 2021 Girls United Summit, artist & model Selah Marley, songstress Tangina Stone and Certified Licensed Professional Counselor Nicola Pierre-Smith shared their experiences and insight on the topic of emotional management.

“I think this generation is where a lot of people have kind of softened into understanding that mental health is important,” Marley said. She also spoke about her parents, Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley, revealing she was helped by them in her mental health journey. “[T]hankfully, my mother… my parents, were very supportive like, ‘Do you want to talk to someone about this?'”

When we asked about the moment she realized she needed to prioritize her wellness, Stone said, “[I] really began to take it seriously maybe 5 years ago when I wrote a song I released called ‘Anxious.’” Stone is a singer-songwriter who has been celebrated by Billboard, The FADER, Teen Vogue and more.

Pierre-Smith let us know that the first step in balancing our emotions is acknowledging they exist. “[S]o, the first step is recognizing that having emotions are not good nor bad. They are just the body’s way of indicating to us that this is the way we’re experiencing the world around us.”

It’s vital that we check in with ourselves and be honest about our needs so we can lead a life that doesn’t require us to diminish any part of ourselves to thrive. Emotional wellness is key.

Watch “All the Rage: Embracing, Releasing and Managing Your Emotions” above. For more of everything you missed at the 2021 GU Summit, head over to ESSENCE Studios.

The 2021 Girls United Summit is presented by CBS Original The Equalizer and sponsored by American Airlines and McDonald’s.

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