Jewel opened up about her childhood trauma and abusive behavior by her mother that continued into her adult years.
In an interview on Verywell Mind Podcast With licensed therapist Amy Morin, the 48-year-old singer, whose tour bus caught fire in August, discusses her journey to better mental health.
Actress Joel Kilcher was born in Payson, Utah, in 1974.
Her parents, Atz, 75, who is the star of the reality show Alaska: The Last Frontier, and Leandra Carroll, 67, moved Joel and her older brother, Shane, to Alaska shortly after she was born, where they lived in a large house with no electricity or plumbing.
“My mom and dad separated when I was eight, and we went to live with my dad,” she explained. No one told me it was because my mom didn’t want to be a mom. You left us, so my father took up our upbringing. I didn’t know that at the time.
Painful childhood: Joel, 48, opened up about her traumatic childhood and abusive behavior by her mother that continued into her adult years on the Verywell Mind podcast with licensed therapist Amy Morin (pictured in New York in February 2023)
My dad was a volatile alcoholic who got into me, and it’s very easy to identify with the “bad guy.” My mom seemed the opposite. She was calm, she was soft, she never yelled, she obviously never hit me. And I didn’t realize I was being abused in some other way at the time.
Jewel said that when she goes to her mother for support, she will find ways to ignore the jewel, unbeknownst to the girl.
Suppose when I would come to her doorstep she would say, “Your mind is so powerful. Our brains just work, we use 10% of our brain power. Our minds are so powerful and I think you, Gem, are so powerful that I think you could sit here and stare at this light bulb.” And you might be able to turn it off with your mind.”
Looking back, the Who will Save Your Soul singer said, at the time, that those interactions made her “feel in love.” It wasn’t until much later that she found out, “What it really was was that my mother didn’t want you to stay there and be with me, and she nursed me by making me watch the light bulbs. So sometimes the look of the attached figure isn’t what it seems.”
The You Were Meant for Me singer started performing at a young age. She and her father sang and sang in the streets and bars to earn money.
I was singing at the age of eight. I was around predators, I had a very scary life. I had a very terrifying life. And I lived a life where adults were not safe people, it was not safe to communicate with people.
It was Joel’s talent that enabled her to get off the rails. She was awarded a partial scholarship to study operatic voice at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Homer’s hometown crowded here, holding an auction to raise what was left of the money.
Abuse: The singer said her father, Atz, “was this alcoholic who got me.” She said her mother, Lindra, left the family when she was eight “because my mom didn’t want to be a mother” (pictured in New York in May 2003)
Embezzled: Jewel has been in touch with her mother following the success of her 12-time platinum debut album Pieces of You and subsequent works. I woke up and realized she embezzled all my money, over 100 million dollars’
She learned guitar while attending music school and moved to San Diego after graduation.
There, she lived in a van while writing songs and performing. She paid the bills by working in a coffee shop and as a telephone operator at a computer company until she was discovered.
Her debut album, Pieces of You, skyrocketed to success, becoming a record 12-time platinum record.
The artist’s second compilation, Spirit, debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 3, but didn’t achieve the same success as Pieces of Me.
Joel’s mother was close enough to have access to the singer’s finances.
I didn’t really realize what my mom was until I was in my 30s. I woke up and realized that she had embezzled all my money, over $100 million.
Helping Others: Jewel helped create an inspiring children’s nonprofit in the early 2000s, which includes the singer’s free in-person online mental health program, Jewel Never Broken (pictured in Salt Lake City in February 2023)
Survival Techniques: Through Jewel Never Broken, the artist shares survival techniques she taught herself to overcome anxiety and depression
“34 years, realizing I owed $3 million, realizing my mother stole it, realizing everything I thought my mother wasn’t what she was, it’s a very difficult psychological thing to deal with.”
To help vulnerable children and teens, Jewel helped create an inspiring children’s nonprofit in the early 2000s, which includes the singer’s free in-person and online mental health program, Jewel Never Broken.
The program includes survival techniques that the artist taught herself to overcome anxiety and depression.
Joel often talks about the importance of good mental health on her personal social media account and on her Inspirational Kids and Unbroken accounts.
The MTV Music Award winner recently launched a new mental health app, inner world.
Mental health: Joel often talks about the importance of mental health on her personal social media accounts and on her inspirational kids pages Never Broke
New App: The MTV Music Award winner recently launched a new mental health app, Innerworld. Jewel will lead a series of events, including how to use anxiety as an ally and teach a course on the topic of affective dyslexia
Useful: The game maker said the Innerworld app is helpful to anyone who may be struggling, regardless of their background. This does not mean that they are also broken. There are so many tools and things we can do to help ourselves with a little guidance.”
The free platform offers peer-to-peer support groups in the virtual world where users can interact as an avatar, along with 100 weekly events.
Joel will lead a series of events, including how to use anxiety as an ally and teach a course on the topic of affective dyslexia and how she personally overcame emotional challenges.
“I didn’t have a secure personality (growing up),” she explained. “But that’s also why I founded our youth foundation, because there’s real hope for kids like this.”
The game maker said the app is useful for anyone who may be struggling, regardless of their background.
This does not mean that they are also broken. There are many tools and things we can do to help ourselves with a little guidance.
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