This mental health expert and new mom talks navigating entrepreneurship and cultivating connections.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Storyteller, mother, mental health advocate, and community builder — just a few words that describe the inspired work of Elyse Fox. As the founder of Sad Girls Club — a WOC-driven, online mental health platform for Gen Z & millennials — Fox proves she’s more than her emotions. Her commitment to collective betterment, through life’s rough spots, keeps us moving forward with grace. Fox is a shining example of surrendering to the ebb and flow of life, while taking moments to celebrate the wins and learn from the losses.
We sat down with this lightworker to learn just how far she’s come and what comes next.
As someone who’s building a really beautiful community, we’d love to hear how you are looking after yourself and your family these days.
I feel like my path the past year of my life has been a huge adjustment — from pregnancy to dealing with a new baby, Basel. I had postpartum depression when he was three months old, around this time last year. And then I got through it and started to develop a really good rhythm: I’d just started going back out, going to meetings, having coffee dates, all of those things. And then COVID-19 happened.
I felt like all the prep to get back out there again and have some sense of self was kind of pulled back. I’ve really just been trying to take this time as a lesson. I do feel like there’s a lot of beauty in being able to have an opportunity to be with Basel all the time.
I feel good about being at home. Maybe that’s where we should be right now in the world.
In terms of your philosophy and approach to motherhood and parenting, where have you found helpful inspiration?
I really leaned on an online community, women who I looked up to in a digital space who have kids.
I was like, okay, who are women who have similar lifestyles as me, so I can take their advice and apply it to my personal experience? Like, “Oh, she has a kid. And she does all these things. How cool, like she’s able to balance it all.” So that’s what I did. And I still am in contact with a lot of them. And even then, you’re like, damn, this is all hard! I feel like you don’t understand it until you’re actually in it.
What does the word “connection” mean to you?
Connection to me means finding — and it doesn’t have to be anything major — but finding one similarity, a common ground between you and someone else or you in something else. And exploring that. I think that sometimes we just make connections on a surface level, and we don’t dig deeper. But I felt like when I started asking those nitty gritty questions, that’s when I felt I had real connections. It was like peeling off layers, and it didn’t take much because I feel we all want to talk about this stuff.
Let’s talk about Sad Girls Club’s Soul Sessions! What are they and what have you taken away from them, personally?
One of my biggest initiatives is that I want one-on-one therapy for Black women to be free, and to be not just from whomever. I wanted it to be from highly-ranked, top-rated Black therapists, giving therapy to Black women. So in our first session I had a therapist facilitate a conversation and I was like, “I want the girls to ask anything, like it was just an open floor.”
I want people to be in the sessions and see themselves and feel comfortable with the people around them in the sessions. So we launched it on Instagram and now we have like 500 sessions a month, which is great.
How do you consider yourself to be a lightworker?
I want to make sure that I’m embodying everything I’m speaking about, everything I’ve tried to put out into the world — that it has a purpose and that it’s not just arbitrary, you know? So I really feel like I’m here to heal or help people heal or help people find where they need to be in their lives. And I’m not the actual doctor, but I think I can engage enough to the point where people feel comfortable with getting themselves to the next step towards their healing in their healing journey. I feel like I’m like the starting point to people’s healing.
What does community mean to you? Tell us in the comments.