When it comes to the movement of wellness, and well-being in the workplace, a very important question needs to take place. What does the understanding of wellness look like, and is it inclusive of those coming from non-traditional forms of therapy? When we examine movements of ending the burn-out epidemic, and the desire to live better, are there less vigilant forms of wellness, which have grown in popularity? With issues of finances coming into play, certain sectors of humanity have proved that one’S environment can being a magical fairytale, in achieving wellness dreams. Those who are not privy to certain terminology of what it means to live better have showcased, that feelings of imbalance can propel any community into finding non-traditional, but creative, solutions in tackling stress and overcoming emotional distress.

For the greater scheme of society, there are various communities, who have relied on the power of creativity, dance, fashion, and the arts in order to bring healing, In fact, they are restricted from even entering, once they are even aware about them. This results in two scenarios. Either they carry on overworking and matriculating through stress, or they develop other forms of therapy. What should be understood is how one releases emotional toxicity, is a form of therapy. The release of emotional toxicity can come through creative measures. Building up one’s image and self-esteem, comes through self-esteem. Even if their ways of coping, and releasing stress, are from unusual methods. They are nevertheless, still ways of coping. And, those coping and wellness measures are very much diverse, colorful, artistic, and healing.

(Source: http://www.iamhiphopmagazine.com/hip-hop-and-the-black-social-movements-in-america/)
(Source: www.highsnobiety.com)

When examining the realm of urban communities in the United States of America, one can only imagine the level of toxicity and stress running rampant in such communities. Nevertheless, the genius of such communities is how they have transformed their spacing, as sites of musical and dance productions. Those communities who are unable to go to the break or meditation rooms at work, simply because one is not available. From these communities creative and therapeutic activities are birthed. Wellness magic is produced. Whether it be music, art, poetry, fashion, dance, and other forms of creativity, they have been used as methods for sustaining mental and emotional wellness.

(Source: https://americansuburbx.com/2013/03/asx-exhibit-jamel-shabazz-back-in-the-days-1980s.html)

When we examine the culture of Hip Hop, we are observing a particular demographic, cultural herstory, and socio-economic group, as it relates to origin. Being a Black American art form, with its roots stemming from Blues traditions of the Deep South, Hip Hop is birthed from Black Americans, who traveled from the racist hostilities of the South, seeking a better life up North. Like its mother genre, Blues, it addressed challenges and frustrations of the current environment. Storytelling and poetry. A healthy performance in releasing the anguish and stress, from the current circumstances around them. Simultaneously, one was able to use the art form in celebrating the beauties of life: love, dreams, a positive self-esteem, and others. It is another way of giving value to one’s life, and very existence; regardless, if one is experiencing financial hardships or living conditions. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a form of musical therapy. It is an effort to sustain mental and emotional well-being, in intense environments.

If we were to take a trip to the West Coast of California, our minds become aware to a dance therapy, known as Krumping/Krumpin.’ Krumpin’ is a Black American art form, which is known for dancers wearing of clown costumes and make-up. The dance moves are intense, free, and liberating. Krumpin’ was created out of the need for Black American youth, of this area, to release frustrations and anger at the disparities and injustices being experienced. Simultaneously, it is designed to prevent gang initiation; all the while, channeling their energy into more constructive and positive efforts. It is unlikely that this particular demographic can afford the luxury of seeing a high-end therapist. And, should they have the opportunity to meet a counselor, are many of these licensed professionals sensitive or empathetic enough to their experiences? In this context, Krumpin’ is their therapy. It is their creative method of attractive wellness, and creating a holistic atmosphere, in spaces not designed for fruition and healthy development.

(Source: https://lasentinel.net/tommy-the-clown-celebrates-25-year-anniversary-at-usc-galen-center.html)
(Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumping)

These traditions of Black American communities and youth (in this case, those growing up in the urban sectors), developing creative artistry as a coping strategy for their realities, is a unique (and authentic) story of wellness and holistic well-being, that should be appreciated. Using this form of therapy in the work sectors, and their labor activities (even going back to our enslavement in the United States) has been consistent. They are powerful methods of getting through hostile work conditions, the stress of financial inadequacies, and attacks against one’s very Being and self-esteem, in the workplace. These therapeutic endeavors have been recognized and appreciated within these communities. For, in these therapies are relevations in having acknowledged, and laid claim to, their own humanity. Nourishing themselves into inner forms of peace and holistic acceptance, of self.

(Source: https://chicagodefender.com/i-wanna-be-down-remix-brandy-yo-yo-mc-lyte-latifah-reunite-clips/)

As different circumstances and trajectories arise, the maintaining of sanity takes on different forms. Socio-economic standing plays a role in how coping mechanisms are devised. Regardless of how they are created, why they are created, or where they are created, the purpose is still the same. Live better. Feel better. Work better! As long as those are the objectives, its safe to say it is in wellness’ form. Well being is well being. No matter how unusual the sound may be.

(Source: https://www.thehypemagazine.com/2019/12/la-rapper-raneraps-lively-and-eccentric-music-brings-refreshing-artistry-to-hip-hop/)
(Source: http://www.kolumnmagazine.com/2019/03/07/fubu-is-back-with-a-relaunch-of-the-iconic-fashion-brand-according-2-hip-hop/)


  • Lauren K. Clark

    Lauren K. Clark hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Currently based in Cairo, Egypt, she is a lover of travel, studying different languages, the arts, and more!

    Coming from Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren K. Clark came to Cairo, Egypt for her graduate studies in Gender & Women's Studies/Migration and Refugee Studies. A writer, published in 6 countries, project coordinator, working with refugee/migrant children, and just enjoying the magic and power of life. The world of theater is her therapy, and the performing arts lavishes her world! Enthralled with the mysteries of the Universe, and all the beauties, Creation has to offer.