(Watch) Taraji Henson x Mary J. Blige Tackle Holiday Blues

In Peace of Mind with Taraji, Golden Globe Award-Winning actress Taraji P. Henson and her best friend and co-hostTracie Jade shine a spotlight on the challenging mental health issues facing us today – particularly of those in the Black community. Through personal interviews with both celebrities, experts and everyday people, the series shows how to provide support, bring awareness and help eliminate the stigmas of mental health issues.


Watch this episode:


  • Title: Holiday Blues with Mary J. Blige
  • Description: No more ‘stinkin thinkin’ this holiday season as Mary J. Blige reveals how she is conquering her feelings of isolation. Can she inspire two young women who are struggling with loneliness and despair from being separated from their families over the holidays?


Some highlights from the episode include:

 Taraji and Tracie discuss how they plan to get through this lonelier holiday season. 

    • Tracie: “It’s that time of year again.”
    • Taraji: “Holiday season!”
    • Tracie: “Christmas bells and cheer.”
    • Taraji: “Can’t nobody go nowhere. Can’t visit family, can’t have my grandma’s collard greens.”
    • Tracie: “It’s already hard enough every year for some folk, but this year in particular…the pandemic, people feeling isolated.”
    • Taraji: “Isolated. Suffering in isolation and not being able to see anyone, touch anyone. This is the year where I give hugs and give out gifts. And there have been many deaths, and now we’re coming upon the holiday season…minus those family members.”
    • Tracie: “And how do we move through it?”
    • Taraji: “I thought about having the family get together, but I don’t wanna risk it. You know my grandma is 96…I just don’t want to chance it. It’s a lot, people are stressed.”
    • Tracie: “I think we’ve all been pushed to the edge.”
    •  Taraji and Tracie talk to Mary J. Blige about how the holidays, particularly after her recent divorce, can be a lonely time.
      • Taraji: “Mary you know, everybody knows, it’s hard to do anything in private when you’re a celebrity. So, everybody went through your divorce with you four years ago. Are the holidays harder for you now?”
      • Mary J. Blige: “It gets lonely and it gets sad, but you know hey I just gotta thug this out until y’know something excellent comes along, which I don’t know when that’s gonna happen. I’d rather be by myself than to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, so I’m gonna be patient and sift through this thing and love on me right now. But I’m not gonna deprive myself of living either you know, I’m not gonna deprive myself of romance if ever it shows up.”
      • Taraji: “I hear you girl! Yes, that’s right!”
      •  Mary J. Blige shares why her recent take on Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ holds a larger meaning for her.
        • Tracie: “You recently released your take on Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas.’ Why this one?”
        • Mary J. Blige: “Well because I’m a George Michael fan. And I just know as a single woman, everybody don’t have someone to hold onto or a family. Everyone don’t have that love this Christmas and I always represent what I’m living, I always sing what I’m living…it’s been last Christmas for me a couple of Christmases now, you know I’ve been by myself. So, I’m just letting everybody know that’s going through COVID – you know quarantined, don’t have anybody – you’re not alone, you’re not alone. It’s alright – you don’t have somebody it’s okay. And just be strong because something is gonna happen, but right now you’re lonely.”

Mary J. Blige in a scene from the hit show, “Power Book II: Ghost.” Credit: Starz


“The most challenging part is just the lack of human contact. Being in New York and can’t go 45-minutes to go drive and see my mother because we’re all trapped in a house, just not being able to touch someone. And I think the thing that really stabilizes me is just that morning, waking up prayer about the things that I y’know wish I had. I don’t have it right now, I can’t go see my mother right now, I can’t go outside right now, I can’t have people over at my house right now, so help me God to be able to accept that and not be selfish and hurt myself.” 

  •  Mary J. Blige on what mental health means to her. 
    • Taraji: “When you think of mental health, what does it mean to you?” 
    • Mary J. Blige: “When I think of mental health, I think of just being stable mentally, waking up in your right mind, being able to accept the things that you can’t do anything about, so it’s just really stability in our thinking.”
    • Taraji: “Absolutely. Long before it was cool to even talk about mental health, you made a point to be open about yours. What made you decide to be so open?”
    • Mary J. Blige: “When you’re going through so much hell it’s not for you to keep it private. Like I was going through hell from the time I was five years old, to the time I was a grown woman, and it was just spiralling out of control. And it wasn’t something that I was like ‘Oh I’ve got to tell the world’ it’s just that the world just saw it. I have to use the ‘My Life’ album for an instance – 1994 I wrote those songs as a cry for help, that I needed help, I was going through hell…people responded. So that was my answer right there that okay, I have to speak. I don’t think we’re given these platforms as artists to just sit on it and be selfish.”
  • 7:05: Mary J. Blige shares what a bad day for her mental health looks like. 
    • Tracie: “And I wonder what a bad day looks like for you?”
    • Mary J. Blige: “A bad day is…when I can’t control the stinkin’ thinkin’. The negative thought life creates a bad day because if you don’t get a hold to what you thinkin’, everything you do is gonna be what you thinkin’. So, every single day, every second of the day, we are fighting our thought, but I’m gonna try my hardest to not lie to myself about anything because when we lie to ourselves that’s a form of insanity. You just can’t do it… you’ve gotta teach that other side that you can’t win.”
    • Taraji: “In those moments where you feel that depression coming in, what are some tools you do to avoid it?”
    • Mary J. Blige: “I think the number one tool is…appreciate what you have and leave the rest on God to give you what you need. You know the peace of mind is what you need, acceptance of you can’t see your grandma, you can’t reach out and touch people, you can’t really travel the way you want to.”
    • Taraji: “I think we are honestly sick and tired of suffering. I remember when I went before Congress and I actually said it ‘I suffer from anxiety and depression’ and just the weight [sighs]…and so the acceptance is the big piece. Even the holiday season, I’ve gotta accept that I can’t see my family and once you accept it then you’re able to kind of [sighs] breathe through it because that’s all you can do.”
  • Mary J. Blige discloses her number one self-care/self-love tip. 
    • Taraji: “We know you’re all about self-care, but we wanna know what’s one new self-love care thing you will do to your life?” 
    • Mary J. Blige: “Just continue to stop stinkin’ thinkin’ like y’know no more stinkin’ thinkin’. Just continue to believe the best of myself, the very best of myself.”
    • Taraji: “I love that, no more stinkin’ thinkin’.” 
    • Tracie: “No more stankin’ thankin’. Can we put an ‘ankin’ on it?”