Birmingham-born Jules Rendell made London her home a decade ago, where she has been honing her craft as a singer, composer, vocal arranger and music entrepreneur with vocal group Get Gospel.
Her new solo album ‘Imagine’ is out now and is a personal reflection of some of her mental health struggles. This Mental Health Awareness Week I caught up with Jules to find out more.
1) Imagine is the title of your new album. What inspired this title?
I wrote the songs on my album when I was going through a pretty rough patch in terms of my mental health. Each song has a key in it for maintaining good mental health – I was living this at the time as I had to work out how to get through my dark patch. I listened to some really wise speakers who were talking about the power of our imaginations as a tool for keeping on top of our emotions and I realised, this is the most important key of all. I wrote an interlude track called ‘Imagine’, expressing some of the things I made a choice to imagine every day. The track really inspired me, so I decided to name the album after it.
2) Mental health is just as important as physical and spiritual health. How do you look after your mental health?
Good mental health begins and ends with what you believe about yourself, the world and other people. I choose to believe I am worthy of love and have a unique purpose in life. That I have the power to choose how to react to things that happen to me and others. I try to believe the best in others. When difficult circumstances arise, or doubts and lies creep in, I choose to say – and imagine – positive things rather than negative ones.
If I get into an argument with someone, I can spend hours / days going over it, imagining what we should have / could have said to come out on top – or what I will say to them next time I see them. But instead, I can choose to imagine that I will be kind to them, and that they will be kind to me. It calms my heart, helps me to sleep and makes me a much nicer person to be around!
Sometimes I have to stop and figure out why I am getting angry, or worried or stressed. Often, there is an underlying fear of something that isn’t even real! And if I sort that out, the angry/stress/worry disappears.
3) As an artist I know it’s so hard to keep pushing yourself forward, especially when you don’t feel one hundred percent. How do you break through that barrier?
I have felt like giving up so many times. It has definitely been my friends that have kept me going – reminding me of my unique purpose: to share hope with people and bring life and joy through music. That’s what my song ‘Old Friend’ is about. We all need good people around to encourage us! And it’s important to be vulnerable sometimes and admit we need help.
4) What would your top three tips be to someone reading this who is struggling with their mental health today?
1) Talk to someone! Every single person struggles with their mental health at some point so you are not alone. Find a compassionate person or a counsellor or a help line even. Talking aloud can help us makes sense of what’s going on inside and it will be the beginning of your recovery.
2) Learn. Read books on mental health, listen to talks, go to a counsellor, find apps to help you. Learning what is true and real will help you change your beliefs about yourself, the world and others.
3) Imagine good things happening to you – people being kind to you, you being kind to others, you being kind to yourself. It will feel really weird at first, and the little voice in your head will tell you that will never happen. But persevere. The tide will turn at some point. Hope is always better than fear!
Thanks for taking the time to feature here and for those amazing nuggets of inspiration Jules, Make sure you check out more from Jules here. Please feel free to share to anyone who you think may be interested in this post.
Thanks for reading, Happy Mental Health Awareness Week.