India.Arie: “Chaos Isn’t Good For Your Health”

(photo credit: inida arie twitter)

(photo credit: inida arie twitter)

When you hear India.Arie’s music or even mention her, you’re usually reminded of the beautiful images she portrays, the uplifting music she sings and the overall positive message she brings. So it’s hard to imagine someone like her having a bad day, let alone a bad year that almost made her quit music…for good.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make music anymore,” says a recently missing-in-action India.Arie. After selling more than 10 million albums worldwide, scoring 21 Grammy nominations, and winning four, India Arie Simpson just completely stopped doing the one thing she loved most: music.

Four years later, she returned with her long-awaited fifth studio album, SongVersation, and the “Brown Skin” and “I Am Not My Hair” singer says that, for the first time, she completely controls the when, where and how her career is written. But the road to get here was hard.

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Describing 2009 as “just the worst year I could imagine,” India describes a series of physical setbacks, a broken engagement and a cross-country tour left her exhausted — and at a spiritual crossroads, she recently explained what led her

The “I Am Not My Hair” singer says that her deep internal struggle took a serious toll on her physically and emotionally. “One of my oldest friends, he calls me ‘sunshine.’ It was a joke because I was so moody,” India.Arie says. “[But] it just looked like I was moody.”

In reality, India.Arie says something much more serious was going on. “I didn’t have a foundation of well-being. I didn’t like my ‘default setting.’ I just didn’t feel good all the time,” she explains. “I felt like I was always recovering from some sort of battle… I was in a constant state of recovery.”

“I was at rock bottom career-wise and health-wise,” explains India. “I was working so hard and getting very little in return. I didn’t know if I was going to make music anymore. I didn’t know anything. I just knew that I wanted to have a life that felt good.”

By applying some of the lessons of self-love and self-acceptance found in much of her own music, India turned that…