Invoking Black Joy: 30 ways to find your smile in a world full of sorrow.

Joy is hard when there is so much sorrow and trepidation surrounding our lives. Though we've been in survival mode since we landed here in this country, the current state of affairs has heightened the nonnegotiable need to take better care of ourselves. Attending to our joy should not, and frankly cannot be an elective action. We all know that we are better & braver when our joy takes priority.

Here are 30 ways to make it through...

  1. Deep Breaths

  2. Titty Grabs (Either your own, or with proper consent.) --You can't really be mad with a boob in your hand.

  3. Twerk Sumthing. "Cash Money taking over for the 99 & 2000"

  4. Take off your bra and/or draws

  5. Talk to almost any black grandparent. If you don't have one borrow one.

  6. Do some community service

  7. Masturbate because... self love

  8. Watch EWF's "Boogie Wonderland" video

  9. Take a toddler to the park

  10. Create a new album of memes

  11. Plan your dream vacation on Pinterest

  12. Watch the last 3 minutes of the 2016 NBA Finals (unless you're a Golden State Fan.)

  13. Watch Beyoncé do ummm. Anything.

  14. Watch Marshawn Lynch on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and his skittles commercial

  15. Sit by a large body of water. Ponds count.

  16. Make a playlist of songs that make you smile

  17. Do 5 minutes worth of stretching

  18. Write out a to-do list & then scratch off "write a to-do list off your list

  19. Write a thank you note

  20. Create a meditation/prayer corner

  21. Compliment a black woman

  22. Answer mundane questions by clapping/air grabbing "Yes 👏🏾 I 👏🏾 Do 👏🏾Want 👏🏾 Fries 👏🏾 With 👏🏾 That!"

  23. Have a staycation at an AirBnB in your city

  24. Take a long bath or shower

  25. Fries and cheese sauce

  26. Go to the old head bar & line dance or hand dance

  27. Doodle

  28. Go to the thrift store & shop without having to look at the tags

  29. Go for a walk

  30. Download a new game for your phone

Can you add to this list? We can never have too much joy!

Eris Eady is a freelance writer, and intersectional advocate from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a grad student at Case Western Reserve University.

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