How to Become Your Own Biggest Fan With Actress KJ Smith

KJ Smith

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet KJ Smith

KJ Smith moved to Los Angeles after college to pursue a career in acting. She landed appearances in a variety of shows over the years and worked her way into bigger roles. 

Currently, she has a lead role in the BET comedy-drama series "Sistas" and she is also going to star in the upcoming season of Starz’ Power Book III: Raising Kainan. 

She isn’t shy about talking about her mental health. She has become an advocate for therapy and self-care.

Why KJ Smith Is Mentally Strong

KJ says she has faced some ups and downs in her career and she has learned that it’s important to become her own biggest fan.

Her rise to fame has taught her a lot about herself and how important it is to have boundaries and be her authentic self. 

She is very open about her struggles with mental health and the steps she is taking to stay mentally strong

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • How KJ learned to be comfortable with her emotions
  • What happens when other people aren’t comfortable with her emotional expressions
  • How she learned to become her own biggest fan
  • How she fills her mind with helpful, positive things
  • The modifications she makes to her environment that help her stay mentally healthy
  • How she establishes boundaries with people 
  • How she got through several bouts of depression
  • How she uses music to manage her mood
  • How she uses social media in a healthy way
  • How she chooses to give other people grace
  • How to tune out the noise around you when you’re trying to make decisions

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

KJ talks about having bouts with depression. Periods of depression can be common. Some people have serious depressive episodes, others have mild depressive episodes. 

Some people get better without professional help. Others require treatment, like medication or therapy, to feel better.

Depressive episodes aren’t a sign of weakness. Despite your best efforts, they may still happen to you from time to time. This may stem from your brain chemistry or it may depend on environmental factors.

Building mental strength may help prevent some depressive episodes but not all. Feeling depressed isn’t a sign of weakness. It can happen to anyone. 

Quotes From KJ

When you go through something, I give you the grace that you need.

  • "I had to start getting addicted to the good dopamine rush, not the bad dopamine rush."
  • "When I was in school, you only had three people telling you what's cool and what to do and what to wear and, and how to be and what not to do. Now people have 7 billion people influencing their decisions, influencing their ears and their brain and their thoughts."
  • "Meditation is essential because you have to silence your thoughts to really hear what's true."

More About the Podcast

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Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.