Registered psychotherapist Meghan Watson, who’s based in Toronto and is the founder of Bloom Psychology & Wellness, wanted to point out that Black joy might seem self-explanatory. However, she told POPSUGAR that it’s deeper than just finding joy; it’s “an opportunity for Black people to really center, amplify, and connect to a sense of ease, rest, and happiness,” especially since, she said, “those are things that historically have been stamped out from our existence.”
Licensed professional clinical counselor Shani Tran similarly told POPSUGAR that Black joy, in her opinion, is “embodying parts of your own Blackness.” It’s also, she noted, “not just skin tone. It’s embracing and loving the way that you talk, the way that you walk, the clothes that you wear, and recognizing that you are an individual within a culture.”
That being said, both mental health professionals state that embracing Black joy won’t eliminate the pain of racial trauma. Rather, Watson explained, by leaning into this joy, “we start to define ourselves in different ways, in ways that are more joyful, in ways that are more rested, in ways that are more at peace, and we create more narratives that are beyond just our trauma.” She added, “I would say it definitely adds to and creates a helpful narrative that allows us to define ourselves as more than just a collection of traumatic experiences.”
Though Watson wished to indicate that Black joy is a sensation that you can’t particularly pin one practice over the over to, keep reading for her and Tran’s tips for reconnecting with and embracing that joy on a daily basis.