Jhene Aiko sees some of the same struggles she faced with mental health in her daughter, Namiko Love Browner. The ‘None Of Your Concern’ singer recently sat down with PEOPLE to exclusively discuss her journey through depression and how she helps her 13-year-old daughter navigate the path to wholeness.
“I had a child at 20 and definitely dealt with some postpartum depression,” Jhene revealed. “And then two years after she was born, my brother passed and I definitely dealt with depression and self-medicating,” the recording artist said. “At that same time, I was dealing with the typical early 20s blues of just dealing with relationships. And so on top of everything else, I was starting to get very busy and popular.”
Jhene Aiko welcomed her daughter on November 19, 2008. She released her first project, Sailing Soul(s), on September 9, 2014.
“I started gaining success, so I put out my mixtape and I started getting really busy, performing and touring,” the celebrity mom told PEOPLE. “And so along with that, came a bunch of other pressures and I was still dealing with, ‘I have a young daughter, I lost my brother,’ trying to numb those feelings of, ‘He’s not here to see me live my dream.’ I was really depressed and just self-medicating and drinking and trying to cope with that.”
Jhene initially turned to self-medication through alcohol. The recording artist, however, kicked that habit with the help of Buddhism. She now has a strong foundation that helps her navigate the way of mental health that she aims to pass on to her daughter.
“As she gets older, it becomes even more important for me to be well,” Jhene shared with the press. “I see her going through a lot of the same things I went through when I was her age and I let her know, ‘It’s taken me 34 years to really learn certain techniques when I’m feeling anxious or angry. And yeah, it’s a journey.’ I feel like we’re all on a mental health journey because we all have our physical health, but our well-being is so important. It’s just as important, and they go hand in hand really.”
Namiko Love Browner is Jhene Aiko’s daughter with recording artist O’Ryan.
Photo: Jhene Aiko/Instagram