Ironically enough, last week I wrote a post about how to lose a friend. Tapping into those unsettled feelings that have been troubling me for the past few months was difficult, much less sharing them with all of the internet to see. The writing of the post was therapeutic; the moment I thought to put pen to paper (or keys to keyboard) was the moment I saw a picture of a former friend on social media and the hurt feelings surfaced then began to bubble over. Since writing the post, I haven't thought about this old friend and our broken relationship once, which is a 180 degree turnaround from my formerly constant, one-sided discontent with our fractured friendship. When the post was finished and my sentiments and thoughts were left bared to me, forcing me to review and accept my feelings, I learned the true value of journaling. A value I wouldn't have even come to discover had it not been for The Friend Zone.
Blessed be the day that I tuned in to the pilot episode of The Friend Zone a year ago. Having already been a long time supporter of Fran (HeyFranHey)—who is the reason why I am currently a naturalista, a lover of Jojoba oil, and can school you on the benefits of oil cleansing—I was sure to check out her venture into the world of podcasting with her show based on all things wellness and mental health. The show is co-hosted by three black creatives (Fran, Dustin, and Assanté) and is as filled with helpful wellness tips as it is laughs to help you get through the stresses of life. In the words of Assanté, the show helps to add some needed equipment in your "ninja toolkit"; an arsenal of knowledge and guidelines geared to help you navigate life and the rocky road to success. From the deep topics explored by Fran to the insight, witty quips, petty notes, and music-laced references from Dustin and Assanté, each host drops more than enough knowledge bombs to get you thinking and reevaluating your thought processes, who you attract, the way you love, and your journey to doing what you love.
I extend my sincerest congratulations to this crew of amazing creatives who took the initiative to turn an idea of spreading awareness for wellness and mental health on a medium popular for distractions and turning it into a successful, helpful, and much needed venture. Every week for the past year, I have had messages from these three received unto me that have provoked thought and reflection. I've mended relationships, ended a few; put together grand plans, and understood people far better than before because of the words of Fran, Assanté, and Dustin.
Their live, one year anniversary show—which wasn't short of their typical wellness tips and humor—was packed with black creatives and influencers from the hosts (Kid Fury and Crissle of The Read) to the question facilitators Franchesca Ramsey (aka ChescaLeigh) and Maya Washington (aka Shameless Maya) to the massive friend-based attendees (such as Cipriana Quann, Deray McKesson, Jesse Boykins III, to name a few). Just being in attendance you felt inspired by all the creatives and camaraderie shared amongst each and every attendee.
Congrats again to The Friend Zone on the amazing work they're doing and will continue to do. Thank you so much for your show, for encouraging the community, and for being the much needed voice that was waiting to be heard.
You can check out The Friend Zone on Wednesdays on SoundCloud or Spotify.