After gaining fame young as one half of Rizzle Kicks, experiencing the too-early loss of his Grandmother and going through a challenging breakup, Jordan Stephens went sober in Brazil to regroup. From here he wrote an article for The Guardian on toxic masculinity and founded mental health campaign ‘Whole’ with the NHS and YMCA. With them he’s running a podcast, you should definitely listen. Guests so far include Professor Green, The Slumflower, Matt Haig and Munroe Bergdorf. And he’s still making music of course.
 

We were lucky to have him run a Live Q&A in response to your questions on heartbreak. Read the excerpt, or watch in full, below:

 

What is heartbreak? And is it always linked to romantic relationships?
So, heartbreak is something that we all experience at some point and actually this first question I think is really interesting. And my answer is, I don't think it is always linked to romantic relationships. I suppose we can fall in love with all types of different things. I’ve had my heart broken with friendships for sure. In fact, I think the first time I probably had my heart broken was from a friendship.

 

I often feel as though heartbreak is uhh, the actual pain of it is reflective of grief innit, it’s grief. It’s losing something it’s the loss of a feeling or an experience.

 

Loss is one of the hardest things to reconcile as a human being but I really do think that that pain you experience in loss is what helps us grow and gives us more of an emotional robust, robustity? Is that a word? It builds us that pain. But it is painful.

 

So I think heartbreak is grief. It’s the loss of a particular routine or mechanism or familiarity. And is it always linked to romantic relationships? No.

 

I mean like I say… if they don’t make this second Space Jam with Lebron James I will also be heartbroken. Not as deep though I’m being silly.

 

 

 

How do you get your identity back on track after a heartbreak?
Uh, it’s mad like, ‘cause I'm not really like a relationship therapist. I only know what’s happened for me. But I had my heartbroken the worst last year, and it’s kind of from my… well it’s definitely from my own doing. So how do you get your identity back on track? The way to be healthy and look after yourself there’s like a few temp holes. So: nutrition, exercise, community, also solitude. Sleep. These things are all things that are really, really important. We can so easily just fall into the idea of drinking or not sleeping enough… insomnia, eating badly… all these ‘quick fixes’. But I'd say to get your identity back on track the first thing you’ve gotta do is look after yourself. And then you’ll empower yourself more.

 

It’s mad as well because it seems so boring but like, if I have a really good breakfast like porridge and then eggs I just think better, my body just works better, do you know what I mean?

 

Also solitude is important because in those moments of being alone you feel everything. You need to transition from yourself rather than distract yourself constantly. If you just listen to your emotions it goes that’s the thing I've been trying to teach myself. It does go. It’s like you surf it.

 

"If you just listen to your emotions it goes that’s the thing I've been trying to teach myself. It does go. It’s like you surf it."

 

Do broken hearts mend?
Uhhh, yes. Broken hearts do mend, I think. Depending on how you choose to fix them. I think if you’re to really really understand the pain that you experience or to feel it and let it pass through then yes it can mend or it can be managed…

 

I think our society has an aversion to emotional pain. We feel as though we shouldn’t experience it when actually we should experience pain it helps us grow. It’s just sometimes it’s really scary. A loss is something you will never forget and can never disappear it’s just something that you kind of fold into this beautiful little thing and put it in your pocket, y’know?

 

@savingtheworldbygrace: Do you have any advise for me because I'm a really skinny guy and because I'm told in today’s society I have to be muscular and it makes me paranoid and makes me think everyone is judging me.

 

Don’t worry about being skinny man. I was just talking about this today. I go through all types of changes with my body, I have done for a while, and body dysmorphia is something that isn’t spoken about a lot with guys. Your body is just… just treat your body with respect. Don’t worry about appearances man honestly it’s so subjective. And there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way as a man. I really wouldn’t worry about that. We’re all so aesthetically… it’s tough though I get you I feel you man.

 

 

How have you handled heartbreak?
Haha, how did I handle heartbreak… Um in the past I have just got mashed up and carried on with life. Kept busy. Validated myself off other people. Last year I sat in the heartbreak and it was the most painful thing I think I’ve ever done in my life actually, which is mad.

 

The relationship I was in ended from my own destructive tendencies, and the end of it just broke everything I’d been suppressing. So I was upset about my Gran passing away a couple of years before, I was still experiencing some kind of weird emotion I’d overlooked situations with my ex-girlfriend, some stuff with being famous and in the public eye. A lot of stuff was coming up man that I was like ‘woah’ and it was all coming up at once.

 

I stayed sober, I went to Brazil. I then wrote this article on toxic masculinity based on me trying to make-amends and take responsibility for some of the shit I’d done before and this is literally why I'm speaking to you guys now. So that’s mad how life works like that. And I remember it was so mad I swear to God I was crying in a car park in Brazil, just in this car park sobbing. I was getting rung up by so many reputable organisations that I wouldn’t have been able to plan to have gained their attention.

 

Being a pop-star at 18/19 it’s quite difficult to move outside of an image that you’ve been pushed forward. I was very much in people’s minds a hyperactive, sometimes a bit of a numpty pop-star. So to have written an article for The Guardian and the The Guardian to accept this piece of writing that I’d written and Question Time and News Night and everyone ringing me up. I was sobbing! How mad is life?! I was probably the saddest ever and it gave me the most opportunities so, from pain can come good stuff but it just doesn’t always feel like it at the time.

 

 

"I was sobbing! How mad is life?! I was probably the saddest ever and it gave me the most opportunities so, from pain can come good stuff but it just doesn’t always feel like it at the time."

 

 

What advice would you give yourself if you knew then what you know now?
I’d seriously back myself, that’s what I’d do. I’ve struggled in the past to be my own best friend and in hindsight, I’m kind of annoyed at myself about that. I feel like there was one point at which my confidence was so low and I was looking for validation in the wrong places. But it was because I'd never really allowed myself to be soberly alone with my fears. So yeah, I’d say don’t listen to the voices, don’t allow yourself to spiral. And just let it pass.

 

It was so painful but I think to a certain extent I still was battling it. Been battling that pain all my life so to let myself feel it… wild. So advice I’d give myself is to like, slow down, breathe, get a routine, y’know?

 

 

Watch the full live stream:

 

 

 

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