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Songs are Only Half the Story Jewel • Blue Rider

Many of us have heard bits of the extraordinary story behind singer/songwriter Jewel, who came to national attention in 1995 with the multiplatinum album Pieces of You: She was raised on an Alaskan homestead, and spent her childhood singing in bars with the family band before she left home at 15. When she was discovered in a San Diego coffeehouse four years later, she was living out of her car.

In Never Broken, she unflinchingly relays the whole tale: the remarkable but unstable upbringing, poverty and struggling to fit with other kids, putting herself through performing arts high school, homelessness, sudden fame, heartbreaking betrayal, and redefining herself as an artist again and again. It’s a real page-turner. But what’s particularly interesting is the revelation that she relied on mindfulness to help her through.

Of course, back then she didn’t call it mindfulness. No one did. But, realizing she was on her way to being “a statistic,” as she says, she began crafting a lifeline—reading physics and philosophy; and using meditation, visualization, gratitude, and journaling to watch and question her thoughts and choose where to direct them. It’s the…

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